I Am Not Afraid
Lyrics Owen Pallett

Written by: Owen Pallett

Produced by: Owen Pallett

I am not afraid, ze said, of the non-believer within me.
No delight at the pain of my enemies, no tears for any friends I have lost.
You are not alone, I said; it is a trial to keep my belief suspended.
I leave my violin unattended in a cab or a restaurant.
And then when ze started to sing, nobody could've called them crazy.
Open chord forever unchanging, holy eternal drone.

I'll never have any children, I'd bear them and eat them, my children.
I'm gonna change my body in the light and the shadow of suspicion.
I am no longer afraid; the truth doesn't terrify us, terrify us.
My salvation is found in discipline, discipline.

I haven't had a smoke in years but I will catch a drag if you are smoking.
They told me to chew on a toothpick, they told me to take a deep breath.
What is better is to punch a wall, to bin the boxes of your old love letters,
To be impassive to the words that could save you, to need to see the world as ash.

And I'll never have any children, I would bear them and confuse them, my children.
And I'm not at all afraid of changing but I don't know what good it would do me.
I am no longer afraid; the truth doesn't terrify us, terrify us.
My salvation is found in discipline, discipline.

Song facts

In the lyrics, the pronouns ze/they/them refer to one person. The song was inspired by a gender-nonspecific person who uses these pronouns interchangeably. Owen explained, "I did not want the aggressive statement of 'I'll never have any children' to be ascribed upon a specific gender. I deliberately kept the aggressive sentiments of this song spread out over a variety of voices; self, other, various gender states. Seeing as the last album dealt heavily with author/subject binary, I wanted to immediately establish that these definitions within In Conflict are more fluid."

In Owen's view, having children as a homosexual is more of an administrative process as opposed to being a direct extension of his romantic life. While he feels that he wants children, the administrative process gives him pause. The song is in part "a statement of support and sympathy and compatriotism to other people who, by choice or for biological reasons, have decided upon a childless future."


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