For the Peter Gabriel song "Sledgehammer", all the lyrics sites list the first two lines of the song as being:

you could have a steam train
if you'd just lay down your tracks

But every time I hear the song, it's evident that he sings something before this. It sounds a bit like "Someday... you don't want to lose it..." and then goes into the steam train line.

However it's indistinct and I've never been able to make out the words.

You can also see this in the music video - there are clearly words said/sung before that steam train line. Again, they are indistinct.

No lyrics site I've found lists those first words. Is there anything that tells us what they are? Can someone who can lip-read look at the music video and decipher them?



I would say is vocalizing some scat.

On these three lives, for example, he sings differently :

It seems it doesn't say the exact same "words".

Also, this review article of Uncut says :

“Sledgehammer” (...) starts (...) with Gabriel singing gibberish.

Page archive.

FYI: These are not the only songs where he uses scat, he is quite familiar with that:

  • It's good thinking, but I'd like something more official and than a review article. – Tim Feb 19 '17 at 20:14
  • OK, @Tim. Let me know if you find something. BTW I know Genesis because of your question, thanks ;-) – Bebs Feb 19 '17 at 20:17

After trying to nut it out, I believe he sings...

Hey you' E'body do this (or maybe E'body chew this)

Of course I could be completely wrong and he's singing scat, or gibberish, or what someone else referred to on another site as "Gabrielese".

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