Song Lyric Sunday 1/15/17 – Pale Shelter

Yes, I know what so many of you are probably thinking, “ANOTHER Tears for Fears song?!?!?!?” Well yes, another one indeed.

This week’s theme for Song Lyric Sunday is to post a song about the parent/child relationship. Now, “Pale Shelter” might seem like an awfully weird choice to apply to that relationship but when it comes to the story of my life, I think it fits perfectly.

First off, I am adamantly childfree so I can’t post anything from the perspective of a parent as I do not have, nor do I ever want, children. It’s just not the right life choice for me. However, my relationship with my own parents closely mirrors the theme of this song (manipulation and gaslighting). See, my biological parents divorced before I was even born. I’ve never actually met my biological father, but my mother used to always talk shit about him and whatnot. Then my stepfather comes into the picture and doubles down on that. They painted the picture that my biological father was a deadbeat and a piece of shit and I didn’t know anything different so I believed them.

Then one day, when I was a senior in college, my half-sister (whom I didn’t even know existed at the time) messaged me on MySpace (yes, this happened that long ago for those who remember MySpace) and introduced her to me as such. I always knew it was a possibility I had half-siblings, but now it was confirmed. Then a bit later, for the first time I spoke to my biological father. It was a difficult thing for me to ask, but I asked him why he did what he did. He then proceeded to tell me his version of events and he also sent me the documentation to back his story up. For 21 years my mother and stepfather outright lied to me and manipulated me into irrationally hating my biological father.

I really tried to develop a relationship with both my half-sister and biological father but I was unfortunately never able to. Due to irreconcilable differences we’ve stopped talking and I think my biological father has probably since passed away. Alas, learning this new information irreparably damaged my relationship with my mother and stepfather. We still get along and we’ve made amends, but there is still some anger and resentment over it from my perspective.

In addition, I received an all out lack of love from my mother and stepfather. They were very ill-equipped to deal with a special needs child and thus I was the victim of physical abuse as well. The only person in the household growing up who actually loved and cared for me was my great-grandmother, and this is a huge reason I have her memorialized on my body in the form of a tattoo.

These are the reasons I chose this song. Written by Roland Orzabal (the band’s main songwriter) it really seems vague enough it can refer to any kind of relationship in which one is manipulated or gaslit (be it romantic, parent/child or otherwise). This is one of the group’s older songs (1982) and was featured on their debut album The Hurting.

How can I be sure?
When your intrusion is my illusion
How can I be sure
When all the time you changed my mind
I asked for more and more
How can I be sure

When you don’t give me love (You gave me pale shelter)
You don’t give me love (you give me cold hands)
And I can’t operate on this failure
When all I want to be is
Completely in command

How can I be sure
For all you say you keep me waiting
How can I be sure
When all you do is see me through
I asked for more and more
How can I be sure

When you don’t give me love (You gave me pale shelter)
You don’t give me love (you give me cold hands)
And I can’t operate on this failure
When all I want to be is
Completely in command

I’ve been here before
There is no why, no need to try
I thought you had it all
I’m calling you, I’m calling you
I ask for more and more
How can I be sure

When you don’t give me love (You gave me pale shelter)
You don’t give me love (you give me cold hands)
And I can’t operate on this failure
When all I want to be is
Completely in command

You don’t give me love
You don’t give me love

You don’t give me love
You don’t give me love

You don’t give me love
You don’t give me love
Source: https://play.google.com/music/preview/Ttn5wdmpyawisvus6c6jzmk2uma?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics&u=0#

Wow, sorry this turned into such a long Song Lyric Sunday post. Please forgive me and also forgive me for being a bit of a Danny Downer. This was just a tough subject for me is all.

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5 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday 1/15/17 – Pale Shelter

  1. Not a warm and fuzzy parent/child story, but that’s life. Tears For Fears is always the right choice for a song. They are my favourite. Glad you participated in this week’s post, even if it was hard. I find the subject rather tricky too, as I may never have any children of my own, and I feel differently about that on different days. Lots to think about. Music always makes it all just a little more bearable.

    Like

    • Thanks. It was difficult indeed. Often times the parent/child story does get complicated and difficult, and my case was such a case. I’m sorry to hear of your own personal struggles in this area too. Hope things work out for you.

      Like

  2. I was lucky in that I have my own children to highlight and love or I may have come up with something as equally down – my relationship with my parents is a tough one as well. But sometimes it’s good to share how you’re feeling (especially in the form of music). So, thank you for sharing.

    You’re turning me into a Tears for Fears fan, for sure!! 🙂

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    • Sorry to hear you have a rough relationship with your parents as well. I imagine you sort of related to the lyrics of this song as well then.

      Alas, glad to know I’m turning you into a fan. They’re definitely an underrated band IMO.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, the lyrics were very relatable. I wish everyone had a good relationship with their parents; it shapes so much of our lives. But, life isn’t like that I suppose. Thanks again for sharing your favorite band with us. 😉

        Like

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