Skip to toolbar

Peter Gabriel ~ Moribund The Burgermeister

I saw Peter Gabriel perform this song with the same staging at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco in 1978. I had eaten a handful of magic mushrooms prior to the show and I remember the part where he dropped to the floor and the lights coming up from underneath him and the vocal processing having a particularly profound impact on me.

I don’t know if Moribund The Burgermeister was ever released as a single, but if Gabriel ever does release it (again), he should use Damian’s picture for the sleeve. I took one at it and this song popped in my head.

Caught in the chaos in the market square
I don’t know what, I don’t know why, but something’s wrong down there
Their bodies twistin’ and turnin’ in a thousand ways
The eyes all rollin’ round and round into a distant gaze
Ah, look at that crowd!

Some are jumping up in the air say “We’re drowning in a torrent of blood!”
Others going down on their knees, seen a saviour coming out of the mud
Oh Mother! It’s eating out my soul
Destroying law and order, I’m gonna lose control

What can I do to stop this plague, spread by sight alone
Just a glimpse and then a quiver, then they shiver to the bone
Ah, look at them go!

Bunderschaft, you are going daft? Better seal off the castle grounds
“This is Moribund, the Burgermeister, I’m gonna keep this monster down,
Somebody sent the subversive element; going to chase it out of town.”
No-one will tell what all this is about
But I will find out.

This thing’s really outrageous, I tell you on the level
It’s really so contagious must be the work of the devil
You better go now, pick up the pipers, tell them to play
Seems the music keeps them quiet, there is no other way.
Ah, close the doors!”

We’ve tried potions and waxen dolls, but none of us could find any cures, “
Mother please, is it just a disease, that has them breaking all my laws,
Check if you can disconnect the effect and I’ll go after the cause
No-one will tell what this is all about
But I will find out
I will.