Phil Collins’ “Thru These Walls” Lyrics Meaning

“Thru These Walls” tells the tale of a terribly lonely and depressed man who for some reason has imprisoned himself at home. Throughout the song, it is never made exactly clear why he chooses to stay indoors all the time. But what is made crystal clear is the shockingly negative things he does while alone at home.

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

Prominent among these things is the fact that he often secretly listens to his neighbors while they are engaging in sexual activity. And he is able to do so with the aid of a drinking glass, which he places overturned on his wall to listen more clearly to the said activity that is unfolding on the other side of his wall. This apparently enables him hear every sound his neighbors make.

"Thru These Walls" Lyrics

And what makes our narrator’s behavior even more disturbing is the fact that eavesdropping on his neighbors having sex is his “favorite moment”. Also there is the possibility that in addition to being a pervert, he may also be attracted to children in a very dark way. This is because he also states categorically that he loves to watch children through his windows as they play outside.

But does the narrator like his current state?

No, he apparently doesn’t really like this lonely life. According to him, it makes him feel as though he is trapped in a cage with no chance of escape.

Lyrics of "Thru These Walls"

All in all

At the end of the day, we are dealing with a case of a pervert whose pastime is covertly listening to his neighbors’ sexual acts. Phil Collins himself has confirmed this in the 1980s. During a performance in Los Angeles, Phil addressed the audience and said the following:

“This song is dedicated to all those perverts in the audience tonight…”

The performance in question took place at Los Angeles’s Perkins Palace (Raymond Theatre) in 1982.

By all accounts, the is a creepy song. And adding children into the mix makes it the more creepy and sinister. It is probably the reason Phil rarely performed this song live during the peak of his solo career.

Thru These Walls

Facts about “Thru These Walls”

“Thru’ These Walls” can be found on Phil’s “Hello, I Must Be Going!” album. This album, which serves as Phil’s second studio project, produced a number of hits, including “You Can’t Hurry Love“.

The album’s first single was “Thru These Walls”. Virgin Records officially released it as such on November 19th, 1983.

In the United Kingdom, this single performed modestly, reaching a peak position of 56. It fared better in Spain, Italy and France where it was a top-20 hit. In the United States, this song failed to chart simply because it wasn’t issued as a single there.

In January of 1981, Phil released his maiden solo single titled “In the Air Tonight” (which is one of his signature songs). “Thru These Walls” has been widely been stated to be very similar to “In the Air Tonight”. Not only are both songs very dark but they both contain a very similar drum break.

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