Very un-PC classic rock

I liked Genesis music a lot back in the 1980s, but had entirely forgotten about the song “Illegal Alien” which debuted on their 1983 eponymous album.  The song, which purports to be sung by an illegal alien hoping to head north to the US, is startlingly dated because, while ostensibly sympathetic, some of it is so very un-PC.  I mean, how do you explain these lyrics, which imply that the man is heading north for handouts and that he’s willing to sell his sister to get them?

Consideration for your fellow man
Would not hurt anybody, it sure fits in with my plan
Over the border, there lies the promised land
Where everything comes easy, you just hold out your hand

Keep your suspicions, I’ve seen that look before
But I ain’t done nothing wrong now, is that such a surprise
But I’ve got a sister who’d be willing to oblige
She will do anything now to help me get to the outside

So don’t tell anybody what I wanna do
If they find out you know that they’ll never let me through….

Any mainstream band that tried those lyrics now would get lynched!

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  • http://maroonedinmarin.blogspot.com/ Marooned in Marin

    Hi Bookworm: I liked Genesis music also, up until Phil Collins left. (Abacab–great record!) Besides the lyrics to this song, don’t forget the video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7q1H3VKdp0 ). You’re right, there’s no way a song or video like that could be made today.

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    Gosh! I’d forgotten about Abacab. I actually have that vinyl stored up in the attic somewhere. I agree: it is a great record. I’ll check out the video as soon as my son decides that it is a good thing for him to go to sleep.