Genie

Introduction: From an interview with the Web France, in September 2004, h said, "Well, that story is partly true. I met a girl, years ago in Berlin, who told me in all seriousness that she'd lived with me in her previous life, and that I'd been a fisherman on the Normandy coast of France. Which was a really odd thing for someone to tell you, but she told me in total seriousness and she was such that it was very hard to write off what she was saying. She didn't seem like a crazy person, she seemed very matter-of-fact about it. 

Basically, she told me that there was so much more she wanted to tell me but she would need time to do so. But you know, I'm married with children, and I didn't really feel like I could start hanging out in Berlin, and I couldn't really cope with it, to be honest. Whether she was totally right or whether she was nuts or deluded or something, whatever she was, although I was intensely curious, and my natural instinct as an artist was to follow it and find out where it would lead, I actually chickened out. And so Genie is really about whether or not to take the lid off that jar."

‘I let the genie out of the box’
Genies are mythical creatures. The name is often claimed to be derived from the Arabic word 'Djinn', though in fact the true derivation is from the French word 'genuis' meaning 'spirit'.  The most common version of genies comes from the One Thousand and One Nights story of the genie in the lamp. Upon rubbing the lamp, Aladdin is astonished to see a genie appear. It grants him three wishes in exchange for having been given his freedom.

The notion that one lives in a box appears to be of h's own making, possibly in order to make the lyrics scan.

There are also strong shades of Pandora's Box, in that the lyric appears to be referring to setting in motion something that can then not be stopped. This is covered in Fugazi.

'I had this recurring dream'
Tim Glasswell, moderator of The Rainbow Room site dedicated to the Europeans and How We Live pointed out in the comments below that this line alludes to the second Europeans' album, Recurring Dreams, released in 1984. The title appears as a lyric in the song Don't Give Your Heart To Anybody.

1 comment:

  1. 'I had this recurring dream'
    Recurring Dreams was the title of the second studio album by Europeans, one of Steve Hogarth's pre-Marillion bands

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