I first heard this on a double LP I bought while in college, Peter Gabriel plays Live, a time when horizons seemed boundless and unlimited. It would pop up at cardinal points through out my life unbidden, yet strangely appropriate. I heard it while standing on the bow of a submarine, cutting through the waves, earphones secreted beneath my headset, phone book sized Walkman jammed under my life vest as I first laid my eyes on the bedlam and majesty of that was Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong.
It was playing on the jukebox when I was tending bar in a forgotten town in the Catskills the first time I saw the beautiful woman that would become my wife.
I heard it from a passing car ten years later, with fall in its full glory as I climbed a hill with my wife pregnant with our son in our new home of Farmington, Maine.
I learned much years after I first heard it, that Peter Gabriel wrote it about letting go, moving forward with both apprehension and hope. It has a unique sound written in 7/4 time, with the heart beat, the iconic boom...boom...boom....and the haunting flute hook it, can be mistaken for little else.
Watching my son grow older and start to pull away, I swim in a sea that is both bittersweet and joyous. Both my wife and I swell with pride to what he has become, yet yearn for the boy he was seemingly mere moments before. And like the songs says. "My heart going boom, boom, boom. Son," he said, "grab your things, I've come to take you home."
And this is why "Solsbury Hill" is music that moves me.