"I Don't Remember" as written by and Peter Gabriel....
I got no means to show identification
I got no papers show you what I am
You'll have to take me just the way that you find me
What's gone is gone and I do not give a damn

Empty stomach, empty head
I got empty heart and empty bed
I don't remember
I don't remember

I don't remember, I don't recall
I got no memory of anything at all
I don't remember, I don't recall
I got no memory of anything
Anything at all

Strange is your language and I have no decoder
Why don't you make your intentions clear
With eyes to the sun and your mouth to the soda
Saying, "Tell me the truth, you got nothing to fear

Stop staring at me like a bird of prey
I'm all mixed up, I got nothing to say
I don't remember
I don't remember

I don't remember, I don't recall
I got no memory of anything at all
I don't remember, I don't recall
I got no memory of anything
Anything at all

I don't remember, I don't recall
I got no memory of anything at all
I don't remember, I don't recall
I got no memory of anything
Absolutely anything at all
I don't remember


Lyrics submitted by ButNeverOutgunned

"I Don't Remember" as written by James Edwards Francis Griffiths

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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I Don't Remember song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentMy mom used to work with refugees, people who fled their country because of war. They often did not have a passport, some of them had been tortured in the country where they came from. They could remember what had happened, but found it difficult to talk about it. They either didn't want to talk about their past or couldn't (yet). I think this song might be about such a (political) refugee.
    ZwaanMEon February 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm surprised that no one has commented on this piece.
    A great song, from a great album.
    Major Valoron September 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt seems a song about a spy that was captured by the enemies of his nation, so he really is in big trouble. However someone simply erased his mind and destroyed everything that could show who he was for protecting all the secrets that he knows, before he was caught by those enemies, as you can conclude on reading the 1st lines.
    circusjuggleron September 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn my opinion, it's about fending off the oertures Genesis was making trying to make him feel guilty about leaving.

    Stop staring at me like a bird of prey, I'm all mixed up, I've got nothin' to say.

    Sometimes it's better to put it out of your mind.

    I don't remember.
    tdoggpainton September 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentovertures
    tdoggpainton September 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentInteresting song from Peter Gabriel. His songs tend to fall into two categories:

    Emotional songs that often tell the story of people in despair (this type of song, "Don't Give Up," "Solsbury Hill," "Mercy Street," etc.) and often make you think or say something about humanity.

    Songs about sex ("Sledgehammer," "Steam")

    So to say this song is about a refugee is interesting, but I wonder what he is really trying to say in this song. Maybe I am reading too much into this, but it certainly isn't one of his sex songs.
    stoolhardyon March 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song its about a fear to tell a person you love, your feelings.
    "I don't remember" could mean that you dont know how to tell to that person your the love you feel.
    enriquedelayeurreaon October 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about the conflict over leaving Genesis. Similar to what tdoggpaint says. Even the video has PG bumping into walls and catching his reflection in the mirror, or picture frame. Each time he does this it's PG in one of those elaborate costumes he wore with Genesis. The fox costume, the Slipperman costume, things that Genesis eventually got brassed about because they found it a distraction. Imho, Tony Levin makes this fantastic song...
    Schmon October 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom merely reading the lyrics, I'd interpret this as about a one-night-stand or something. The narrator meets a woman somewhere and doesn't tell her anything about himself- "I got no means to show identification, I got no papers show you what I am. You'll have to take me just the way that you find me." She too is keeping secrets from him, which makes her more attractive. "Strange is your language and I have no decoder. Why don't you make your intentions clear?" She tries to guess facts about him that he's not telling her- "With eyes to the sun and your mouth to the soda, saying, 'Tell me the truth, you got nothing to fear.'" "Mouth to the soda" probably means that they're in a restaurant or some other place to order food- I would say bar, but who'd order soda in a bar? The narrator feels intimidated by the woman's attempts to discover more about him. "Stop staring at me like a bird of prey. I'm all mixed up, I got nothing to say." They end up going home together, though. One verse speaks for itself about what happened next morning. "Empty stomach, empty head. I got empty heart and empty bed. I don't remember... I don't remember..." The chorus is more of the same. Try as the narrator might, he cannot remember what happened last night. Sounds suspicious...

    Of course this is just my interpretation, and I have a weird mind, so I'm sorry if I ruined anyone's view of the song in any way.
    EnduringChillon June 16, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningIt is probably about a person with amnesia, perhaps in a foreign country. The large number of tabula-rasa figures in the music video for the song seems to support this.
    tag1555on May 26, 2013   Link

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