"Family Snapshot" as written by and Peter Gabriel....
The streets are lined with camera crews
Everywhere he goes is news
Today is different
Today is not the same
Today I make the action
Take snapshot into the light, snapshot into the light
I'm shooting into the light

Four miles down the cavalcade moves on
Driving into the sun
If I worked it out right
They won't see me or the gun

Two miles to go, they're clearing the road
The cheering has really begun
I've got my radio
I can hear what's going on

I've been waiting for this
I have been waiting for this
All you people in TV land
I will wake up your empty shells
Peak-time viewing blown in a flash
As I burn into your memory cells
'cause I'm alive

They're coming 'round the corner with the bikers at the front
I'm wiping the sweat from my eyes
It's a matter of time
It's a matter of will
And the governor's car is not far behind
He's not the one I've got in mind
'cause there he is-the man of the hour, standing in the limousine
"I don't really hate you
I don't care what you do
We were made for each other
Me and you
I want to be somebody
You were like that too
If you don't get given you learn to take
And I will take you."

Holding my breath
Release the catch
And I let the bullet fly

All turned quiet I have been here before
Lonely boy hiding behind the front door
Friends have all gone home
There's my toy gun on the floor
Come back Mum and Dad
You're growing apart
You know that I'm growing up sad
I need some attention
I shoot into the light


Lyrics submitted by kevver

"Family Snapshot" as written by Peter Gabriel

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Family Snapshot song meanings
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16 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis is probably my favorite song.
    To me the obvious answer is that this song is about the reasons that this guy became a murderer,
    At first he gives us some idea of his motives -
    "all you people in TVland I will wake up your empty shell" - he wants to do something terrible that will make him feel alive, and wake the people up from their numbness.
    There are hints of some social isolation that lead to these actions.
    At the end of the song after the shot, he recalls himself as a boy
    He talks about the separation of his parents, and about his need for their love and attention-that is being denied from him because of their marriage problems.
    I don't care who the guy that he murders is,
    But sometimes I can really relate to the anger in this song, the killer's desire to be acknowledged by society after years of estrangement.
    I wouldn't kill anyone but it is interesting how peter gets you to relate to this guy
    liorsekeron December 22, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI remember hearing this song live during the "So" tour.
    Peter said "This is a song about assasination". Just as the song started, various people around me were saying "listen to the words".
    It is based on "An Assassins Diary", the notes and scribbles of Arthur Bremmer, who shot and crippled Governor George Wallace of Alabama in 1972. He also (earlier) tried to get Nixon.
    kevveron May 11, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHilarious, just read the comments saying this song is about the murder of John Lennon. Lennon died the 8th of December 1980, Peter's third album, with this song on it, was released on the 30th of May 1980.

    To me the description chrismykrantz wrote best captures the meaning of the song. It's a sad kind of warning of what happens to a society with a lot of disfunctional characters screaming for attention in a violent way, like we've seen happening all over the world the last decades.
    So in a way this applies more to the Lennon murder than to the Kennedy assassination.
    Gorishoekon March 27, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthmmm..i always thought it was aboutthe kennedy assasination...
    and why is it called family snapshot?
    RedRavenon March 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'And the governor's car is not far behind
    He's not the one I've got in mind'

    Almost definitely about the Kennedy assasination in my eyes. The above line states its not the 'governer' he's after.
    dushanbeon September 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"all turned quiet, I've been here before, a lonely boy hiding behind the front door...the fans have all gone home...I need some attention...I shoot into the light."

    John Hinkley waiting inside the Dakota entry for Lennon, the other fans have all left, he's been there before..."he shoots into the light."

    Lennon = "the light", an inspiring icon.
    mrhornon October 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"all turned quiet, I've been here before, a lonely boy hiding behind the front door...the fans have all gone home...I need some attention...I shoot into the light."

    John Hinkley waiting inside the Dakota entry for Lennon, the other fans have all left, he's been there before..."he shoots into the light."

    Lennon = "the light", an inspiring icon.
    mrhornon October 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI meant Chapman, not Hinkley.
    mrhornon October 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthate to rain on your parade, but this was released seven months befor Lennon's assassination.
    camanycon December 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyoutube.com/…

    you can see a good rendition of the song in this link
    liorsekeron December 22, 2006   Link

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