WATCH: Did Genesis bizarrely predict Britain’s Giant Hogweed nightmare 44 years ago? 


Rockers Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and the rest of Genesis appear to have predicted the current plant plague that is sweeping Britain, more than four decades ago.

The ealy version of rock band Genesis (looking and sounding nothing like the more polished 1980s version fronted by Collins after Gabriel left) were at the heart of the “Prog Rock” scene alongside Pink Floyd and Yes.

Gabriel, then lead singer, with 1970s standard long hair, shouts his way through the 1971 track “The Return of the Giant Hogweed” released on album Nursery Cryme.

The Environment Agency this week warned Britons of the risk posed by the non-native Giant Hogweed, which can cause serious burns, and is spreading across all four corners of theBritish Isles at an alarming rate.

The plant has left at least six people – including five children – with serious injuries in the last week alone.

The agency warned the plant that leaves hideous blisters had colonised the country’s river banks and canal paths.

In the track released at the start of the seventies Gabriel shrieks: “Turn and run!

Nothing can stop them, around every river and canal their power is growing.”

The release went on to say they were now also thriving in urban areas and cities away from water, which “until recently” were “unaffected by its spread.”

But in the next verse Gabriel appears to predict the current problem as he roars: “Stamp them out! We must destroy them, they infiltrate each city with their thick dark warning odour.”

The song also warned of the difficulty ridding the country of the invasive weed which can grow a triffid-sized five metres tall, and our inability to develop a defence to its spread.

The chorus sounds: “They are invincible, They seem immune to all our herbicidal battering.”

The song, which has the band’s then trademark folky-rock sound and church-organ riffs, correctly told how the weed had arrived herefrom Russia to Kew Gardens in London before spreading out.

It appears those responsible for combating the ferocious flora missed a trick by not listening to one of the song’s suggested ways of dealing with the menace.

It is known the plant’s toxic sap is only harmful if someone is exposed to it in sunlight.

Gabriel told of a ploy to rid them from our shores with nocturnal assaults on the plant.

In another line he sings: “Hurry now, we must protect ourselves. Strike by night!

They are defenceless. They all need the sun to photosensitize their venom.”

The track suggests the current outbreak is the plant’s “revenge” for being removed from their homeland, in the line: “Botanical creature stirs, seeking revenge.

“Soon they escaped, spreading their seed, preparing for an onslaught, threatening the human race.”

let’s just hope the final apparent prediction in the song is not bourne out as Gabriel ends the tune wailing: “Mighty Hogweed is avenged. Human bodies soon will know our anger.

Kill them with your Hogweed hairs.”

Genesis – The Return Of The Giant Hogweed Lyrics

Turn and run!

Nothing can stop them,

Around every river and canal their power is growing.

Stamp them out!

We must destroy them,

They infiltrate each city with their thick dark warning odour.

They are invincible,

They seem immune to all our herbicidal battering.

Long ago in the Russian hills,

A Victorian explorer found the regal Hogweed by a marsh,

He captured it and brought it home.

Botanical creature stirs, seeking revenge.

Royal beast did not forget.

He came home to London,

And made a present of the Hogweed to the Royal Gardens at Kew.

Waste no time!

They are approaching.

Hurry now, we must protect ourselves and find some shelter

Strike by night!

They are defenceless.

They all need the sun to photosensitize their venom.

Still they’re invincible,

Still they’re immune to all our herbicidal battering.

Fashionable country gentlemen had some cultivated wild gardens,

In which they innocently planted the Giant Hogweed throughout the land.

Botanical creature stirs, seeking revenge.

Royal beast did not forget.

Soon they escaped, spreading their seed,

Preparing for an onslaught, threatening the human race.

Mighty Hogweed is avenged.

Human bodies soon will know our anger.

Kill them with your Hogweed hairs

HERACLEUM MANTEGAZZIANI

Songwriters: GABRIEL, PETER / BANKS, ANTHONY / HACKETT, STEVEN / RUTHERFORD, MICHAEL

The Return Of The Giant Hogweed lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, CARLIN AMERICA INC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

 

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