What are the first lines of Peter Gabriel’s "Sledgehammer"?

The First Lines of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”

Peter Gabriel’s iconic song “Sledgehammer” is known for its catchy tune and memorable lyrics. However, there has been some confusion and speculation regarding the first lines of the song. This article aims to delve into the various interpretations and provide insights into this lyrical mystery.

Interpretations and Speculations

According to popular lyrics sites, the first two lines of “Sledgehammer” are often listed as:

“You could have a steam train
If you’d just lay down your tracks”

These lines are widely recognized and form the opening of the song. However, attentive listeners have noticed that there are indistinct words sung before the mention of the steam train. These words, though not clearly decipherable, contribute to the overall ambiance of the song.

Some fans have attempted to lip-read or decipher the obscured lyrics from the music video, but no definitive consensus has been reached regarding the exact words that precede the steam train line.

The Sexual Double-Entendre and Metaphorical References

One aspect that sets “Sledgehammer” apart is its clever use of sexual double-entendre and metaphorical references throughout its lyrics. Peter Gabriel masterfully weaves these elements into the song, creating a layered and thought-provoking listening experience.

The song’s lyrics employ vivid imagery and playful wordplay to convey both literal and metaphorical meanings. While the opening lines focus on the idea of laying tracks for a steam train, this can be interpreted beyond its literal sense as an invitation to engage in a passionate and fulfilling relationship.

The Music Video’s Illustration of Sexual Themes

In addition to the suggestive lyrics, the music video for “Sledgehammer” further accentuates the sexual themes present in the song. Directed by Stephen R. Johnson, the video features a combination of stop-motion animation, claymation, and live-action footage.

The visuals in the music video showcase a variety of provocative and surreal scenes, including dancing chickens, fruit transforming into human figures, and Gabriel’s face distorting and morphing. These imaginative and visually captivating elements serve to enhance the song’s overall message and further emphasize its sexual undertones.

Sources:

  1. Music Fans Stack Exchange: What are the first lines of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”?

  2. AnandTech Forums: What does Peter Gabriel say at the beginning of Sledgehammer?

  3. SongMeanings: Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer Lyrics

By examining the available information, it becomes clear that the first lines of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” are subject to interpretation and speculation. While the widely accepted lyrics begin with the mention of a steam train, there are indistinct words sung before this line, contributing to the song’s ambiance. Moreover, the song’s clever use of sexual double-entendre and metaphorical references, along with the provocative visuals in the music video, add depth and intrigue to the overall composition.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the First Lines of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”

What are the commonly accepted first lines of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”?

The commonly accepted first lines of “Sledgehammer” are:

“You could have a steam train
If you’d just lay down your tracks”

Are there indistinct words sung before the steam train line?



Yes, some listeners have noticed indistinct words sung before the steam train line. However, the exact lyrics are not clearly decipherable.

Is there a consensus on the interpretation of the indistinct words before the steam train line?

No, there is no definitive consensus on the interpretation of the indistinct words before the steam train line. Fans have attempted to lip-read or decipher the lyrics from the music video, but there is no agreed-upon interpretation.

Does “Sledgehammer” contain sexual double-entendre and metaphorical references?

Yes, “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel incorporates sexual double-entendre and metaphorical references throughout its lyrics. These elements add depth and complexity to the song’s meaning.

How does the music video of “Sledgehammer” illustrate the sexual themes in the song?

The music video for “Sledgehammer” features provocative and surreal imagery that enhances the song’s sexual themes. The video includes stop-motion animation, claymation, and live-action footage to create visually captivating scenes that reflect the song’s message.

Are there other sources besides lyrics sites where I can find information about the first lines of “Sledgehammer”?



Yes, besides lyrics sites, you can find discussions and speculations about the first lines of “Sledgehammer” on music forums, fan communities, and interviews with Peter Gabriel.

Are there any official statements from Peter Gabriel regarding the indistinct words at the beginning of “Sledgehammer”?

There are no official statements from Peter Gabriel specifically addressing the indistinct words at the beginning of “Sledgehammer.” However, he has spoken about the importance of interpretation and the use of made-up words in his songwriting process.

What makes the first lines of “Sledgehammer” memorable and iconic?

The first lines of “Sledgehammer” are memorable and iconic due to their catchy rhythm and the imagery they evoke. The mention of a steam train and laying down tracks symbolizes the idea of embarking on a passionate and fulfilling journey.