Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Trail song

The first track on Genesis' "A Trick of the Tail," "Dance On A Volcano," is one of my favorite "trail" songs, one that went through my head often, especially in dicey situations like brutal, roaring creek crossings or above treeline in gale force winds after dark.

I like the back story to this song. "Trick..." was the first album Genesis released in 1976 after the departure of lead singer Peter Gabriel. Everyone thought the band was through when Gabriel left, because his theatrical flamboyance and unique lyrical and vocal stylings really gave the band a signature sound. So, "Dance on a Volcano" was the listening public's introduction to Phil Collins as lead singer. The song is a bold statement, a reminder to Phil and the rest of the group that, hey, they "better start doing it right." And they did. The band's popularity soared, reaching its apex with "Invisible Touch" in 1986.

Collins has since sold out and now does soundtracks for Disney cartoons. He was once a great drummer and, as the public discovered with "Trick of the Tail," a pretty good lead singer too.

Holy mother of god
You’ve got to go faster than that to get to the top.
Dirty old mountain
All covered in smoke, she can turn you to stone
So you better start doing it right
Better start doing it right.

You’re halfway up and you’re halfway down
And the pack on your back is turning you around.
Throw it away, you won’t need it up there, and remember
You don’t look back whatever you do.
Better start doing it right.

On your left and on your right
Crosses are green and crosses are blue
Your friends didn’t make it through.
Out of the night and out of the dark
Into the fire and into the fight
Well that’s the way the heroes go, ho! ho! ho!

Through a crack in mother earth,
Blazing hot, the molten rock
Spills out over the land.
And the lava’s the lover who licks your boots away. hey! hey! hey!
If you don’t want to boil as well.
B-b-better start the dance
D-d-do you want to dance with me.
You better start doing it right.

The music’s playing, the notes are right
Put your left foot first and move into the light.
The edge of the stage is the edge of the world
And if you’re going to cross you better start doing it right
Better start doing it right.
You better start doing it right.

Let the dance begin.

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