I was up and out my mother’s house at 17.
Been a grown-assed married man ever since.
Family reunions, I'm talked about but never seen,
’Cause I learned that some of them can be your nemesis.
Got a lot of scars on me, and I'll tell you the stories if
You promise not to take offense, Homie.
Sit back; let hand bring the beat in.
I'll try to find a place that starts to make sense now.
The first time I was pushed out blind,
Cold and naked, spanked on the ass to breathe,
An immigrant from heaven on earth with a work visa,
I announced myself with gasping screams.
Before blatant white supremacy heisted my innocence,
I was living out life behind the picket fence,
Happy-go-lucky, scared of no one,
With only the exception I'm allergic to the sun.
Didn't know I had a image that a camera couldn't capture,
One hundred percent Allah’s manufacture.
But then came the laughter, and outside I'm battered,
Picket fence shattered.
I saw my self as bastard tagalong, harassed and spat upon
By the children of slave masters, who passed it on.
The saddest songs have been sung at the hands of who I call the race from hell.
It’s a disgrace from hell.
Fell face first in the self-hate.
Burst into tears when I’d hear my own hellish name cursed.
If I seem timid, its only because every mirror that I saw back then had the earth’s ugliest human being in it.
And with that said, they would kick me ‘til they got tired or I act dead.
And I have to tell ya'll the obvious part
Is I always feel free when I'm talking to God.
Alone on the playground, Friday afternoon,
And the old Sister, who hums gospel tunes,
I saw her, noticed her, getting closer.
She approached me and put a knowing hand on my shoulder,
And booked my feelings,
’Cause she looked at me in a way that adults very seldom look at children.
And with the wisdom only earned by years,
She read my thoughts and she welled up with tears, and said,

"You look the way you do because you're special;
Not the short bus way, I mean that God's gonna test you.
And all of this pain is training for the day when you
Will have to lead with the gift God gave to you.
Grown folks don't see it but the babies do.
And there's a chance that you can save a few."
And time would prove that, she started my movement.
She didn't tell me to take it - she told me to use it.

The second time, poppa ripped the womb open early
And exposed me to the coldness of life prematurely.
Where mom's love used to live, now housed denial
And when that decayed, it made her bitter and spiteful.
But me and my runaway, we share something special.
Rode into the sunset, could barely touch the pedals,
No strings attached, screaming, "fuck Geppetto."
We may live in the gutter, but we cling to each other.

A week before my son came I caught a bad bounce
And had to step to mom with my hands out.
And momma proved the two of us could not live in that house.
She lied to the police so they would throw us in the streets.
And separating from you is something I feel I must do.
It’s not that I don't love you; it’s more that I don't trust you.
It’s been a year since I've seen a living relative
And it's just now that I'm starting to live.
But while I'm sitting here, choking on tears, wishing I didn't care,
Feeling all alone in this hemisphere, I swear upon everything I hold dear.
And then my wife come near and I hear her voice whisper in my ear:

"You're going through all of this because you're special,
Not no superstar shit, I mean that God had to test you.
And all of this pain has been training for the day when you
would lead us with the gift God gave to you.
Your parents might not see it but your babies do.
And there's a chance that you can save a few."
And time would prove that, she started my movement.
She didn't tell me to take it, she told me to use it.

So I use it.


Lyrics submitted by Totoro

Picket Fence song meanings
Add your thoughts

5 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General Commentthis is, in my opinion, the best song on Shadows on the Sun.
    clifflesniakon December 04, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat lyrics
    benb1423on January 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with clifflesniak. This song is definitely my favorite of of Shadows on the Sun.

    The message is amazing in this song. How even if you're different, you're that way, because God is testing you, making you stronger. How every person is a gift with potential, you just have to find.
    memorandaon March 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDamn, what a song. Heard for the first time today. It's powerful.
    omnivoreronon December 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI recommended this song to my boyfriend and he thought it was about slavery. I suppose that would be a common misconception but once you listen carefully, its obvious that he's talking about something much more personal to him. I have never thought much about albinism or what it would be like to grow up with the condition but this song is absolutely heartbreaking and so inspiring to me. His best work for sure.
    bluejeanbabyxon June 06, 2009   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain