"In The Air Tonight" as written by and Phil Collins....
I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
And I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
Can you feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord

Well if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand
I've seen your face before my friend, but I don't know if you know who I am
Well I was there and I saw what you did, I saw it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you've been
It's all been a pack of lies

And I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
Well I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
Well I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord, oh Lord

Well I remember, I remember, don't worry, how could I ever forget
It's the first time, the last time we ever met
But I know the reason why you keep your silence up, oh no you don't fool me
Well the hurt doesn't show, but the pain still grows
It's no stranger to you and me

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
Well been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
I can feel it in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord
Well I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
And I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
I can feel it in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord
Well I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord, oh Lord

I can feel it in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord
Well I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord


Lyrics submitted by Boonechic_21

"In the Air Tonight" as written by Phil Collins

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, IMAGEM U.S. LLC

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In The Air Tonight song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentHopefully this will put all drowning stories to rest. Thanks to wikipedia, here is an actual quote from Phil Collins From a BBC World 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." - Phil Collins
    Aenima21on August 20, 2009   Link
  • +5
    General CommentAll I'm going to say is that whether the drowning stories are true or not, whether the wife story is true or not...it still stands that this song has one of the best drum fills EVER. EVER. You can't dispute that.

    do-do do-do do-do dodo dum dum I can feel it coming in the air tonight...
    hoodedrobinon October 14, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI can't believe you're still debating this one. Please. Listen. He did NOT see someone drown. He did NOT kill someone in an alleyway...sheesh. It's just like the whole Kurt Cobain thing, which I have no comment on btw. I'm sure you all have heard of symbolism? Yeah? Ok. Apply that to this song. Like when Bono says, "The heart is a bloom, shoots up through the stony ground" (in Beautiful Day), that doesn't mean that your heart comes out of a pile of dirt and blossoms. Right? Right. Ask your English teacher, please.
    LeArtiston March 26, 2003   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThe Drowning Stories Are All Urban Legend.

    This Song Is About The Divorce With His Wife. In My Opinion, The Divorce With His Wife Must Of Went Very Hurtful To Him. So Hurtful That If He Ever Seen His Wife "Drowning", He Wouldn't Want To "Lend A Hand".

    But Yeah, That's Just My Thought. Lol. Amazing Song That Don't Suck : ]

    RikABaDoon October 25, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Commentcollins has said on many occasions that this song isn`t based on any one real life experience. i think it just shows the pain he was going through in the early 80's due to his split with his wife then. and that whole collins sees a guy who sees another guy drowning but doesn`t help him, then collins sees the guy who saw the guy at one of his concerts and sings this song to him - that story is total BS.
    ramtharon March 30, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti read an interview where he said something like 'i dont know what its about, but its a very dark song, i was going through a divorce and the ugliness really shows up'
    deadraton July 18, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI don't understand why the rumors about Phil and a drowning person started in the first place. If you pay attention, the lyric is a simple insult. It's very easy to see he's just telling this person that he thinks so low of them that he would let them drown. It's very much the same as the more crude insult heard sometimes "I wouldn't pizz on you if you were on fire". And there it is.......
    Slant81on June 25, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThere are a lot of people caught up in the whole "Witnessed a drowning" thing, but that is really a vehicle to illustrate the main character's true feelings of his aggression's focus. To clarify, the lyrics are "If you told me you were drowning I would not lend a hand". Simply put "you are such a piece of trash, I wouldn't even bother to save your life, since the world is better off without you".

    While the dark emotions may very well reflect Collins's own feelings regarding the split between he and his wife, they are in no way related. The song is about betrayal. The main character is aware of the villain's treachery. He also knows that the villain is living with the pain and guilt of his wrong doing (which he can feel in the air). This is a punishment in, and of itself.

    The music so accurately captures the sensation of brooding anger, which makes this one of the best songs from the 80s.
    yukansuggiton April 26, 2012   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningPhil's own words regarding the meaning of these lyrics:

    "I had the chords I liked and the drums sounding good and I just made up some lyrics that fit the music. I just made it up as I went along. I don't know what it means."

    So there you have it. All the stories people have made up revolving around these lyrics is a bunch of BS.
    joossenson October 24, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti was told that Phil wrote this song based on a true story. it when phil was staying in a hotel and watched from his upper hotel room, a man drown in a pool while another man stood by a watched without helping.......
    panszaon April 27, 2002   Link

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