"Games Without Frontiers" Meaning?

Does the song “Games Without Frontiers” have any meaning or make any statement? Or, is it just a bunch of jibberish spun into a song?

It likens nationalism and militarism to a TV game show.

Since your question was answered, I’ll take this opportunity…

Of course, nothing can beat the original by Peter Gabriel with Kate Bush, but I’ve always loved this super cool cover by Bob Holroyd and HTR since I first heard it. It’s one of my favorite cover versions.

It’s called a metaphor.

Uh, yeah…I got that much, assuming there’s some meaning to be found here. To me, it’s just jibberish. I’m not sure what Gabriel’s point is.

Jeez! It’s “gibberish” because he’s likening war etc to childish games and name calling - clear enough for you now?


That’s not cryptic. It’s about war. Paul Simon, now, that’s often cryptic. What did the Mama saw that was against the law? Why should I be your bodyguard and call you Al?

Earlier question about “Games Without Frontiers.”

Damn, time flies!

As songs go, it’s a knockout! :slight_smile:

Wow, no need for the vitriol.

A better thread would be: “What did you think Peter Gabriel was saying in English when you first heard the (French) line Jeux Sans Frontières?”

I always thought it was, “She’s some funky lady” or something similar…

“She’s so popular.” Made no sense at all to me, which was later cleared up when I learned what he was really singing.

I didn’t see any vitriol. But the meaning of the song couldn’t be clearer if Gabriel hung post-it notes on every line. It’s probably the least obscure extended metaphor in the history of rock. How could anyone possibly not get it?

I thought it was “She’s so punctual.”

You mean what she was really singing–that’s Kate Bush singing the French line.

Love Gun…just Love Gun.

Hand raise.

Yes. The words in the song reference war. That much is clear. But, the phrase and title ‘games without frontiers’ makes little sense if you’ve never heard of the show.

Why is war like a game without frontiers? What is a game without frontiers, anyway?

Yes. The answers have solved that mystery, but if you don’t know the show, there’s a significant knowledge gap.

Huh. I thought it was Gabriel in falsetto. Ignorance fought. Again.

That’s what I thought the line was for years until I read this thread and learned otherwise. Learn something new here every day, one does!

To me it sounded (and still sounds) like “she is so frumpy now”, which I knew couldn’t be correct so I settled for “she is so popular”.

I’ve always gotten what the song is about but didn’t know about the game so thanks for enlightening me about that. It adds a little something, I think.