Genesis: Can-Utility and the Coastliners

From the album Foxtrot (1972).

In this song, Genesis seem partly to rework or develop the common misunderstanding of the story of King Canute on the seashore into an expression of something close to one of their main lyrical themes: the false leader, political or religious, who leads the people astray (cf. The Knife, Supper’s Ready, Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, One for the Vine) – and who is here exposed as such. But the lyrics are ambiguous inasmuch as in the first part some of the original and opposite meaning appears to be retained.

2 Responses to “Genesis: Can-Utility and the Coastliners”


  1. 1 Non serviam! November 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    One of their best songs. Just listen to that mellotron…

  2. 2 Jan Olof Bengtsson December 23, 2012 at 10:06 am

    I completely agree. A mellotron masterpiece. And then there’s Hackett’s acoustic guitar. And Gabriel’s flute.


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