Peter Gabriel,Biko/Song Share

Did you know that this song was about a real man who lived? Yes it is, take a listen!


Lyrics

September ’77
Port Elizabeth weather fine
It was business as usual
In police room 619
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Hiromija, Hiromija
The man is dead, the man is dead
When I try to sleep at night
I can only dream in red
The outside world is black and white
With only one colour dead
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Hiromija, Hiromija
The man is dead, the man is dead

You can blow out a candle
But you can never blow out a fire
Once the flames begin to catch
The wind will blow it higher
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Hiromija, Hiromija
The man is dead, the man is dead

And the eyes of the world are watching you now
They’re watching you now, watching you now
Watching you now, watching you now
They’re watching you now
You gotta waken up, you gotta face up
I think you gotta open up

The eyes of the world are watching you now
You gotta waken up, you gotta face up
You know you can never turn away
Never turn away

Songwriters: PETER GABRIEL
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
For non-commercial use only.


MORE ABOUT THIS SONG!!!

“Biko”
Pgbiko.jpg

1980 artwork for UK vinyl releases, also used for the German vinyl release
Single by Peter Gabriel
from the album Peter Gabriel (Melt)
B-side
Released 1980
Format
Recorded 1979
Genre
Length
  • 7:22 (album version)[2]
  • 8:55 (single version)
Label Charisma[3]
Songwriter(s) Peter Gabriel
Producer(s) Steve Lillywhite[4]
Peter Gabriel singles chronology
No Self Control
(1980)
Biko
(1980)
“I Don’t Remember”
(1980)
Music video
Peter Gabriel – Biko on YouTube
Alternative cover art
Artwork for 1987 vinyl re-release; the CD single uses the similar artwork, but the title and artist name posit on the right side

Artwork for 1987 vinyl re-release; the CD single uses the similar artwork, but the title and artist name posit on the right side

Biko” is an anti-apartheid protest song by English rock musician Peter Gabriel. It was released by Charisma Records as a single from Gabriel’s eponymous third album in 1980.

The song is a musical eulogy, inspired by the death of the black South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko in police custody on 12 September 1977. Gabriel wrote the song after hearing of Biko’s death on the news. Influenced by Gabriel’s growing interest in African musical styles, the song carried a sparse two-tone beat played on Brazilian drum and vocal percussion, in addition to a distorted guitar, and a synthesised bagpipe sound. The lyrics, which included phrases in Xhosa, describe Biko’s death and the violence under the apartheid government. The song is book-ended with recordings of songs sung at Biko’s funeral: the album version begins and ends with “Senzeni Na?“, while the single began instead with “Ngomhla sibuyayo“.

“Biko” reached No. 38 on the British charts, and was positively received, with critics praising the instrumentation, the lyrics, and Gabriel’s vocals. A 2013 commentary called it a “hauntingly powerful” song,[5] while review website AllMusic described it as a “stunning achievement for its time”.[6] It was banned in South Africa, where the government saw it as a threat to security.[7] “Biko” was a personal landmark for Gabriel, becoming one of his most popular songs and sparking his involvement in human rights activism. It also had a huge political impact, and along with other contemporary music critical of apartheid, is credited with making resistance to apartheid part of western popular culture. It inspired musical projects such as Sun City, and has been called “arguably the most significant non-South African anti-apartheid protest song”.[8]

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