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 hotthread  Author  Topic: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?  (Read 5276 times)
DavieMarshall
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xx Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Thread started on: Apr 3rd, 2012, 6:04pm »

Brief intro time - I was around on the Genesis forums before Ultrastar landed, heck even before the site redesign landed. I was a regular in Musician's Corner (not so much the standard forums) and have been listening to Genesis for probably coming up to ten years now.

The meaning of Cul de Sac has always somewhat escaped me, being one of Tony's more 'vague' lyrical pieces. However, listening to it tonight for the first time proper in several years a thought struck me - is it about the dinosaurs as a species?

Forgive me if this thought has been banded around before. As you can understand the internet does not catalogue Genesis song interpretations well, despite the power of Google. I did search around first.

Here are my thoughts:

Wake up now, this is the time you've waited for
(Humans awake - this is your moment)

Far below, where shadow fester as they grow,
(On the land a small shadow of the cataclysmic meteor forms and grows)
An army thousands strong, obsessed by right and wrong
(The entire species with no morales lives and rules of nature - live or die)
Sense their time is coming near.
So they turn towards the light from their region of the night
(March towards the bright speck in the sky from the 'shade' of the sun perhaps?)
Marching on and on,
They near the air, it won't be long.

You know you're on the way out,
It's just a matter of time.
You thought you'd rule the world forever
Long live the king, don't spare the loser.
(As a whole this pretty much sums up dinosaurs - there's no reason they *should* have died out - mass extinction excluded of course)

After all, you're not what you thought you were at all.
You're just a natural fact, another cul-de-sac
On nature's hard unfeeling trail.
And all those dreams of old will be stories left untold,
Cut off in your prime, extinct until the end of time.
(This whole lot fits perfectly - no explanation required)

Now the host emerges, a shadow starts to fall.
(The meteor approaches and the host of death falls)
Not one knows what hit them, none can see at all
(Those who avoid the impact would be choken (worldwide) by the dust cloud and the death of flora)
Even as the end approaches still they're not aware,
How can you fight a foe so deadly
When you don't even know it's there?
(Photosynthesis subsides, no new plant life. No sun rays = no life)
And now that the job is almost done
Maybe some escape, no, not even one.

--

Could be total hocum, but it's a thought.

On the flip side after a three to four year absence of the forums (probably more) that new Banks' album Six is pretty awesome, right!?
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #1 on: Apr 3rd, 2012, 7:15pm »

In an interview about Duke, Tony stated that the lyrics for "Cul-De-Sac" were based around the concept of the extinction of the dinosaurs. Cul-de-sac = dead end. wink

So this isn't hokum in the least bit!

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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #2 on: Apr 4th, 2012, 02:08am »

Well I'll be!

I feel like I've earned a gold star for the day!
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #3 on: Apr 4th, 2012, 02:47am »

By the way, Weird Al Yankovic reworked one of Tony and Steve's favourite songs, 'MacArthur Park', as 'Jurassic Park', and that film showed how the park keeper messed with nature!
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #4 on: Apr 4th, 2012, 1:20pm »

on Apr 4th, 2012, 02:08am, DavieMarshall wrote:
Well I'll be!

I feel like I've earned a gold star for the day!


As well as an A+ for lyrics interpretation. tongue

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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #5 on: Apr 6th, 2012, 12:13pm »

Speaking of songs from the Duke album, a song that was left off called "Evidence of Autumn" had a working title called "Bring Out Your Dead." This is just a little trivia that recently learned. Now I can't listen to the song without thinking of Monty Python and laughing out even though it's more of a serious song! laugh
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #6 on: Apr 6th, 2012, 4:13pm »

Most wonderful to see you here Davie!, I might come in a little more often
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #7 on: Apr 24th, 2012, 10:18pm »

Wow!!! Always loved this song, but my appreciation of it just went up ten-fold!

Thanks for the insight!
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #8 on: May 6th, 2012, 5:32pm »

on Apr 6th, 2012, 12:13pm, HomeByTheSea wrote:
Speaking of songs from the Duke album, a song that was left off called "Evidence of Autumn" had a working title called "Bring Out Your Dead." This is just a little trivia that recently learned. Now I can't listen to the song without thinking of Monty Python and laughing out even though it's more of a serious song! laugh

Wasn't this one about suicide?
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #9 on: May 17th, 2012, 01:57am »

English essay worthy symbolism right there. I don't even think my teacher cld have come up with a better interpretation!
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #10 on: Jul 9th, 2012, 09:16am »

I've always thought the real genius of Tony Banks here was that on the surface it's about dinosaurs, but the subtext is about aging rock dinosaurs, and the changing music industry...

In many ways it's arguably the last big Genesis prog rock song and my interpretation is that's it's TB saying we've gone as far as we can in this direction we need to do something new to stay alive. Evolve or die!
And evolve they did. smiley
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #11 on: Nov 12th, 2012, 4:08pm »

on Jul 9th, 2012, 09:16am, maximumcrumble wrote:
In many ways it's arguably the last big Genesis prog rock song


If they released Dodo/Lurker/Submarine/Naminanu, I could prove you wrong!!
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #12 on: Nov 24th, 2012, 11:49am »

I think the verse "An army thousands strong, obsessed by right and wrong sense their time is coming near. " is more about the rise of mammals (& ultimately man, the moral beast.)
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #13 on: Jan 2nd, 2018, 12:40pm »

Was listening to Duke yesterday and wondered re the meaning of the lyrics. Thanks for the explanations. Don't forget the dinosaurs were around a lot longer than we have been so far. What are the chances of us beating their record?
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #14 on: Jan 2nd, 2018, 2:12pm »

Actually, the song is all about how they planned to mix out Steve and eventually end his time with the band.

You're welcome.
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