"In The Air Tonight" is a 1981 soft rock song released by Genesis frontman Phil Collins as the debut single from his first album Face Value, as well as his first solo single. It remains one of Collins' most well-known songs, most noted for its' drum solo and dark lyrical matter.
A popular urban legend pertains to these first verse lyrics:
"Well, if you told me you were drowning
I would not lend a hand
I've seen your face before my friend
But I don't know if you know who I am
Well, I was there and I saw what you did
I saw it with my own two eyes"
According to the urban legend, Collins witnessed a man who had failed to save a drowning victim, while Collins himself was too far away to help. The urban legend even goes as far as to say that Collins found the man at one of his concerts, singling him out and performing "In The Air Tonight".
Status of LegendEdit
Status: False. Collins has openly denied all stories of the legend, commenting in a BBC World Service interview that he had written the song while he was going through a divorce, and that it represents the angry and bitter side of a separation.
The urban legend was further fueled by the Eminem single, "Stan", where he makes a reference to the urban legend in the final verse rapped as the Stan character.