Homeless Persons Memorial Day Music – Song #120

Genesis
“Man on the Corner” —

Genesis were an English rock band that formed in Surrey, England in 1967. The most commercially successful and longest-lasting line-up consisted of keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins.

The band underwent significant changes in personnel and musical style over its career from folk music to progressive rock in the 1970’s before moving towards pop by the end of the decade.  They sold between 100 and 150 million records worldwide during that time. “Man on the Corner” is a song written and sung by drummer Phil Collins and was released in March 1982. The song peaked at #41 on the UK Singles Chart and #40 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

The lyrics describe a man who spends his days on a street corner, shouting at people as they pass by. The song was composer Phil Collins’ first song about the homeless epidemic and society’s reluctance to help homeless people find resolutions. Near the end of the 1980’s, Collins would revisit the theme of homelessness again in“Another Day in Paradise” as a solo artist.

Genesis has won numerous awards for their work including a Grammy Award and the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

See the lonely there on the corner,
What he’s waitin’ for, I don’t know,
But he waits every day now,
He’s just waitin’ for something to show.

And nobody knows him,
And nobody cares,
‘Cuz there’s no hiding place,
There’s no hiding place – for you.

Looking everywhere at no one,
He sees everything and nothing at all – oh,
When he shouts nobody listens,
Where he leads no one will go – oh.

He’s a lonely man there on the corner,
What he’s waiting for  I don’t know,
But he waits every day now,
He’s just waitin’ for that something to show – oh.

Nobody knows him,
And nobody cares,
‘Cause there’s no hiding place,
There’s no hiding place – for you and me.

Are we just like all the rest,
We’re looking to hard for something he’s got,
Or moving to fast to rest,
But like a monkey on your back you need it,
But do you love it enough to leave it – ah.

Just like the lonely man there on the corner,
What he’s waiting for I don’t know – oh,
But he waits every day now,
He’s just waiting for that something to show – oh.

Who’s the lonely man down on the corner,
What he’s waiting for I don’t know,
But he’s there every day now,
And he’s just waiting for something to show – oh,
Who’s the lonely man down on the corner,
What he’s waiting for I don’t know,
And he’s just waiting for something to show – oh.

Who’s the lonely man down on the corner,
What he’s waiting for I don’t know,
Oh he waits every day now,
He’s just waiting for that something to show.

See an entire collection of songs relating to homelessness here!

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About the Author

Tim Houchen
Tim Houchen was homeless and living at the Santa Ana Civic Center between 2011 and 2015. He began advocating for the homeless community there while he was still homeless as a founding member of the infamous Civic Center Roundtable. The “grass roots” organization was composed of homeless individuals living at the civic center and Houchen was elected to serve as the groups first official spokesman in 2014. Tim is now in permanent supportive housing and lives in the City of Anaheim where he serves as a Commissioner of Housing and Community Development. Tim is also a member of the Orange County Continuum of Care and serves as Co-Chairman of the Homeless Providers Forum. He founded the nonprofit, Hope 4 Restoration, in 2017 and serves as Executive Director of the organization. Houchen created this site as a vehicle to share his knowledge, information and most of all, his experience which allows him to view the current homeless crisis in Orange County from a different and very unique perspective, a “Homeless Perspective.”

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