Well, the key to my survival
Was never in much doubt
The question was how I could keep sane
Trying to find the way out

Things were never easy for me
Peace of mind was hard to find
And I needed a place where I could hide
Somewhere I could call mine

I didn't think much about it
Till it started happening all the time
Soon I was living with the fear everyday
Of what might happen at night

I couldn't stand to hear the
Crying of my mother
And I remember when
I swore that, that would be the
Last they'd see of me
And I never went home again

They say time is a healer
And now my wounds are not the same
I rang the bell with my heart in my mouth
I had to hear what he'd say

He sat me down to talk to me
He looked me straight in the eyes

He said:
"You're no son, you're no son of mine
You're no son, you're no son of mine
You walked out, you left us behind
And you're no son, you're no son of mine"

Oh his words how they hurt me
I'll never forget it
And as the time, it went by
I lived to regret it

You're no son, you're no son of mine
But where should I go
Please tell me what should I do
You're no son, you're no son of mine
But I came here for help
Oh I was looking for you

Well the years they passed so slowly
I thought about him everyday
What would I do, if we passed on the street
Would I keep running away

In and out of hiding places
Soon I'd have to face the facts
We'd have to sit down and talk it over
And that would mean going back

They say time is a healer
And now my wounds are not the same
I rang the bell with my heart in my mouth
I had to hear what he'd say

He sat me down to talk to me
He looked me straight in the eyes

He said:
"You're no son, you're no son of mine
You're no son, you're no son of mine
You walked out, you left us behind
And you're no son, you're no son of mine"

Oh his words how they hurt me
I'll never forget it
And as the time, it went by
I lived to regret it

You're no son, you're no son of mine
But where should I go
Please tell me what should I do

You're no son, you're no son of mine
But I came here for help
Oh I was looking for you


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

No Son of Mine Lyrics as written by Phil Collins Michael Rutherford

Lyrics © CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

No Son Of Mine song meanings
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23 Comments

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  • +5
    General Comment

    "Soon I was living with the fear everyday/Of what might happen that night"

    Anyone who grew up in an abusive household should be able to relate to this. My father was an alcoholic who abused my mother frequently. I can remember being in Catholic grade school and sitting alone in the bathroom stalls feeling the anxious dread of knowing what the night would bring.

    differentstrokes5on April 07, 2012   Link
  • +3
    Song Meaning

    This is definitely about physical abuse towards a child. The lyric: "They say time is a healer / And now my wounds are not the same," implies that the child who goes back to his father now has emotional wounds, whereas before he had physical wounds. Therefore, he was being physically abused.

    Generally speaking, if a father is beating his kids, he's beating his wife, too, but just because the mother is crying here does not necessarily mean she was being beaten; she might simply be crying because the child is being beaten. If I had to put money on it, though, I'd say she was being abused, as well.

    Sadly, even though the child eventually left to get away from the abuse, the mother did not go with him, and he still instinctually seeks the approval of his scumbag of a dad. Great song.

    kindofblue99on December 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    I think its about general abuse in your family. No matter if its physicaly or mentaly.

    DavyJones92on June 13, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    While I totally agree with this song being about real childhood abuse...

    I want to add that, years ago, for me, this song was also about my percieved relationship between myself and God/religion/my church. Though I'm sure it would be hard for most people without my particular experiences (not going into that here) to see that story in the lyrics, it was there for me.

    Doom Shepherdon September 28, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This was released as the advance single, before the album came out. At the time Phil Collins said of the lyrics, "It's about a young man. You don't really really know what's going on but the father is a bit of a bastard".

    I've always felt that this is about someone who left home as a teenager after suffering abuse. It's not clear whether the man of the house was abusing the boy, or the mother...maybe both. The boy escapes to various "hiding places", probably never settling in a home of his own...constantly full of thoughts about his childhood. Eventually he confronts his father intending to "talk it over" but is angrily told "you're no son of mine".

    In short, a song about an abusive dad. Possibly deliberately vague, open to interpretation like so many Genesis lyrics.

    absinthedudeon May 27, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This is a song about child abuse - the need to deal with your experiences and an abused child growing up and dealing with those experiences and trying to sort out and fathom the realationship with the abuser - here a parent - so there's a love / hate thing going on

    timbo.hon January 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    it does not have to be about abuse, in fact i think it isn't because for that it's too weak an emotion displayed here. i think it's about a father who keeps his family under control, beats his wife, does not reason with anyone but tells them what to do and not to do. he cannot be changed or overcome, so the son has to flee, cut the connection. but his father cannot forgive him escaping his rule.

    ledaethon April 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    yeah i think its a safer bet to go with the second opinion here. theres nothing to say this father figures hand was raised against anyone but the mother. i agree entirely with the rest of the song bein the need to find out whether things had changed due to the son leavin and this bein proved right by the father not accepting the childs existance on his return. i guess the father figure was blind to the reasons for him son leaving instead taking it only to be a sign that the child didnt respect the family enough to be part of it anymore. good video for this one.

    parberooon April 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    If you don't want the father to be the bad guy, the song could just mean a run away, rebellious son. He was going through standard teen issues and decides to run away. The mother crying is just her disappointed with her son, probably because he has been in trouble. The father just refuses to accept the son back for abandoning the family and running away from his problems.

    Necrolotuon July 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Something did go wrong there, how can you explain "I didn't think much about it til it started happening all the time soon I was living with the fear everyday of what might happen that night" with the last explanation?

    tugiton February 14, 2007   Link

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