Peter Gabriel’s most recent album was called UP. It contained a song titled, “Growing Up.” I have sort of grown up with Peter Gabriel, and it has been rather shocking to watch Gabriel’s youthful self transformed into the Old Man of the Mountains. But you know, growing up has its virtues. (And age doesn’t seemed to have prevented him from having a son in 2008. Gabriel was born in 1950.)
Last night I discovered that there are videos of Gabriel singing the same song live, and solo, over a period of twenty five years. Gabriel’s interpretations of “Here Comes the Flood” support those who believe that we become ourselves as we express ourselves over time. Or perhaps we just become more capable of divining the depths of our earlier work. (“Here Comes the Flood,” in my view, is not Gabriel’s very best work. This doesn’t matter. It is a song that gets better over time.)
You don’t have to listen to all of the earlier performances. A minute or so will do. And then watch and listen to the most recent one. His voice doesn’t have the range it once did, but….