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San Jacinto Lyrics

Artist: Peter Gabriel
Album: Plays Live

Thick cloud - steam rising - hissing stone on sweat lodge fire
Around me - buffalo robe - sage in bundle - run on skin
Outside - cold air - stand, wait for rising sun
Red paint - eagle feathers - coyote calling - it has begun
Something moving in - I taste it in my mouth and in my heart
It feels like dying - slow - letting go of life

Medicine man lead me up though town - Indian ground -
so far down
Cut up land - each house - a pool - kids wearing water
wings - drink in cool
Follow dry river bed - watch Scout and Guides make
pow-wow signs
Past Geronimo's disco - Sit 'n' Bull steakhouse - white
men dream
A rattle in the old man's sack - look at mountain top -
keep climbing up
Way above us the desert snow - white wind blow

I hold the line - the line of strength that pulls me through
the fear
San Jacinto - I hold the line
San Jacinto - the poison bite and darkness take my sight -
I hold the line
And the tears roll down my swollen cheek - think I'm losing
it - getting weaker
I hold the line - I hold the line
San Jacinto - yellow eagle flies down from the sun -
from the sun

We will walk - on the land
We will breathe - of the air
We will drink - from the stream
We will live - hold the line
Comments/Interpretations
by Couz on 6/3/2008 11:31am
Always my favorite live song by Peter Gabriel and surely one of the most visual lyrics ever written.A hopefull song that ends with a simple message....we will go on.
by JRB on 6/4/2008 6:01pm
This is a great song that documents a conversation that Peter Gabriel had with a Native American he met while staying at a hotel.
by Galileus_76 on 6/10/2008 1:46pm
Awesome live song, always a favorite. When everything goes absurd or dark, hold the line.
by Bridgeen on 9/25/2008 11:19am
yeah, love this song. Working on illustrating it at the moment. Its very sad.
by Jonathan on 12/15/2008 10:38am
Beautiful, the best lyrics, harmony to meditate too. Love is great.
by Xandalis on 12/25/2008 5:07pm
I have never heard a more powerful source of music and message from any other artist. I can only hope he stays with us for many more years.
by Memo on 3/24/2009 10:05pm
una de las mejores canciones de Gabriel, me llega al alma
by Barbara on 6/24/2009 7:42am
Positively amazing, moving, gives the cold shivers
by Belgaer on 7/28/2009 8:52pm
Dark, yet comforting. Just how I like it.

Am I the only one who thinks that the character singing the song dies at the end? Just from the change in his tone of voice and the ending notes.
by Mike on 9/3/2009 4:04pm
I too think the character dies, because if you look at the lyrics, they do not only tell about the culture of the white man overwhelming that of the apaches, but to me also the story of an apache man who carries a rattlesnake with him to a mountain top, and let's it bite him so he can then die at peace.
by Leslie on 10/17/2009 10:45pm
Could be, but I think the poison bite and darkness are metaphors for what the white man did (and does) to the indigenous peoples and other living things. The prediction that they would once again be able to drink from the streams comes from a Native American prophecy yet to be fulfilled (but coming soon to a "reality" near you!).
by christy on 11/3/2009 10:58pm
Powerful song powerful artist....love the guy...seen him live in concert 1982 selhurst park crystal place london.The point depot Dublin 1993 and Marley psrk 2006 Dublin...I rate myself a very luck man having seen this Great 3 times live..Peter the Great.
by Lazarus on 11/17/2009 10:40pm
Anyone know what ""San Jacinto"" has to do with the lyrics? Seems far out of place.
by Chris on 1/16/2010 8:15pm
I was out in Palm Springs area this morning. Beautiful day in the desert with a clear view of Mt San Jacinto -- snowcapped. "Way above us the desert snow" -- fits perfectly. A lot of Indian tribes in the area too. Love this song. PG is amazing.
by I Send a Voice on 2/28/2010 11:15am
By Evelyn Eaton is a wonderful book written about her sweat lodge experiences and becoming a medicine woman. Gabriel captures the Great Spirit of Wanka Tanka who is the Grandfather of the multiverses and the author of our mother earth... See this site: www. Dancingawalethefifthworld.com and open to read the earth mother ebook. You won't regret reading this treasure trove of Hopi wisdom.

Skycypher 2010
by I Send a Voice on 2/28/2010 11:16am
By Evelyn Eaton is a wonderful book written about her sweat lodge experiences and becoming a medicine woman. Gabriel captures the Great Spirit of Wanka Tanka who is the Grandfather of the multiverses and the author of our mother earth... See this site: www. Dancingawakethefifthworld.com and open to read the earth mother ebook. You won't regret reading this treasure trove of Hopi wisdom.

Skycypher 2010
by Anna on 10/9/2011 10:02pm
St.Hyacinth(San Jacinto) has everything to do with this song.The saint for our times.
by mike in sd on 12/7/2011 1:54pm
such a beautiful song, but so sad and desperate
by Frank K on 3/7/2012 1:56pm
The studio version of this song is good, but the live version is the one I really enjoy listening to. The heaviness of the bass and ethereal synth-pads are truly magical. This is one of my favorite PG songs; along with Red Rain.
I remember the early 70's with PG as the lead singer in Genesis. Saw them in concert in San Francisco around '74? "An evening with Genesis" Fillmore West.
by Too Tall on 3/23/2012 5:44pm
I always thought this lyric was...

Sadness in tow...hold the line.

Good image I think. Holding the line with sadness on our minds, for what is inevitably happening.

But what do I know...
by Jay on 5/23/2012 2:26pm
I just can't stop picturing a sun yellow eagle.
by Walter on 7/18/2013 10:04am
We will only realize in a few decades how much this man was a genius and the immensity of his work.

From is early career with Genesis to his present solo runs, he just keeps re-inventing himself over and over exploring different sounds and styles and is a true master of ambiance and presence on stage.

The greatest of them all in my humble opinion.
by Dan on 12/17/2013 8:21am
I have realized for years how incredible his talent is. I have seen him 4 times in concert. Awesome every time. Love you Peter
by irish on 4/30/2014 3:46am
San jacinto began this xchange.Being such a powerfull song,reminds us of the genius of p.g. through his career and allows us to life in fresh perspectives.
by Barry on 6/23/2014 7:34am
Do any of these lyrics have anything to do with the battle of san jacinto


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