Meaning of “Sussudio” by Phil Collins

“Sussudio” is a song performed by renowned British singer, songwriter and drummer Phil Collins. The song was the first single released from his 1985 multiple Grammy Award winning third studio album No Jacket Required.  According to Collins, the lyrics of this tune are basically telling the story of a schoolboy who falls madly in love with a girl at his school but is unable to approach and talk to her.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Phil Collins's Sussudio at

The song led to the birth of the slang term of the same name “Sussudio”, which refers to a girl whom a guy has a crush on but can’t seem to talk to her.

The Lyrics of “Sussudio”

The song starts with the narrator talking about a girl named Sussudio who is always on his mind because he is so infatuated by her. But the problem is that she doesn’t even know his name. But despite this, our narrator feels that she likes him too.

So basically we have a case of a boy being infatuated with a girl who doesn’t know him. This situation, which is both complex and emotionally intense, is what we would call a one-sided attraction. Accordingly our narrator finds himself experiencing intense feelings of longing, admiration, and desire to be with Sussudio.

In the beginning of the first chorus, we find the narrator getting lost in daydreams about this girl, talking about how if she just called him, he would quickly stop whatever he is doing and run to her regardless of wherever he might be. He is ready to go through this sacrifice because she’s all he needs in his life.

“Ah, if she called me I’d be there
I’d come running anywhere, she’s all I need, all my life
I feel so good if I just say the word, Sus-Sussudio
Just say the word, oh, Sus-Sussudio”

In the second verse, the singer reveals that he is a very young man whose “life has just begun”. This is very relevant for two reasons. First it could be indicating how naïve the singer is when it comes to relationships. Secondly, it might mean the lady who he is infatuated with might be significantly older than him.

This could be the reason why in the second chorus that follows, he laments about not having the courage to approach Sussudio to profess his love for her.

“Ah, I’ve just got to have her, have her now
I’ve got to get closer but I don’t know how
She makes me nervous and makes me scared
I feel so good if I just say the word, Sus-Sussudio
Just say the word, oh, S-Sus-Sussudio, oh”

Throughout the song, he keeps repeating her name, reflecting his obsession with her.

Where did Collins get the word “Sussudio” from?

When asked what the meaning of the word “Sussudio” was and if it meant anything to him, Collins said it was a meaningless word. According to him, he just made it up during the writing process of the song. He said the word just popped out of his mouth while playing with his drum machine.

He further stated that the word perfectly matched the song, but he knew since it meant nothing, he had to find another word to replace it. But try as he could, he was unable to find any other suitable word to replace “Sussudio”. He therefore retained it. And that is how the song’s legendary title was birthed (:

Misconceptions about the source of “Sussudio”

Since this track was released in 1985, there have been quite a number of misconceptions and stories regarding how Phil Collins came about with the name “Sussudio”.  Two of the most popular of these stories are as follows:

  1. Collins once worked in a studio with a man who had a severe stutter. As a result of the man’s stuttering, he could not pronounce the word studio correctly and therefore ended up saying “su-sussudio” instead of “studio”.
  2. Collins heard a Japanese, who couldn’t speak proper English, try to pronounce the word “studio”. In his desperate attempt to pronounce “studio”, the Japanese ended up saying “sussudio” instead.

But like we have seen from the explanation above, all these stories are false.

Sussudio by Phil Collins

Facts about “Sussudio”

Collins wrote both the lyrics and music of “Sussudio”.

Peaking at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, this track is one of Collins’ most successful songs of his solo career.

In addition to co-producing the song, Collins played the piano on the song.

The famous horn section of the song was played by The Phoenix Horns.

“Sussudio” sounds very similar to singer Prince’s famous song titled “1999”. “1999” came out about three years before Collins released “Sussudio”. Speaking of the similarity between the two songs, Collins said he was absolutely aware of the similarity between both tracks. He went on to admit being a fan of the works of Prince and that he listened a lot of Prince’s “1999” prior to penning the song.

Over the years, the track has appeared in a number of famous films, including the 2000 American horror film American Psycho starring Christian Bale.

According to Collins, this track happens to be one of the most common songs his fans sing to him when they meet him in public.

A Problem that Many Find Relatable

The truth is that the story in “Sussudio” is one which many people find relatable. That could be another reason why many people easily connect with this song.

Falling in love with someone but being too scared to tell them can be quite a challenging experience. Imaging finding yourself constantly thinking about the person and daydreaming of scenarios where you’re together. However, you are scared to express your feelings. This fear often stems from the uncertainty of how the other person might react.

You might be scared of rejection, or of potentially ruining an existing friendship. The fear could also stem from past experiences with heartbreak or rejection.

In such situations, you may experience a range of emotions – exhilaration when you’re around this person, sadness or frustration over not being able to express your feelings, and anxiety about the future of your relationship with them.

Sometime you might even find yourself going out of your way to be near them or to do things for them, all the while wrestling with the question of whether to confess your feelings or not. This could lead to a sort of emotional limbo, where you’re more than friends with the person in your heart, but on the surface, things remain unchanged.

While this can be a difficult situation to navigate, it’s also a part of the human experience. It’s important to remember to be kind to yourself during this time, and to seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional if it becomes too overwhelming.

This is exactly what the young schoolboy in “Sussudio” is dealing with and it is real. It is a challenge millions across the globe deal with on a daily basis.

24 Responses

  1. EmmettLBrown says:

    The artist says the fictitious word is a stand in for a girl’s name. It stands to reason, then, the name could be pronounced as “Susie-Sue-dio” – just looking at it’s presumed entemology. By the artist’s admission, the name doesn’t mean anything, so “dio” could be just Phil Collins being cute. However, “dio” means “she gave” in Spanish. So in theory, “Sussudio” could easily mean “Susie Sue gave”.

    • Anon says:

      Believe this or not, this came from one of Phil’s nonsense words. Phil Collins actually has severe OCD and has to say nonsense words all the time. Kind of like when someone uncontrollably clenches their teeth or feels the need to pinch or squeeze something. It’s on the same spectrum as tourette’s. And has been hidden very well. The only people who know are close friends are family. This probably won’t come out and officially verified until his death. Fun fact: Phil picked up drums when he was younger to help calm the ticks. And his undeniable talent for music outshined any judgment from within the circle who knew. But you don’t have to believe me. It’s no skin off my back. I just can’t verify who I am. I don’t want to be disowned. But this information is so juicy I had to say something. Take this as you will.

    • Dios says:

      Hey Emmet shut the f up. That is stupid and incorrect and no one cares. I’ve read this comment from you on multiple sites now. Stop polluting the internet w your nonsense. We get it. You know Spanish.

  2. Richard Smith says:

    I prefer to believe the concept that suspicious refers to a girl that a boy wanted to talk to but she was out of his league.

  3. Captain pepe says:

    I’d like to thank the other commenters for bringing all of us dow a few IQ points🤷‍♂️

  4. Anonymous says:

    It has nothing to do with, ‘ bringing all of us dow a few IQ points’. (learn to spell the word ‘down’). It has everything thing to do with the freedom of being a creative artist. The ‘IQ’ police on here, can’t spell for themselves.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I prefer think its about litigation. He will sue, sue, sue you. At least that makes some kind of sense.
    It’s a really irritating song that my grocery store decided I needed to hear last night. Needless to say, I skipped the list and headed for checkout to face all the people wearing masks with noses uncovered. I want to sue, sue, sue the store.

    • Stallion says:

      You’re a sheep. Why don’t you put on 10 masks and ki ki k–l yourself. Do us all a favor, loser. Masks don’t work. Never did. Read some literature and use some common sense. I came here for sussudio info and saw this brainless comment. Sue the store? How about sue the government for 2 years of unresearched, fake medical tyranny and destroying countless lives with their propaganda over a fakedemic. Idiot.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I was curious, so checked it out online. Glad to hear it’s nonsense. (and no, I didn’t Google it.)

  7. my name is still susie..... says:

    my name is susie and only when ive lost sleep do i think of myself as su su sudio. Or Delight. Peace On Earth …..

  8. Me says:

    It sounds a lot like soo-ryeo or soo-ryeon or soo-ryeong to me, which could very well be korean girls names

  9. Rack W says:

    I remember when this song came out, thinking that Phil Collins was naming the drum beat of the song Sussudio like Bo Diddly named his a drum beat after himself. I was disappointed when I saw an interview with Phil Collins saying the word was just nonsense.

  10. Kevman says:

    Have you seen the opening skit when Collins was a guest on Letterman? Collins was sitting with pencil and paper trying to put the finishing touches on his song. Letterman walks by and asks how he’s doing. In the background is Larry “Bud” Melman hammering a wall. Whlle Collins tells Letterman that he needs a word or two to finish his work, Melman accidentally hits his thumb with the hammer and yells out in pain, “Ow, hoticie hibotchi, sususudio!” Colins eyes light up and says, “That’s it!” Letterman tells a wincing in pain Melman, “Good job!”

  11. Susan Luarelli says:

    SUE SUE DEO!!! Easy Peasy!!!

  1. April 12, 2017

    […] Meaning of “Sussudio” by Phil Collins […]

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