top of page

Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight


Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight - Meaning of the song


Collins wrote this song about the anger he felt after divorcing his first wife, Andrea Bertorelli, in 1980 - he was so devastated that he left Genesis for a short time. All of the original songs on the Face Value album, including the followup hit "I Missed Again," were at one time intended to be "messages" to his first wife in an attempt to lure her back to him. The lingering tension caused by the divorce led Collins to the title, as these negative feelings were "In The Air," and affecting not just the couple getting divorced, but the entire family. By the time the album was released, Collins had moved on and was dating Jill Tavelman, who became his second wife. His split with Jill would inspire the songs on Collins' 1993 album Both Sides.

The meaning of "In The Air Tonight" became a pervasive urban myth. The story, which is not true, is that Collins watched as a man who raped his wife drowned. Another version has Collins writing the song about a man who watched another drown, and singing it to him at a concert. Yet another variation claims that when Collins was a young boy, he witnessed a man drowning someone, but was too far away to help. Later, he hired a private detective to find the man, sent him a free ticket to his concert, and premiered the song that night with the spotlight on the man the whole time.


In The Air Tonight - Lyrics


I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord

And I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, Oh Lord

Can you feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord


Well, if you told me you were drowning

I would not lend a hand

I've seen your face before my friend

But I don't know if you know who I am

Well, I was there and I saw what you did

I saw it with my own two eyes

So you can wipe off that grin,

I know where you've been

It's all been a pack of lies


And I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord

Well, I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord

And I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord, oh Lord


Well I remember, I remember don't worry

How could I ever forget,

It's the first time, the last time we ever met

But I know the reason why you keep your silence up,

No you don't fool me

The hurt doesn't show

But the pain still grows

It's no stranger to you and me


And I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord

Well, I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord

I can feel it in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord

But I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord

But I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord

I can feel it in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord

But I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord, oh Lord

Comments


Rockin' out.jpg

Best Rock and Heavy Metal bands

bottom of page