Sandwiched between the two songs you know from Tears For Fears’ monster breakthrough album, Songs From the Big Chair, is one of my favorite songs of all time. That is to say, it’s not “Shout” or “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” although they are both fine songs.
When I was a kid at summer camp, I once got stuck in the washing machine building during a hail storm, which was no easy thing to deal with as it had a tin roof and sounded something like what I imagine it is like to be under fire, except without all the fear of being killed. Well, maybe a little of it. During that, I listened to this song about fifteen times in a row on my walkman. I lost count after a while. Speaking of fear, most Tears For Fears songs are angsty and dealing with this theme. Good name, right? Only Rage Against the Machine have a moniker better dealing with their subject matter. TFF’s first album, The Hurting, was all about their terrible childhoods and all the melodramatic detritus that remained. The second record had the exact same tone but delved into various other topics as well. What I think this song deals with is a sort of Marxist “the owners of the means of production torture the workers and this causes FEAR.” I don’t know, I’m still not sure. But it’s the sort of sad and desperate tone over a lush, dark, and jazzy groove that I love best. I always liked Curt’s songs better in TFF but this is a Roland song and his voice really suits it. Find out what this fear is about indeed.
And now a bonus photo essay as I was at my camp today. I’ve mentioned this before, but my parents both worked there and I was sort of raised there. I go back fairly often for one reason or another. If you can go back in time, I suggest you set yourself up to grow up in a summer camp. It’s fantastic.
This is the washing machine building with the tin roof. Sort of. Something must have happened to it because they built this shiny, new, exact replica in its place. A group of teenage boys was making a racket within as I took this photo. Don’t let that take away from the peaceful easy feeling you get. Really makes you think of laundry, doesn’t it?
Now, just to remind you, the picture in the sidebar comes from this camp and I did once post an updated photo (sans me in the stripey pants with mud) to show you it looks the same. Today, though, there was an actual puddle! And so, here’s a better update.
(Sidebar photo enlarges upon your click if you want to see better. Even if you don’t)
If you are like me and are shopping for a new refrigerator, it may give you pause to know that this one is the same one I grew up with and actually pre-dates me. I think it is about forty years old. Still works like a charm and is, uh, just as attractive.
It doesn’t fit inside the bunk, it’s on the porch. But this is OK, I’m not sure how one could get curtains to match it.
I may have shared stories about volunteering at the local mental institution when I was a teenager. Or not, I have a mind like a sieve. But that place and the people in it have stuck in my mind all my days. What I’m sure I haven’t told you, though, is that the Metro-North train stop is in the middle of the institution. While I’m sure that was convenient for visiting your loony loved one, it’s a little freaky to be waiting for the train home. Even if the place is no longer operational. Somehow, a desolate, abandoned institution is even freakier.
Now you’re in the mood for angst, aren’t you?
Tears for Fears – The Working Hour
Streaming audio available on the iPod Song of the Week page.