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Thread: Tears For Fears - Infantilism references?

  1. #1
    Error404

    Default Tears For Fears - Infantilism references?

    Now, you all know me pretty well, I don't generally LOOK for infantilistic things in every day life, but after listening to a large amount of Tears For Fears songs, I find myself wondering if their lyricist was perhaps an infantilist. Some of their best and most famous songs have small little references, whilst one song in particular just REEKS of lost childhoods being relived.

    YouTube - Tears For Fears - Head Over Heels: Video - Head Over Heels. Small references in beginning and end.

    YouTube - Tears For Fears - Mad World - Mad World. Massive references to childhood.

    Now, the one that I think just SCREAMS infantilism is this one.

    YouTube - Tears For Fears - Advice For The Young At Heart: Final Cut - Advice for the young at heart. The whole song sounds as if it is ABOUT infantilism.

    I've put this in Mature Topics as I really believe this could spark both controversy and debate.

    What's your opinion?

    "While they play mothers and fathers, we play little boys and girls."

  2. #2

    Default

    Hmmm maybe its because of a lack of sleep, that I dont get what your talking about.

    But either I felt I should post about "Mad World" being a great song anyways.

  3. #3

    Default

    Oh yes! Another TFF fan, lol.

    Ok, a couple years ago (and still to this day) I was listening to TFF music practically non-stop. For whatever reason I love the band, lol. I know what you are talking about here, and I think I know the answer to your question:

    Tears For Fears is the name it's founding members (the biggest being Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal, btw) gave the band, as they took it from a form of psychotherapy coined by Arthur Janov. The therapy? Primal scream therapy. The idea of primal scream is to see yourself for who Janov felt most people who suffer from depression were, a badly hurt child that never got the help they needed, which is what causes their current depressed state.

    So, Janov's theory was that if people were able to unleash their adulthood, and slip back emotionally to when they were a baby (i.e. the primal time of life) they could scream and cry like a baby to remove that pent up pain. This theory has been *widely* discredited by now, but back in the late 70s/early 80s, Roland Orzabal was hooked on it. He thought it was the coolest thing ever and got his best friend Curt to come along with him.

    Why did they do it? Well, the commonly held believe is that the two had a fairly traumatic childhood. Part of the amazingness of this band is that pretty much anyone who's suffered from depression can listen to their lyrics and believe they are singing about growing up just the way they did. As an irony to the last statement, after very close inspection of this bands lyrics, as well as reading an interview that shed some light as to how Roland lives his daily life, I can honestly say that these two guys *do* suffer from the same disability that I have. They both of definite sensory issues, just thought I'd bring that up, lol.

    Anyhow, Roland even got voice therapy which enabled him to be able to scream at about the same pitch that a baby could (pretty freaky, huh? lol). So, whenever you hear him strike a really high note, that's the primal therapy that he had.

    A couple of other good lyrics for you from the band:

    -The Hurting (title track off their first album - 1983):
    Get in touch with the things you know
    Learn to cry like a baby
    Then the hurting won't come back; won't come back
    (during that song the synth makes an occasional baby cry-like noise)

    -Memories Fade (1983):
    With hungry joy, I'll be your toy, just hoping you will play
    Without the hope, my body starts to fail

    -(no particular lyrics from this, but Suffer the Children off of their first album has a lot to do with childhood as well. Their first album was pretty much all about primal therapy and was probably their best work in my opinion.)

    -I Believe (Songs from the Big Chair - 1985):
    I believe, no I don't believe that every time you hear a newborn scream
    You just can't see the shaping of a life

    I know there are plenty more references. I'll post them if I can remember them all. Yes, I know, I know *way* too much about this band. I just have to give them props because they obviously came through a lot of hardship in life but were able to sing about it, and it took them to the top of the music world for a little while. Gotta love that.

    Hoped that helped answer a few questions .

  4. #4
    Error404

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by spddan View Post
    Oh yes! Another TFF fan, lol.

    Ok, a couple years ago (and still to this day) I was listening to TFF music practically non-stop. For whatever reason I love the band, lol. I know what you are talking about here, and I think I know the answer to your question:

    Tears For Fears is the name it's founding members (the biggest being Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal, btw) gave the band, as they took it from a form of psychotherapy coined by Arthur Janov. The therapy? Primal scream therapy. The idea of primal scream is to see yourself for who Janov felt most people who suffer from depression were, a badly hurt child that never got the help they needed, which is what causes their current depressed state.

    So, Janov's theory was that if people were able to unleash their adulthood, and slip back emotionally to when they were a baby (i.e. the primal time of life) they could scream and cry like a baby to remove that pent up pain. This theory has been *widely* discredited by now, but back in the late 70s/early 80s, Roland Orzabal was hooked on it. He thought it was the coolest thing ever and got his best friend Curt to come along with him.

    Why did they do it? Well, the commonly held believe is that the two had a fairly traumatic childhood. Part of the amazingness of this band is that pretty much anyone who's suffered from depression can listen to their lyrics and believe they are singing about growing up just the way they did. As an irony to the last statement, after very close inspection of this bands lyrics, as well as reading an interview that shed some light as to how Roland lives his daily life, I can honestly say that these two guys *do* suffer from the same disability that I have. They both of definite sensory issues, just thought I'd bring that up, lol.

    Anyhow, Roland even got voice therapy which enabled him to be able to scream at about the same pitch that a baby could (pretty freaky, huh? lol). So, whenever you hear him strike a really high note, that's the primal therapy that he had.

    A couple of other good lyrics for you from the band:

    -The Hurting (title track off their first album - 1983):
    Get in touch with the things you know
    Learn to cry like a baby
    Then the hurting won't come back; won't come back
    (during that song the synth makes an occasional baby cry-like noise)

    -Memories Fade (1983):
    With hungry joy, I'll be your toy, just hoping you will play
    Without the hope, my body starts to fail

    -(no particular lyrics from this, but Suffer the Children off of their first album has a lot to do with childhood as well. Their first album was pretty much all about primal therapy and was probably their best work in my opinion.)

    -I Believe (Songs from the Big Chair - 1985):
    I believe, no I don't believe that every time you hear a newborn scream
    You just can't see the shaping of a life

    I know there are plenty more references. I'll post them if I can remember them all. Yes, I know, I know *way* too much about this band. I just have to give them props because they obviously came through a lot of hardship in life but were able to sing about it, and it took them to the top of the music world for a little while. Gotta love that.

    Hoped that helped answer a few questions .
    Well then! I hadn't expected such a thorough response! This DOES answer a good deal of thoughts I had about the songs and band in general.

    In your opinion though, given the nature of the song AND the therapy style used, would this make infantilism likely a theme of either the groups members or songs? Or is the theme more of lost childhood being relived whilst retaining adult like dignity?

    I know we can only really speculate on such, but it'd be nice to hear YOUR opinion as an avid fan.

    On another note, I threw you some +rep for the excellent post. Let's hope it takes you to VIP. ^_~

    Edit: Guess it did!
    Last edited by Error404; 17-Nov-2009 at 14:19.

  5. #5

    Default

    Error404, You may have have something here. The line you quoted," While they play mothers and fathers, we play little boys and girls " may just deal with the ' childhood-lost, and recaptured ' theme, but when some of the other lyrics of this song are factored in, it does seem to be more closely related to infantilism. We are all very aware that we, as *B/DL's, are " Living in a secret world...", and that line about " It would be O.K. to walk on tip-toes everyday." could be construed as a description of how toddlers move when they are first learning how to walk. When provided with physical support, so they don't fall flat on their face, most very young children initially walk on their tip-toes. I never gave any thought to these TFF lyrics when they first came out, I was either to busy lamenting the end of psychedelic pop and acid-rock, or to busy rejoicing over the death of ' Disco '. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, and thanks to spddan for the info. he provided. I am going to dig through my archived CD's and listen to these tunes again, and this time I will pay closer attention to the lyrics.

  6. #6

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Error404 View Post
    Well then! I hadn't expected such a thorough response! This DOES answer a good deal of thoughts I had about the songs and band in general.

    In your opinion though, given the nature of the song AND the therapy style used, would this make infantilism likely a theme of either the groups members or songs? Or is the theme more of lost childhood being relived whilst retaining adult like dignity?

    I know we can only really speculate on such, but it'd be nice to hear YOUR opinion as an avid fan.

    On another note, I threw you some +rep for the excellent post. Let's hope it takes you to VIP. ^_~

    Edit: Guess it did!

    First off, you're very welcome, and thank you very much . Very, *very* appreciative here.

    Ok, and as for my opinion on whether or not I think TFF may be, in at least some way, ABDLs. To be honest, who's to say? Anyone could have an interest in this sub-culture, being that their choice in therapy was so closely related, I wouldn't doubt it.

    Sure, I don't think you'd find any of their band members wearing diapers if you were to pry into their personal lives. But... then again... they've always been real private and don't even give many interviews. Here's the best interview I've read from any member of the band: Day in the Life of Roland Orzabal, from tearsforfearsfans.com

    He and Curt are an odd couple of guys, gotta say, so a quirk like this wouldn't be too far out there in my books. I see them as two different guys who grew up with some sort of neurological impairments (I've seen someone say they thought the two had Asperger's, but they probably didn't know about SPD, which is like an even higher functioning form of Asperger's), and at least one of them in particular probably suffered from some form of child abuse, although I haven't seen it actually spelled out anywhere.

    It is best exemplified in their 1993 song (after Curt had left the band, Roland sang this song about him), Fish Out of Water (an awesome song, btw):

    "We used to sit and talk about primal scream
    To exorsice our past was our adolescent dream
    But now it's sink or swim since your memory fails
    Now in Neptune's kitchen you will be food for killer whales
    And on the crucifix his mother made
    Hangs one more martyr to the hit parade"
    ----------

    They just keep singing about trying to deal with the past, so my best bet is that they are, in deed, singing mostly about wanting to relive, and relieve themselves of, their past. However, they were willing participants in a form of therapy that actually literally wanted them to forcefully relive their childhood, and since that includes screaming like a baby, I'm sure other ABish stuff was bound to result. Here's something I found on Wikipedia's 'Primal Therapy' article.

    -------------------------
    "Janov felt that much of the pain of childhood is the result of needs going unmet. Drawing from earlier psychologists, he described his take on the basic needs in his books.

    "Our first needs are solely physical ones for nourishment, safety and comfort. Later we have emotional needs for affection, understanding and respect for our feelings. Finally, intellectual needs to know and to understand emerge."[1]

    "Need is a total state of the human being - and at birth we are almost nothing but need."[2] Janov argued that for the helpless newborn, survival is at stake in nearly every second of existence.[2]

    Janov asserts that when needs go unfilled for too long, pain is the result"
    --------- (newbie question here, how do you hide text segments in a post?)

    And, I found this while doing some research. It is written by one of the therapists discussing what happens during some therapy sessions:

    "The client will often crawl to you like a baby in need of comforting. Getting the touch that one never got after a difficult birth is a good example, acting in a dialectic fashion and often taking the client to baby crying."

    Hmmmmm.... sounds pretty AB to me...

    To be honest, I don't know what to make of it all, but I would definitely say that the TFF guys wouldn't be too out of the ordinary on a group like this, lol.

  7. #7

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Error404 View Post
    YouTube - Tears For Fears - Mad World - Mad World. Massive references to childhood.

    Now, the one that I think just SCREAMS infantilism is this one.
    It refers to people realizing the world isn't as perfect as they thought it was when they were children. He asks his teacher whats his lesson since he craves instructions. Its a mad world simply since it is mad, in this case meaning crazy.

    He never sings about being a infant or toddler, but a school aged child, most likely in high school coming to the realization that life IS crazy and there are never any set paths for anyone.

  8. #8

    Default

    On top of spddan's great post, I'm gonna also say that wanting to relive childhood is a fairly common theme in... well, pretty much everything.

  9. #9
    Error404

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Chillhouse View Post
    On top of spddan's great post, I'm gonna also say that wanting to relive childhood is a fairly common theme in... well, pretty much everything.
    I agree, but not to the sort of level that TFF seem to explore. Spddans post really outlines why though, bringing a new level of interest to the themes outlined by the lyrics. I'm not saying they ARE infantilists, but the themes of such are arguably present and make for interesting discussion.

  10. #10

    Default

    Personally I've come to the belief that there likely is a link between the primal therapy topic and *BDLism. I suppose it's possible that there are some (though definitely not all) people in the *BDL community who are, whether they know it or not, trying to do just this, regress emotionally to a time in their life where they experienced some sort of bottled-up pain. Sure, we didn't all have a hard childhood, or any particularly daunting pain in our pasts to make this theory hold true for even a slim majority of the community, but I think it would make for some interesting research in the future.

    Aside from Tears For Fears, here's a music video I just found from another band from this time period/genre, with some potentially ABDL lyrics and theme. New Order's 1986 hit, True Faith: New Order - True Faith. Enjoy, lol. It's kinda funny, kinda weird, and kinda messed up, if you ask me. No, they weren't into the primal therapy thing to my knowledge, but this song has a lot to do with looking back onto childhood, and talking about the drug addiction he has now, lol. Let me know what you think.

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