“I don’t want to live in my father’s house no more…”

The lyrics to Arcade Fire’s Windowsill have spoken to me since hearing the album Neon Bible for the first time years ago. Actually, that whole album is thought-provoking in many ways. But it was this song that came to my mind waking up after the election in the United States last month.

I’ve always been a floater socially. I know that’s a jump in topics, but stick with me because there is a point. In high school, I had friends and acquaintances in a lot of different groups, without truly belonging to any one group. It made me feel both alienated in some ways and free in others, because I never concerned myself with dressing or acting a certain way to fit in. And for someone getting over the scars of being bullied in the years leading up to high school, it felt safer to not dig in too deep anywhere. Sure, there were feelings of isolation sometimes, of never fitting in, of loneliness, but I was also given the opportunity to notice the similarities between individuals in different groups. We all struggle for the same things in life, and we’re all struggling for them alongside each other. And it would be far easier if we reached out a hand to help each other rather than hope that an entire group of people ceases to exist. That way leads to disaster for everyone.

I’m not entirely sure what the answer is. How can you help heal cognitive dissonance in a massive number of people? How do you help them to realize how much they are manipulated by various systems in such a way that doesn’t alienate them? It seems a herculean task, but a necessary one.

So despite my initial response, I am not leaving “my father’s house”, either physically or mentally. I intend to remain and do the work needed to build the society we could be living in. I intend to engage as much as possible with this time we find ourselves in. As part of that, I will start to blog about some ideas I have but don’t really have the knowledge to implement, and maybe some of you will be able to chime in, and maybe ideas can become realities.

Here are the full lyrics. Gives me goosebumps to read them.

I don’t wanna hear the noises on tv
I don’t want the salesmen coming after me
I don’t wanna live in my father’s house no more
I don’t want it faster, I don’t want it free
I don’t wanna show you what they done to me
I don’t wanna live in my father’s house no more
I don’t wanna choose black or blue
I don’t wanna see what they done to you
I don’t wanna live in my father’s house no more
Because the tide is high
And it’s rising still
And I don’t wanna see it at my windowsill
Don’t wanna give ’em my name and address
Don’t wanna see what happens next
Don’t wanna live in my father’s house no more
Don’t wanna live with my father’s debt
You can’t forgive what you can’t forget
Don’t wanna live in my father’s house no more
Don’t wanna fight in a holy war
Don’t want the salesmen knocking at my door
I don’t wanna live in america no more
Because the tide is high
And it’s rising still
And I don’t wanna see it at my windowsill
I don’t wanna see it at my windowsill
I don’t wanna see it at my windowsill
I don’t wanna see it at my windowsill
Mtv, what have you done to me?
Save my soul, set me free!
Set me free! what have you done to me?
I can’t breathe! I can’t see!
World war iii
When are you coming for me?
Been kicking up sparks
We set the flames free
The windows are locked now
So what’ll it be?
A house on fire, a rising sea?
Why is the night so still?
Why did I take the pill?
Because I don’t wanna see it at my windowsill!

Windowsill from Neon Bible
By Arcade Fire

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2 thoughts on ““I don’t want to live in my father’s house no more…”

  1. Your tween & teen years I love reading about. “Social Chameleons” are what my last counselor would call folks like us. Kindred spirits do actually exist, and I’m happy past couple years to keep finding them. 🙂

    Now, if only I could stop losing them, too…

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