In Your Eyes-Peter Gabriel

November 15, 2022

Released in September 1986, Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” is a satisfying fusion of western and traditional styles. What inspired the song, and how did it go on to be an enduring classic?

Behind the Beat

Inspiration for the song initially came from a trip Gabriel had taken to Barcelona, Spain. There, he wrote lyrics and designed a melody for a song called “Sagrada.” Sagrada was shelved shortly after, and its vocal melody was worked into the composition of “In Your Eyes.” He also took inspiration from Senegal, where natives wrote love songs that served to blur the line between the love two people share and a love for God. 

In keeping with this mix of elements from disparate traditions, the song came to feature various African instruments like a djembe and talking drums. Also featured is Youssou N’Dour, Senegalese musician and later Minister of Tourism of Senegal, singing near the end of the track in Wolof.

Charts and Beyond

Following the song’s release as a single in the United States, it went on to reach #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and peaked at #26 on the Hot 100. It later went on to become Gabriel’s first Gold Single in 2005. Following the song’s usage in the iconic boombox scene in the film, Say Anything…, the track charted once more. This time, it made it to # 41 on the Hot 100 and became a cultural touchstone for decades to come.

Fun Facts:

  • The track was composed for Gabriel’s 5th album, So.
  • So is considered by some to be his best album and remains his best-selling work to date.
  • The song, while intended as a closer, had to be placed closer to the middle due to its heavy use of bass and the limitations of vinyl.
  • Following the popularization of CDs, the track was placed in its originally intended position for all future releases.

Lyrics 

Love, I get so lost sometimes

Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart

When I want to run away, I drive off in my car

But whichever way I go, I come back to the place you are

All my instincts, they return

The grand façade, so soon will burn

Without a noise, without my pride

I reach out from the inside

In your eyes, the light, the heat

In your eyes, I am complete

In your eyes, I see the doorway

In your eyes, to a thousand churches

In your eyes, the resolution

In your eyes, of all the fruitless searches

In your eyes

In your eyes, oh, I see the light and the heat

In your eyes, the light, the heat

In your eyes

Oh, I wanna be that complete

In your eyes, the light, the heat

In your eyes

I wanna touch the light, the heat I see in your eyes

Love, I don’t like to see so much pain

So much wasted, and this moment keeps slipping away

I get so tired, working so hard for our survival

I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive

And all my instincts, they return

And the grand façade, so soon will burn

Without a noise, without my pride

I reach out from the inside

In your eyes your eyes, your eyes

In your eyes

In your eyes, the light, the heat

In your eyes, I am complete

In your eyes, I see the doorway

To a thousand churches

In your eyes, the resolution

In your eyes, of all the fruitless searches

Oh, I see the light and the heat

In your eyes

Oh, I wanna be that complete

In your eyes

I want to touch the light, the heat I see in your eyes

In your eyes

In your eyes

In your eyes

Sa bet chi lamp, chi tangaay, sa bet maangi ci biir

Sa bet chi lamp, chi tangaay, sa bet maangi ci biir

Sa bet chi lamp, chi tangaay, sa bet maangi ci biir

Sa bet chi lamp, chi tangaay, sa bet maangi ci biir

Sa bet chi lamp, chi tangaay, sa bet maangi ci biir

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