Target Practice

Target Practice: Phil Collins “Another Day In Paradise”

Welcome to Target Practice where bad popular songs of the past and present get shot. Phil Collins. He started off as the drummer for Genesis, then took over for lead vocals after Peter Gabriel left the band in order to pursue a solo career. The band saw their commercial peak in the 80s, which was also the same time Collins started his solo career. The man has given us numerous classics on his own and with Genesis, plus, he did the soundtrack for Disney’s Tarzan, which is also flames. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his misfires and I’m going to talk about one of them in today’s Target Practice. This was Phil Collins’ seventh and final number one single and both the last number one single of the 80s and the first number one single of the 90s. This is Another Day In Paradise.

She calls out to the man on the street
"Sir, can you help me?
It's cold and I've nowhere to sleep
Is there somewhere you can tell me?"

So we start off with what’s presumed to be a homeless woman looking for shelter in cold weather and she asks a random dude for help. And what’s his response?

He walks on, doesn't look back
He pretends he can't hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there

He ignores her. Kind of a dick move, but most people would do that. He could have given her directions to a homeless shelter, but he probably doesn’t know of any homeless shelters.

Oh think twice, cause it's another day for
You and me in paradise
Oh think twice, cause it's another day for you
You and me in paradise
Just think about it

This song has a funny definition of paradise because nothing that’s being described so far could be considered paradise. Hell, the real world itself is the farthest thing from paradise.

She calls out to the man on the street
He can see she's been crying
She's got blisters on the soles of her feet
She can't walk but she's trying

Damn, she don’t even have shoes? Someone help the poor woman out. She could potentially die.

Oh lord, is there nothing more anybody can do
Oh lord, there must be something you can say

Somewhere out there in the cosmos, God is like, “NEW PHONE, WHO DIS?”

You can tell from the lines on her face
You can see that she's been there
Probably been moved on from every place
'Cos she didn't fit in there

Okay, so she’s homeless, she’s got no shoes, and she happens to be old. Sweet buttery Moses, she IS gonna die out there. What was the point of this song again?

This song is the complete opposite of a paradise. It tries to shine a light on the issue of homelessness and poverty, which is an admirable endeavor in of itself and needs to happen, but it ultimately has nothing to say about it besides, “this random homeless person has nothing and needs help.” It does show how people lack empathy for the homeless, but it doesn’t go into the systemic issues that put them in that situation. I don’t expect there to be a solution that gets rid of all poverty overnight, but this is surface-level lip service to an issue that affects millions of people worldwide and it honestly comes off as exploitative. It’s one of Phil Collins’ worst songs to date and it did not deserve the success that it has gotten. Next Target Practice, we’ll be looking at Sunday Best by Surfaces.



Allentown-Billy Joel


2 thoughts on “Target Practice: Phil Collins “Another Day In Paradise”

  1. Looking back, Phil Collins was a hit or miss artist. He has some cool songs and I can appreciate the influence he had on a lot of the ‘80s production with his drum sound. And I also liked what I heard from Genesis in terms of their ‘80s hits as part of the wave of ‘70s progressive rock acts who became pop stars in the ‘80s alongside Pink Floyd and Yes. But for the most part a lot of Phil Collins’ hits just come across as meh to me. A lot of them are just middle of the road ballads or pop songs that aren’t interesting. Another Day In Paradise is more of that. Production wise it’s not bad and I like the soothing feel it gives off but I wouldn’t say it’s great. I never gave the lyrics much thought but yeah the lyrics aren’t doing the subject matter much justice. I get its intentions in trying to show how big homelessness is. I think in saying it’s another day in paradise it’s stating how we should think about the less fortunate as we go on living under a roof and adequate shelter and not take what we have for granted. The problem is as you put it is that it feels very basic at laying out the homeless problem. So there are people living on the streets and what? In a way, Another Day In Paradise as the last #1 hit of the ‘80s feels appropriate considering the decade was all about these exploitative charity and socially aware songs that weren’t as deep or impactful as these artists think they were. Another Day In Paradise isn’t the worst of them but not that great either.

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    1. If I did a random WTF lyrics I would discuss “Think twice cause its another day for you and me in Paradise” What’s your point? First you talk about a woman’s homeless plight then you talk about paradise . Phil collins cannot stay on topic. But seriously something happened on the way to heaven.


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