SOLSBURY HILL - chords and comments
A few years ago I sat down drilling a new pattern of fingerpicking, when all of a sudden something very familiar came from the strings all by itself. A special tune and rhythm I first heard way back in -77, fell in love with but never thought about trying to play myself, because of it's complicity and orchestration. Could it be possible, after all these years? It could. In about an hour the song got a finger-picking skin. The *harmonies* are rather simple and few; it's the unusual melody skeleton and the rare syncoped time signature that makes it one of the most intelligent rock songs ever written. 7/4 ... jeez, he must have intended nobody to cover it :-D
It's the first release from Gabriel after the departure from Genesis, first as a successful single early -77, then appearing as second track on his debut studio album "Peter Gabriel" (nicked "I" or "Car" after the cover, to separate it from his following 3 more self-titled albums).
That departure started already with the tour "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", which Gabriel paused from due to his wife's difficult pregnancy. To keep the tour going, the band tried out various substitutions, and landed on Phil Collins stepping forwards from behind the drums - to stay. Gabriel saw no reason to force himself back; the members had obviously grown apart. "Today I need no replacement; I'll tell them what the smile on my face meant". The song is an attempt to explain this, with a spiritual experience as a teat.
The world benefitted from this. It got a refined pop/rock band, and a brand new rock legend came to blossom. And that song should really not be performed by anybody but Gabriel, but it is so bright and delightful that I can't let it be.
climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
wind was blowing time stood still
eagle flew out of the night
he was something to observe
came in close I heard a voice
standing stretching every nerve
had to listen had no choice
G/F# Em Em...Esus4...Emµ
I did not believe the information
Em Cmaj7 Cmaj7
just had to trust imagination
Esus4 Cmaj Em Cmaj7 Em/C#
my heart going boom boom boom
son he said grab your things
Am D7 G
I've come to take you home