Games Without Frontiers By Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel 3: Melt

1980 | Pop

Spotify | Amazon

“"Whistling tunes we hide in the dunes by the seaside. -- Whistling tunes we piss on the goons in the jungle It's a knockout. -- If looks could kill they probably will. -- In games without frontiers-wars without tears.""


  • The song was Gabriel's first top-10 in the UK, peaking at No. 4. The song hit #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 here in the states.
  • The song included backing vocals by Kate Bush.
  • The song's title refers to Jeux Sans Frontières, a European TV show where teams representing a town or city in one of the participating countries would compete in games of skill, often while dressed in bizarre costumes.


Luke Tatum

Children's games can be brutal and cruel. But children grow up, and some of these destructive behaviors never leave the minds of people seeking power. I'm recalling the book "Ender's Game." Ender's brother is a psychopath who ends up in charge of the Earth's government. Ender plays games that have some incredible consequences, but I won't ruin too much for those that haven't read it.

Sherry Voluntary

"Peter Gabriel is just tops! This song has such great imagery.

“Andre has a red flag, Chiang Ching's is blue. They all have hills to fly them on except for Lin Tai Yu. Dressing up in costumes, playing silly games. Hiding out in tree-tops shouting out rude names. Whistling tunes we hide in the dunes by the seaside. Whistling tunes we piss on the goons in the jungle. It's a knockout”

This sounds like children, but really the folks who run and work for the war machine are just big children playing twisted games of king of the mountain. They run around in their funny costumes and kill each other and lots of others. The only thing that makes it not laughable is that the consequences are so terrible. As libertarians we should take every opportunity to speak out against the warmongers and their terrible games. Real people are damaged every day.

Nicky P

If not for a few lines in the song I'd assume it was a silly song about a TV show. There is that layer to it of course but the line im thinking of also got removed from many versions of the song. I'm not sure who these goons they were pissing on were but someone felt threatened by those lyrics. At it's core tho i think this song is a comedic take on the idea of territorial affiliation. It paints the ideas of territorial fighting as childish. In an absolute property rights sense i think protecting your property is important, however I see issues with trying to expand that definition to some sort of nationalistic concept. The idea of a nation owning things perverts the concept of ownership so incredibly to me. Certainly as it starts to carry implicit contractual obligations that cannot be opted out of. It's the one thread that still holds us to the monarchies of old. We refuse to give up on collectivizing into nations and going to war over tribal nonsense.

Created By
Nicky P

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