An echo of 9/11

From a Genesis album nobody bought in 1996 (because Phil Collins had left the band by then), the song “One Man’s Fool” had eerily prescient lyrics that now echo in the aftermath of 9/11.

The song is also a warning that while some beliefs may be worth living for, they’re not worth killing for. Religions & philosophies based on exclusion (“only we have the truth, all others are evil!”) almost always lead to explosions of killing, violence, and shattered lives haunting the smoke of ruined buildings — the triumph of destruction over creation.

As the buildings crumble, tumble to the ground
And the dust-filled smoke rises in the air
You know that somebody somewhere looks with pride, they’re satisfied
To all who think they know
To everyone that knows that they’re right
D’you ever wonder why
D’you never ask the question even in the depths of night?
Now as the daylight fading ends another day
For too many life will never be the same
And it is all for the reason they will never understand
To all who think they know
To everyone that knows that they’re right
D’you ever wonder why
D’you never ask the question even in the depths of night?
And on the morning after do you realise
See the ruined faces and the ruined lives
Inside your head do you never have the thought a moment of doubt?
To all who think they know
To everyone that knows that they’re right
D’you ever wonder why
D’you never ask the question even in the depths of night?
There are only dreams one like any other
What means the earth to one or few means nothing to another
There are only dreams like any other
Drawing lines upon the sand, on the land, on the sea
Then dying to defend them seems quite meaningless to me
Don’t you know what means the earth to some or only one
Can mean just nothing nothing nothing to another
There are only dreams like any other
There are only differences, worth living but not dying for
One man’s joy makes another man weep
Nothing you can do is ever gonna change it
One man’s saint is another man’s fool
One man’s hot is another man’s cool
And when the war is over, won
Will there be peace for evermore?
Statues carved right out of stone, out of wood, made from gold
Praying for their mercy that won’t save their souls
Don’t you know what means the earth to some or only one
Can mean just nothing nothing nothing to another
There are only dreams like any other
There are only hopes and beliefs one like any other (there are only dreams like any other)
Worth living but not dying for
Living but not dying for not killing for
There are only dreams like any other like any other
To all of those who think that they know
All I can say yes all I can say
One man’s joy makes another man weep
Nothing you can do is ever gonna change it
One man’s saint is another man’s fool
One man’s hot is another man’s cool
There are only dreams like any other
There are only hopes and beliefs, one like any other
There are only dreams like any other…

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