She calls out to the man on the street
‘Sir, can you help me?
It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?’
He walks on, doesn’t look back
He pretends he can’t hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there
Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins addresses the way in which homeless people are often treated by the rest of society. Written in 1989, Collins said that he wrote the song “after being in Washington DC where I was amazed by how many people I saw living in boxes.” He recognised in himself the tendency to ignore homeless people. He recalls leaving the studio while recording the song and seeing a homeless woman with two children who were begging for money.
When it happened to me, I just walked straight past. I thought, I’m doing the same thing as everybody else… I felt awkward. I didn’t ignore her but at the same time I didn’t stop and give her some money… That’s what the song deals with, people just sort of starting to pretend it’s not happening. (Song facts)
It’s also interesting to note that David Crosby (who was featured in last week’s Song for Sunday – Teach Your Children) also sang on this track.
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