The wretched desert takes its form
The jackal proud and tight
In search of you I feel my way
Through slowest heaving night
Whatever fear invents
I swear it makes no sense
I reach out through the border fence
Come down, come talk to me

In the swirling curling storm of desire
Unuttered words hold fast
With reptile tongue, the lightning lashes
Towers built to last
Darkness creeps in like a thief
And offers no relief
Why are you shaking like a leaf?
Come on, come talk to me

Oh please talk to me
Won't you please talk to me
We can unlock this misery
Come on, come talk to me
I did not come to steal
This all is so unreal
Can't you show me how you feel?
Now come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me
Come talk to me

The earthly power sucks shadowed milk
From sleepy tears undone
From nippled skin as smooth as silk
The bugles blow as one
You lie there with your eyes half closed
Like there's no-one there at all
There's a tension pulling on your face
Come on, come talk to me

Won't you please talk to me?
If you'd just talk to me
Unblock this misery
If you'd only talk to me
Don't you ever change your mind
Now your future's so defined
And you act so deaf, so blind
Come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me
Come talk to me

I can imagine the moment
Breaking out through the silence
All the things that we both might say
And the heart, it will not be denied
'Til we're both on the same damn side
All the barriers blown away

I said please talk to me
Won't you please come talk to me?
Just like it used to be
Come on, come talk to me
I did not come to steal
This all is so unreal
Can you show me how you feel?
Now come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me
Come talk to me

Lyrics submitted by Novartza, edited by Undinal

Come Talk to Me Lyrics as written by Peter Gabriel

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Come Talk To Me song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentwhen the pipes come in on this song (the 'secret world' version), my hair stands on end. what an amazing piece of music. i am not going to analyze this--let it be known that it is moving.
    Dead$yon June 10, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentclassicrockman, while the album in general is about his failed relationship, i believe i read on that this song was written about trying to reach out to his daughter and close the void between them...
    TheSyndicate88on January 07, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAll these years later I’m still surprised that this song is about his daughter, the terms which he uses, “desire”, “nippled skin” and “sucks shadowed milk” for an artist that seems so deliberate about the words he chooses in his songs are so sensual that to me they draw attention to themselves. It leads to me to believe that he is stating that a part of the block in communication was when she reached her sexual maturity. Personally I think it is very brave of any father to see his daughter for what she has become, when she becomes a woman.
    But this is not what the song is for me or rather what the song has become for me. At first it was a mantra for making connections with other human beings, “I can imagine the moment, breaking out through the silence”. That in my youth I had disconnected pretty much with all of humanity, spending all my time in my bedroom, going to school and not talking to people. I had a hope that one day I would be able to make meaningful relationships with other people, half disbelieving that day would come, half disbelieving that those people existed.
    And then when I realised how wrong I was and that not only would I meet people I could communicate with but that they would communicate back to me, my little heart settled down to looking for love, to find a connection with a nice chap who would talk with me and make love with me, “All the things that we both might say,
    And the heart it will not be denied…”. He could communicate and compliment me, taking that last shard of loneliness from my heart. I struggled and wrestled as we all do with this issue and finally, from the most unlikely place, at the most unlikely time he introduced himself. And I was completed and I was complimented and I am the luckiest son-of-a-bitch to stumble upon him. And all through the relationship new levels of intimacy had to be reached and made available to him on my part. The status quo of ‘potential conversation’ reducing as the years have gone by to be replaced with understanding and utter knowledge of what makes me tick.
    And now all these years later as I look back at that boy in his bedroom for all those years alone and afraid, I think to my friends who stand by me and remind me of what the world’s fabric is really made off, and I think of the man who I share this home with and his words of wisdom and his precious smiles that I would kill for. I realise that the song has in the past six months mutated once again.
    When I say that my parents are married and alive and well I want you to have the complete understanding that he is a total stranger to me, I know as much about him as I do someone on the cover of the gossip magazine that my partner reads. If not more so as at least they have an easily digested biography to accompany their article. He lives in the house that I shared with my mother in my youth, and apparently was there at the time of my conception but really, who is he? And why doesn’t he want to sit in the same room as me? Why has he never wanted to a part of my life?
    'Till we're both on the same damn side, all the barriers blown away”
    One of the truths that I severely doubt I will ever be swayed from is that we become our parents, or if after much navel gazing we will become their polar opposite. And this is what I face right now, not isolation or expression but a serious problem that I will lose whatever form of communication that I have developed becoming this man, becoming my father. It scares the shit out of me, that I will be sullen and a problem and lacking any social grace. And its only very recently I’ve realised that the only way I am going to get any closure, or any form of movement on the subject is to confront him, “all the barriers blown away”. The absolute irony of all this is my friends and my partner disagree with this, they think that I should just bite my tongue and move on, let him have his room in the house and politely avoid each other; this same advice that led me to them? They say he is of an older generation; he is four years older than the man who wrote these lyrics. They say he is a product of a different place, but I am a product of him. Perhaps though the question that this little flurry of banging at these black plastic keys is, why does he not want to come talk to me? Why does none of the sentiments of this song seem to apply to his relationship with me?
    the_toolshedon October 07, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTheSyndicate88 is correct. In the Gabriel video "All About Us", he speaks extensively about how the inspiration for this song came from what he perceived as a growing gulf between him and his daughter Melanie (who performed with him on the Up tour).
    crazymanmichaelon July 17, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm pretty surprised they didn't perform this one together, that would've been nice.

    Melanie would've been 15 or 16 in '92 when this came out so it makes sense they would be growing apart during that time...
    XianSnakeon March 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAs others have correctly pointed out, Peter has stated this song was written during a time when he was growing apart from his daughter.

    Before learning this, the lyrics always moved me after a painful breakup from someone I was trying to stay with. The "I can imagine the moment" verse perfectly described my hopes for our re-connection.

    Years later, after becoming a parent to a 9-year old who still loves me and talks to me, and learning Peter's true inspiration, the song has a whole new meaning for me... at this point I can only imagine the pain that feeling my son pull away from me is going to cause me 4-8 years from now.

    Incredibly moving piece of music.
    jayster7on November 16, 2022   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDon't feed the trolls :-0
    the_toolshedon March 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenteffgerard, you're simply lame, go and listen to 50 cent if that's of your choice.
    i always thought that this song was dedicated to melanie, then i read somewhere that it's for anna.. so who is this song dedicated to?
    carrotkinson May 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBy his age Peter Gabriel could be my grandfather but I've never felt closer to his music even with such a significant age gap. Every time I hear this this song I cry as it perfectly describes the relationship between my father and I. Peter Gabriel breaks my heart in the most beautiful way.
    replacementson June 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReplacements, wow good way to put it. Art knows no boundries. Age, race, religion what ever. If the art is a true expression of human experiece combined of course with the mastery of technique then all those who come in contact will feel it. They have no choice. Paul Simon is another on of those artist along with Van Morrison. I did not know this song was about his daughter since the bulk of this albulm was influenced by a horrible divorce. It's just another testatment of how an artist can express something so personal and have it be so universal. Dare I say genius.
    blackseoulon October 19, 2008   Link

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