"Down And Out" as written by and Michael/collins Rutherford....
It's good to be here! How've you been?
Check my bags, boy! Where's my room?
I sit on the phone, that's my game,
Keep up the pressure all the way!

I don't want to beat about the bush
But none of us are getting any younger.
There's people out there who could take your place.
A more commercial view! A fresher face!

I need a shower, take a nap
I'll meet you in the bar, we must have a rap.
There's a lot on the line, a lot to say.
There's something I must tell you today.

You and I both know the score,
You can't go on like this forever.
So it's with regret that I tell you now
That from this moment on,
You're on your own!

I don't talk round corners, it's right between the eyes
If you're slow they'll run past you,
Stand tall, see them falling over.
I walk a straight line, it's right between the eyes.
Well show me the door, show me someone who'll do it better.

The drinks are on me, be my guest.
Smoke a cigar? Take the best.
Don't hedge your bets, we can make a deal,
You got it in your pocket, how do you feel?

So glad that's over, now you know,
But I'm only acting under orders.
And looking down on you from way up here.
You've got to sink or swim, get off the floor!

I don't talk round corners, it's right between the eyes
If you're slow they'll run past you,
Stand tall, see them falling over,
I walk a straight line, right between the eyes.
Well show me the door, show me someone who'll do it better.


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Down and Out" as written by Phil Collins Michael Rutherford

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

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Down And Out song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentobviously this songs pretty much the words of a high flying business man type and his cut throat attitude towards other people. makes u wonder who it was written about... theres likely a musical executive somewhere down the line that this song applied to once.
    parberooon April 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a song referring to Genesis's (and their record companys) decision to "sell out" from their original prog rock phase to a more commercial sound. Thsi is the first song on the "and then there were three..." album, regarded as the first genesis pop album. It is kind of an apology, but also says live with it.
    noddyon May 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't help but think this is about Steve Hackett's departure from Genesis.

    "There's people out there who could take your place.
    A more commercial view! A fresher face!"

    "Well show me the door, show me someone who'll do it better."

    "I need a shower, take a nap
    I'll meet you in the bar, we must have a rap."

    This totally sounds like what a band member who is touring would say like at the end of a tour.
    Hybritaron August 02, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFirst, this is a drastically underrated album in the Genesis catalog (and based on what Mike Rutherford said in the 2007 Reissue interviews, by the band itself!).

    For one thing, the album has a very wintry feel, based on some of the themes here. (Or Autumn? Evidence of Autumn??)

    Anyway (no, not a Lamb quote), I don't see this as a jab to Steve Hackett. I don't see the band having this super angry bitterness toward him leaving. He did contribute in a major way to both "A Trick of the Tail" and "Wind and Wuthering", and I know he felt he was left out in those sessions, especially regarding his songwriting. I just don't see the band writing a song to "show him". I could even see fans thinking that "Ballad of Big" was a dig at Steve, but I don't think so. I don't think the band was aiming to stick it to Steve. Any perceived "bitterness" was probably just defiance at those thinking they could not continue.
    presto1989on May 06, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeing a Genesis fan, i just can say that these lyrics sound so real that i am under the impression that i am living this song.
    Had a meeting today with one of these f@##%ng flying executives who told me almost the same things. Is he a Genesis fan? Probably not, otherwise he would have been more "human"
    Harold the Barrelon January 14, 2014   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI know what this is about, the penny's dropped.

    Back in 1969, Genesis were signed to Decca records and released their Ill advised Jonathan King influenced debut album: 'From Genesis to Revelation', It sold only 600 copies so the record company had no choice but to drop them. The shock was great, Tony Philips nearly threw in the towel, Tony Banks decided to go to the university of Sussex to do a degree, Peter and the others were devastated as well and questioned whether it was worth continuing.

    I can imagine that these lyrics are the dialogue of the Decca record company executive at the meeting when they were given the boot.

    Fortunately, Tony Stratton Smith and Charisma records picked them up and saved the day..........So a happy ending for all.
    BarnabyHugheson December 10, 2017   Link

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