Peter Gabriel's "games without frontiers"

Does it mean anything? I figure that it’s probably full of symbolism that I don’t understand. And then there’s one line that is completely ambiguous. It sounds like "Shere so " and then any three syllables if you’re imaginative.


Probably “Jeux Sans Fronteires,” French for “Games Without Frontiers.” It is frequently misheard as “She’s So Popular.”

“Jeux sans frontieres” are the “Shere so” and ambiguous lines sung by the amazing Kate Bush.

I’ll leave someone else to take a stab at the rest.

Possible meaning: plea for unity amongst various cultures and nationalities. YMMV

Wow! That was fast. Thanks!

I don’t exactly know what Peter Gabriel was getting at (neither does he, I suspect), but Jeux Sans Frontieres was the name of a very successful TV game show of the 1970s. It involved teams of e.g. Swiss dentists and accountants representing their European towns in games such as Walking Across A Slippery Rotating Pole While Wearing A Silly Costume. Back then, this was enough to top the ratings across Europe.

So I suppose Mr Gabriel was being terribly clever, juxtaposing a familiar TV gameshow with the serious business of nuclear disarmament.

You’re not the only person who’s wondered.

A grab bag of names of obviously varying nationality, playing together. Then Adolf builds a bonfire, and the Italian kid joins him in playing with it. This sours the game for everyone.

References to D-Day beaches and Vietnam jungle. It’s all a silly game, just like 1970s TV “It’s A Knockout” derived from the French format “Jeux Sans Frontieres”.

Most kids have different flags, but they’re each got a homeland, except the little Asian girl, who appears to be disposessed of a nation. So we’ll play dress up and run around like children calling each other daft names.

More tune whistling and a reference to goons in the jungle.

All and all a dark look at what happens when international relations go bad, cleverly using a ridiculous game show and childs play as a juxposition.

My younger brother and I loved that song. We were about 11 and 12 when we memorized the lyrics and would belt it out over dinner or in the car.

Good memories…