Echoes of the Broadway Everglades
With her mythical Madonnas still walking in their shades
Lenny Bruce, declares a truce and plays his other hand
Marshall McLuhan, casual viewin', head buried in the sand
Sirens on the rooftops wailing, but there's no ship sailing
Groucho, with his movies trailing, stands alone with his punchline failing
Ku Klux Klan serve hot soul food
And the band plays 'In the Mood'
The cheerleader waves her cyanide wand
There's a smell of peach blossom and bitter almond
Caryl Chessman sniffs the air and leads the parade
He know in a scent uou can bottle all you made
There's Howard Hughes in blue suede shoes
Smiling at the majorettes, smoking Winston cigarettes
And as the song and dance begins
The children play at home
With needles, needles and pins

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

Broadway Melody of 1974 Lyrics as written by Phillip David Charles Collins Anthony George Banks


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Broadway Melody Of 1974 song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentGood this... I dunno how historically accurate it is but its pretty much a bit of scene setting for the lamb to bring up some of the sights sounds and people that would have applied to new york at the time. its sinister undertone is evident thru'out leading you to half expect the unearthly happenins which follow it in the story
    parberooon April 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGabriel is making social comment on the extent and influence of media, ironic considering the song appears early on one of the most adventurous and seminal multimedia explorations at that time. Lenny Bruce, a highly contrivetial comic and social commentatory, banned for his radical observations, is having time off. Marchal Mcluchan, one of the greatest american accademics of media, very heavy stuff, is compared to light weight, popular froth and is shown to be uncharacteristicly disinterested, head buiried etc. Sirens called mariners to their death, some believe they are the source of the mermaid legend, but theres no ships sailing.The cheerleaders wands smell like cyinide, the gas used to execute in the gas chambers, as was Caryl Chessman, a convicted kidnapper, although huge media uproar surronded his execution and doubt as to his guild. He was the last person executed under the "Little Lindbergh" law, brought in following the kidnapping of the baby Lindbergh, where bodily harm was caused to the kidnap victim. Them we have Howard Hughes, a man torn between desparate seclusion and media spotlight, a man whose legacy and interest in his eccentric life style still are a cause of media interest, not least a Hollywood blockbuster. All these character have attracted media and public interest and Gabriel draws them together into a fantacy parade to reinforce the power of image on drawing people into certain opinions and perhaps actions. Rael, a character of multi personality , decends throught the album into a characture of social unrest and the personalities of this song set a perfect scene for how people are influuenced by external factors.
    harliquinon May 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Sirens on the rooftops wailing, but there's no ship sailing." Some small ports literally sound sirens from rooftops to alert tourists that the ocean liners are about to leave. (So it's not necessarily the sea legend sirens.) The reference to serial robber/ rapist/ kidnapper Caryl Chessman has possible double meanings as well. It says, "Caryl Chessman sniffs the air and leads the parade, he knows in a scent,You can bottle all you made." Chessman was executed in California by gas 11 years after being convicted by testimony from eyewitness victims, but he wrote four books and sold the movie rights, telling the public he was framed. (Many Hollywood "intellectuals" actually believed it.) So the line "he knows, in a scent" could actually be "he knows, innocent, you can bottle all you made." (He certainly sold the public a lot of bottles of his supposed innocence, which they drank like booze, despite multiple victims fingering him.) I'm not sure the band meant either of these double meanings, but I'd like to think they did, because this album is very rich in symbols and metaphors.
    monsterwaxon November 04, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wonder what the KKK reference is all about. Only Peter Gabriel knows!
    CharMarRuleson September 24, 2020   Link

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