"Games Without Frontiers" as written by and Peter Gabriel....
Games Without Frontiers
Hans plays with Lotte, Lotte plays with Jane
Jane plays with Willi, Willi is happy again
Suki plays with Leo, Sacha plays with Britt
Adolf builts a bonfire, Enrico plays with it
Whistling tunes we hid in the dunes by the seaside
Whistling tunes we're kissing baboons in the jungle
It's a knockout
If looks could kill, they probably will
In games without frontiers-war without tears
Games without frontiers-war without tears

Jeux sans frontieres

Andre has a red flag, Chiang Ching's is blue
They all have hills to fly them on except for Lin Tai Yu
Dressing up in costumes, playing silly games
Hiding out in tree-tops shouting out rude names
Whistling tunes we hide in the dunes by the seaside
Whistling tunes we piss on the goons in the jungle
It's a knockout
If looks could kill they probably will
In games without frontiers-wars without tears
If looks could kill they probably will
In games without frontiers-war without tears
Games without frontiers-war without tears

Jeux sans frontieres

Lyrics submitted by Novartza, edited by GeoJoe1000, radio4head

"Games Without Frontiers" as written by Peter Gabriel

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Games Without Frontiers song meanings
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  • +12
    General CommentFor the longest time I thought Kate Bush was saying "she's so popular" instead of "jeux sans frontieres" and I couldn't figure out how it connected to the song. At least I finally figured it out lol.
    never.for.everon August 03, 2007   Link
  • +10
    General CommentThere are two things I want to add to this discussion:
    1) The phrase "It's a knock-out!" appears – this was the British title of the (hilarious) Jeux Sans Frontiers TV show/tournament and the all-UK version as teams vied for the right to compete against our European neighbours.
    2) In terms of the deeper themes in the song, the political angles are covered by some key moments in the lyrics. All the children have hills to fly their flags on, except one – whom I am guessng from their Oriental name is representative of Taiwain or some other country occupied/repressed by China (likewise Tibet)
    TheKeeperon June 13, 2006   Link
  • +7
    General CommentIt's an analogy of modern international relations. At the heart of it, war is just a childish game. All these little children represent the different nations among the world, and their "silly games" are just what war is. Even if looks could kill they probably will... Hiding out in treetops, whether you're "shouting out rude names", or "shooting out" bullets, it's all the same in the end.
    kupo75on January 15, 2005   Link
  • +6
    General CommentI'm so glad I'm not the only one who thought "Jeux sans frontieres" was "She's so popular". Apparently it's a common misheard lyric... and I swear it still sounds like that to me. I take French in school, even, and I still don't hear it!
    EnduringChillon May 17, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think the hiding out in treetops and kissing baboons in the jungle is referring to geurilla warfare. The song is clearly referencing war leaders in a microcosm just like 'Lord of the Flies'
    Beastie_Boyon January 26, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentOkay, these have popped up through the thread, but here's a recap:

    - The lyrics contain "Jeux Sans Frontiers", "Games Without Frontiers", and "It's a Knockout"
    - "Jeux Sans Frontiers" is French for "Games Without Frontiers"
    - "Jeux Sans Frontiers" was also the name of a ridiculous TV game show in which teams of regular everyday people would have to complete physical tasks with novelty props and the danger of falling in tanks of water, etc.
    - The British version of that show was called "It's a Knockout".

    PG draws a clear parallel between three lines of thought
    - a ridiculous, pointless game show in which people perform physical challenges to score points and beat each other
    - Childhood games, including how kids will pick on exclude each other, making rules to say who can come in their fort, and so on
    - The international arena of politics and warfare

    Essentially, the main message is that politics and war are stupid, childish pastimes, and our world leaders should just grow up. It is peppered with references to past public figures, such as Hitler.

    My research suggests Enrico is Enrico Fermi, a key player in The Manhattan Project...?
    DexXon January 09, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentLin Tai-Yu is not some book character. He is actually Nyugen Thaiu , head of South Vietnam and the key to winning the communist victory in 1975. But he was later killed in exile, hence ''hill to fly them on apart from Lin Tai Yu''
    itsaknockouton August 03, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentcan u imagine war without tears-never
    captlafl69on January 05, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAlthough Jeux Sans Frontiers the competition show was meant to be amusing and a good natured knock-about it often played out national rivalry as competitors from one country strained to outdo the other country (the same component of human nature that can result in war)- all while dressed in over-size ridiculous costumes (military and war leaders dress up in costumes (uniforms)). In a way it was like a bizarre art metaphor describing the dark farce that war/conflict is.
    War is a 'game without frontiers' - a state that unleashes behaviour that goes beyond any normal boundary to limitless extremes.
    Spuffon May 16, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnd Chiang Ching was Chang Kai-shek`s son, and held various political offices in China and Taiwan.
    crazymanmichaelon August 24, 2006   Link

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