For Absent friends can be found on Nursery Cryme and it takes us on a journey in time from the perspective of a widowed couple. A simple track under 2 minutes that is amazing song.The couple attend church together, and reflect upon their past friendships and people they have lost. Steve Hackett and Phil Collins are credited for writing this little gem. (Although the album gives credit to all five members)
This song reflects a writing style that would continue long into the modern era of Genesis. The band would continue to write songs that ask us to look at our lives through a looking glass per say. Whether it was Duchess, Ripples, Man on the Corner or No Son of Mine, the lyrics ask us to "take a look back." Some songs can be haunting like Dreaming While You Sleep as they explore the dark side of human experiences.
For some fans, the mythical allegorical lyrics mean the most to them. For me, it is the songs like "For Absent Friends" that mean the most. They challenge me to understand another person's world, one that I may not understand. The challenges that people must face in a lifetime define who they are as a person. Trauma or life changing events can only be understood by the individual, and we can only see their life through our own prism, which casts doubts whether they are one of us. This darker side of imagery is what makes Genesis songs truly special.