(Birthday) Song Lyric Sunday 3/18/18 – Mr. Pessimist

How interesting that Song Lyric Sunday fell on my birthday this year. As of 11:32 AM CDT (which was 9:32 MST at the time – was born in NM and at the time March was still on standard time), I will have completed 31 trips around the sun, but man I feel 10 years younger than that now that I’ve been released from the clutches of my shitty old job and DFW(TF).

OK, I digress. Shadows was a topic I had to think HARD about. The lyric that first came to mind for me is part of a song I’d featured not too long after I started participating in SLS (namely the lyric “my shadow is the only one that walks beside me”) and I don’t think I’ve been doing this long enough to do reduxes (reduces? reduci? what the hell is the plural form of the word “redux?” English majors help me out).

When I was batting zero thinking of literal shadows, I decided to go back to the sort of secondary theme that I’ve injected for today – birthdays. For the longest time in my life I lamented birthdays. During a period from about 2012-2015 I HATED my birthday because I resented what it represented – my birth. During that time in my life I resented being alive, resented that I was ever born and even resented my parents for bringing me into the world without my consent. I burned every birthday card I received, rejected gifts, had to resist myself from just ripping anyone who wished me “happy birthday” a new one and even told an ex-friend who had planned a surprise birthday party for me to take that stupid party and shove it so far up her ass she puked it out the other end (my exact words paraphrased for past tense and third person). Yeah, that lost friendship was totally my doing. I admit it.

Of course, things are better now even though I’m still for all intents and purposes an antinatalist. I still say had you given me the choice a priori I’d have chosen not to have been brought into existence, but these days it’s more of a purely philosophical argument rather than one coming from emotional turmoil and I no longer consider my life bad enough to end prematurely.

Still though, the metaphorical “shadow” of depression and pessimistic thinking often hangs over me. I always seem to make mountains out of molehills and have irrational fears and gutteral reactions due largely to a feedback loop that I got stuck in through my really tough times. It’s hard not to fall back into what is familiar and dare I say comfortable even when that comfort zone is something that is just not good for one’s well-being.

So with that – I’ve chosen pessimism as a metaphor for a shadow (because it does feel like a shadow has been cast over you when you feel that way) and I’m featuring a song around that. As such, the song I have chosen is “Mr. Pessimist” – a 1993 song from the album Elemental. As for who the song is by, well, who did you THINK I was going to feature on my birthday? Yeah, that’s what I thought (written by Roland Orzabal and Alan Griffiths).

Time will swallow
Your precious time
Like magic create the future

What makes man so fickle ?
Who put the daggers in those eyes ?
Was it to learn
Through dark days of struggle ?
Was it to burn
To burst all our bubbles ?
Thunder and rain
Well the cynicle flame will it heat, stick and blister ?
Thunder and rain

Evangelistic brother
Should be banging a tambourine
Go wash your hands and fingers
Till your mind is clean

Was it your fate
To sleep like a normal ?
Time and decay
No man is immortal
Thunder and rain
Boredom and pain lit the cynical flame
Will it heat stick and blister ?
Thunder and rain
Still try to resist the pessimist
The pessimist no no

And these things I find
In the back of my mind
Where time lasts forever
I get all mixed
Think I’m all mankind

Listen Mr Pessimister
With your Catholic taste
Oh listen Mr Pessimister Pessimister
We do not relate
Listen Mr Pessimister, Pessimister, Pessimister
Mr Pessimister
Source: Lyrics in video description. 

Well, there you have it. I probably talked way too damn much in this post, but I guess so it goes. Thanks for everyone who stuck around and completed this SLS post in its entirety. I appreciate it.

10 thoughts on “(Birthday) Song Lyric Sunday 3/18/18 – Mr. Pessimist

  1. I never would have thought this was a TFF song. Except the voice gives it away. Of course, I really only know their big 80s stuff. This is a great jazzy song.
    I’m glad you’re coming out of the shadow of pessimism.
    Lá Breithe Shona Duit!


    • This album was a fair bit different. This was the first album Roland released as a solo act (Curt had left the band by then). Curt and Roland got back together in 2000 and have released some stuff since then also.


  2. Happy (belated) Birthday!

    I’ve always been an optimist at heart… or maybe that’s a realist? I don’t know. I just know I’m not a pessimist, but I have faced and worked through some very dark days, so I understand the theme of this song very well. I love the haunting quality of his voice combined with the lyrics. Great choice!


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