Another Level

I was thinking about song structure while taking Kacy for a graze walk, and one song in particular stood out as being both exceptionally tight lyrically and also having an unusual structure: Solsbury Hill, by Peter Gabriel, which I’ve been led to believe is about his experience of a Bruce Springsteen concert and the decision to leave Genesis.

What would not release my attention was the third verse, where pirouette, etiquette, and silhouette were all rhymed together, effortlessly, and so I went checking out the rhyme scheme. The three verses have the following schema (treating “Hey/I say” as the ff rhyme):




Once I wrote those out, the realization that Gabriel had used three modified sonnet forms jumped at me. I’ve long been awed by his demonstrated craftsmanship, but this takes my respect for his artistry to another level: it would not have occurred to me that this was possible. Kal v’homer, to use a hidden form like this in a song about the epiphany of possibilities which had been previously unknown is sheer genius.


About thegameiam
I'm a network engineer, musician, and Orthodox Jew who opines on things which cross my path.

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