Another Day In Paradise
“I didn't set out to write a song about the homeless.” That was the response when Phil Collins was asked about the genesis of ‘Another Day In Paradise’, a song that addresses the consequences of ignoring the needy and homeless.
While playing around at the piano, Collins said, “I decided to see what would happen when I started singing. When I began, the words just came out, 'She calls out to the man on the street.' Those were just the words I happened to sing. It was only then that I decided that was what the song would be about."
Prior to penning ‘Another Day In Paradise’, Phil Collins was in Washington, DC where he was surprised by the extent of the homelessness. “I was amazed by how many people I saw living in boxes.”
“These people were trying to sleep on the grills where all the hot air was coming up, and you could see that it was in the shadow of Capitol Hill.”
While the song shines a light on the issue, it also made Phil Collins realize that, when confronted with homelessness, he too reacts the same as most everyone else. "What the song deals with is people's awkwardness with homelessness,” says Collins.
“When it happened to me, I just walked straight past. I thought, I'm doing the same thing as everybody else. I felt awkward. That's what the song deals with, people just sort of starting to pretend it's not happening."
The black-and-white music video, featuring Phil Collins performing the song interspersed with images of homelessness, was nominated for but did not win a Grammy Award. Collins did win a Grammy for Record of the Year and a Brit Award for Best Single.