"Squonk" as written by Michael Rutherford and Tony Banks....
Like father like son
Not flesh nor fish nor bone
A red rag hangs from an open mouth.
Alive at both ends but a little dead in the middle,
A-tumbling and a-bumbling he will go.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Could never put a smile on that face.

He's a sly one, he's a shy one
Wouldn't you be too.
Scared to be left all on his own.
Hasn't a, hasn't a friend to play with, the ugly duckling
The pressure on, the bubble will burst before our eyes.
All the while in perfect time
His tears are falling on the ground
But if you don't stand up you don't stand a chance.

Go a little faster now, you might get there in time.

Mirror mirror on the wall,
His heart was broken long before he ever came to you.
Stop your tears from falling,
The trail they leave is very clear for all to see at night
All to see at night.

In season, out of season
What's the difference when you don't know the reason.
In one hand bread, the other a stone.
The hunter enters the forest.
All are not huntsmen who can blow the huntsman's horn
By the look of this one you've not got much to fear.

Here I am, I'm very fierce and frightening
Come to match my skill to yours.
Now listen here, listen to me, don't you run away now
I am a friend, I'd really like to play with you.
Making noises my little furry friend would make
I'll trick him, then I'll kick him into my sack.
You better watch out you better watch out.

I've got you, I've got you, you'll never get away.

Walking home that night
The sack across my back, the sound of sobbing on my shoulder.
When suddenly it stopped,
I opened up the sack, all that I had
A pool of bubbles and tears - just a pool of tears.

All in all you are a very dying race
Placing trust upon a cruel world.
You never had the things you thought you should have had
And you'll not get them now,
And all the while in perfect time
Your tears are falling on the ground.


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Squonk" as written by Michael Rutherford Anthony Banks

Lyrics © IMAGEM MUSIC INC

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Squonk song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +3
    My InterpretationA reflection of man looking at his past as a boy and his low-self-esteeme.

    A boy looks up to his father, a macko tough guy, yet, inside he is more of the sensative thoughful type. Being put into situation to prove his manhood in his fathers eyes (The hunt,) he ultimately decides on a more sensative approach for his father's acceptance. (Bagging the creature instead of killing it.) The creature itself (Squonk) is his disappointment and resentment at not being tougher. The boy, now a man, reflects on this as he realizes that his low-self esteeme, which he blames for all his disappointments; not being what he wanted to be as man; believing it's to late; is the source of his disappointment, now.

    Everything would have been all right in his life if only he had proved to himself he could have been more bold instead of timid.
    Sparrow61on November 10, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSupposedly the scuttle is that this song is in reference to Peter Gabriel who had decided to leave the band during the Lamb.

    Any input?

    I doubt very much that the band dis-regarded the man so much that they'd devote such a scathing song to an ex-member... but who knows how they felt?

    Many fans think Gabriel was the brains behind the great (read: early 70's) Genesis but that is certainly not true, though he was undoubtedly an essential contributor. Frontmen often get too much credit from the public by virtue of their being the most immediate and in your face member. As much as I love the early Genesis, Gabriel bailed not only when he felt it right, but when the band had reached it's honest artistic apex. Everything that followed was "wish-it-were" followed by un-inspired parody followed by meaningless pop.
    steinbeckthepearlon May 27, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDespite what most people think, Gabriel left Genesis on good terms with the band. He left because his wife had given birth to their child and grind of touring was taking him away from his family. I think he also felt he had reached his peak as far as creativity with Genesis. Keep in mind, Lamb was not a huge success at the time and the tour was rift with production problems. I'm sure this contributed to the stress in the band and specifically with Gabriel.
    egypt123on December 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMike Rutherford was inspired by a book of folklore. He has confirmed this in interviews. It even came up in Q Magazine in November 1994 when a reader wrote in about this song and Steely Dan's Any Major Dude Will Tell You. They contacted the man himself, and the book is believed to be Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods by William T Cox.
    nonapejaseon March 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe URL of this site is "SongMeanings.com." It should be more like "SongLyricsAndBasicallyAnonymousOpinionsOfWhatTheSongMightMaybeMean.com."
    doug153239on February 22, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEach opinion to his or her own
    nagromnaion November 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not sure about that whole thing Stein, I do beleive this song is about a squonk( old woods creature in the line up of the big foots). Like most Genesis albums it is part of a concept album. It is obviously telling a story
    kamakiriadon February 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think that this album does have a few statements done in an artistic way that refer to their split from Gabriel. The way that their songs split into arguably different songs but aren't really mentioned, you might even say that Mad Man Moon is pointing directly to the Moonlight Knight, and Squonk is pointing directly at Porcupine Heart. Squonks aren't particularly furry, but Phil Collins is suddenly being asked to make noises that his "little furry friend would make". And the song at the end of Entangled, the mournful sighing almost crying instrumental sounds like the squonk crying. I mean this could be somebody's way of saying something without saying something. It leads directly into the tale of a little creature who felt so much self-pity at it's situation in life that it led to it's own demise.

    Keep in mind that this album was all before Gabriel's first solo album release, and his professional track had been uncertain in music, and he had already not had much success with his testing of Hollywood and theatre. So he had left the band to do what? Follow his melancholy dreams and hopefully become inspired again, find his direction in life? Well Banks and Rutherford certainly felt that the little group they had built with Gabriel was a great direction, and suddenly Peter felt like there was nothing more left in it for him? They felt left in the lurch, perhaps a bit betrayed, and while on some level they understood and respected his decision, on another level they had issues with it. And I think some of those issues made it into this album. --And poor Phil in the middle, says his goodbyes at the end of Los Endos.

    We know that there was some resentment in Peter leaving the boys and tension around the Lamb era preceding Gabriel's exit. I mean I'm sure they could understand his leaving, but probably felt a little left at a disadvantage because of it. I think they probably felt Peter was being a little self-indulgent in his feelings about his later time with the group, his moment of personal and artistic crisis, and would have wanted him to "man up" and "power through it" for the sake of the band, and stay, instead of the philosophical route and the transformation he went through when he left.
    grimjackon November 21, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think it's simply that the songwriter (or writers, in this case - being Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks) is/are in sympathy with this mythical being named Squonk in the book by William Cox. The squonk is a "creature of sorrow," i.e. is always weeping - so much so that on occasions he will evaporate into a pool of his tears. I think it's identifying with melancholy, being isolated in one's own wilderness or labyrinth and wondering "what will I be appreciated for"? Just a pool of tears, it seems.
    OrphicLazaruson May 10, 2015   Link

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