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Observations placeholder

Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill



Type of Spiritual Experience

Invisible input - inspiration

Number of hallucinations: 1


"Solsbury Hill" is a song by English musician Peter Gabriel about a spiritual experience atop Solsbury Hill in Somerset, England. Gabriel wrote the song after his departure from Genesis, of which he had been the lead singer since its inception. The song was his debut single. The single was a Top 20 hit in the UK and reached #68 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1977.

Thus strictly speaking I should have a separate entry for Peter under his own name and not under Genesis, but as there are other observations from him under Genesis when he was still with them, it seemed better to include this under the same heading.


A description of the experience

Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill

A Quietus Interview

from An Invasion Of Privacy: Peter Gabriel Interviewed
John Doran , September 19th, 2011 07:05


Why did you decide to include a five minute field recording taken at Solsbury Hill before the track with the same name?

PG: It was a last minute idea and Richard my engineer did it. The reason was that Solsbury Hill is a "light" song and the rest of the album is, I think, a body of work, and each track flows from one into the next and it tells a story. And we put a lot of work into making it this way. But we had a lot of requests for 'Solsbury Hill' from fans. I thought, I don't really want to put it on but if I do, I want to separate it from the rest of the album as a kind of bonus track but how the hell am I going to create that space. Then I thought, well that song grew out of sitting on Solsbury Hill meditating, so what I'll do is ask Dickie to go up 'Solsbury Hill' and grab some ambience and I'll stick that between the track and the rest of the record.

Solsbury Hill"

Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Eagle flew out of the night
He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing stretching every nerve
Had to listen had no choice
I did not believe the information
(I) just had to trust imagination
My heart going boom boom boom
"Son," he said "Grab your things,
I've come to take you home."

To keep in silence I resigned
My friends would think I was a nut
Turning water into wine
Open doors would soon be shut
So I went from day to day
Tho' my life was in a rut
"Till I thought of what I'd say
Which connection I should cut
I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" he said "Grab your things
I've come to take you home."
(Back home.)

When illusion spins her net
I'm never where I want to be
And liberty she pirouette
When I think that I am free
Watched by empty silhouettes
Who close their eyes but still can see
No one taught them etiquette
I will show another me
Today I don't need a replacement
I'll tell them what the smile on my face meant
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" I said "You can keep my things,
they've come to take me home."

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Contemplation and detachment


Hearing voices