promotion image of download ymail app
Promoted

What is the story or truth behind phil collins song "In The Air Tonight"?

I've heardn different sides such as "He couldv'e saved a friend from drownining" Or he knew someone who couldv'e saved his friend and he wasn't there which is it

10 Answers

Relevance
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    From Phil Collins when asked about the song "I don't know what this song is about. When I was writing this I was going through a divorce. And the only thing I can say about it is that it's obviously in anger. It's the angry side, or the bitter side of a separation. So what makes it even more comical is when I hear these stories which started many years ago, particularly in America, of someone come up to me and say, 'Did you really see someone drowning?' I said, 'No, wrong'. And then every time I go back to America the story gets Chinese whispers, it gets more and more elaborate. It's so frustrating, 'cos this is one song out of all the songs probably that I've ever written that I really don't know what it's about, you know."

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Collins commented on the urban legends about the song in a BBC World Service interview:

    "I don't know what this song is about. When I was writing this I was going through a divorce. And the only thing I can say about it is that it's obviously in anger. It's the angry side, or the bitter side of a separation. So what makes it even more comical is when I hear these stories which started many years ago, particularly in America, of someone come up to me and say, 'Did you really see someone drowning?' I said, 'No, wrong'. And then every time I go back to America the story gets Chinese whispers, it gets more and more elaborate. It's so frustrating, 'cos this is one song out of all the songs probably that I've ever written that I really don't know what it's about, you know. "

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    The meaning of this song became a pervasive Urban Myth. The story, which is not true, is that Collins watched as a man who raped his wife drowned. Another version has Collins writing this about about a man who watched another drown, and singing it to him at a concert. Yet another variation claims that when Collins was a young boy, he witnessed a man drowning someone but was too far away to help. Later, he hired a private detective to find the man, sent him a free ticket to his concert, and premiered the song that night with the spotlight on the man the whole time. These stories are not true. The truth is that Collins wrote this about the anger he felt after divorcing his first wife Andrea in 1979. He was so devastated that he left Genesis for a short time.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Claim: Phil Collins wrote the song In the Air Tonight after witnessing an incident in which a man refused to come to the aid of a drowning swimmer.

    Status: False.

    Origins: Of all pop songs for which elaborate, apocryphal backstories have been created to explicate the lyrics, Phil Collins' 1981 hit, "In the Air Tonight" (from his Face Value album), has perhaps the most varied and fantastic set of legends associated with it. Encompassing adultery, rape, murder, drowning, and the dramatic exposure of a reprehensible wrongdoer (resulting in an arrest or suicide), the narratives all include despicable acts either witnessed by Phil Collins or visited upon him and his family (or friends), inspiring the musician to exact a form of revenge by encapsulating the experience in the lyrics of a song:

    As Phil Collins has explained numerous times over the years, "In the Air Tonight" (as well as most of the Face Value album) deals with his bitterness and frustration over the end of his marriage to his first wife, and the lyrics do not reference any specific real-life event.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • ed
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    When he was a kid he say a camp counselor drowned a kid but did nothing about it. When he grew up wrote this song and sent the counselor front row seats to a concert a sang it to him.

    That's the way the story goes but it's not true.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I heard that he knew a friend who just stood there and watched someone drown and didn't try and help.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There is no personal story behind it. It's just a cool revenge song.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    what you think is right. he couldve saved a friend but didnt.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    no he took it off anothe singer that sang that song thats all it is

    Source(s): not sure
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    wow Ive never heard of that, thanks for the info. wouldnt he be charged with some type of crime

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.