Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts: Shelter Songs

Back in 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow published a paper entitled “A Theory Of Human Motivation.”

For the next 75 years, people in the behavioral sciences have shot holes in Maslow’s theory while the rest of us nod our heads and say “yeah, that sounds about right” when we’re introduced to what is known as Maslow’s Heirarchy Of Needs.

The gist of this theory is that all humans have some basic needs, and if you arrange these needs into a pyramid with the most important as the base and what these days we call “first world problems” as the tip, you get a good visual representation of what we’re all after. Here’s how depicts the Heirarchy:

Maslow’s Heirarchy is a great visual aid to keep in mind when listening to pundits and politicians.  “Cutting these programs will help people achieve their full potential and provide them self esteem” sounds wonderful, but that’s like building a pyramid from the tip down. I guess that’s possible if you can defy physics, but I’m pretty sure the Egyptians started at the base and worked their way up.

But we’re talking about shelter today. Where does that fit in the pyramid? To my half-blind eye, the answer is “everywhere.” Let’s look at the pyramid from the base up:

  • Physiological Needs: We all need literal, physical shelter.
  • Safety Needs: And we need that shelter to be safe.
  • Belongingness and Love Needs: We need proverbial shelter, too–the shelter of people whom we can trust and confide in.
  • Esteem Needs: A feeling of accomplishment is in itself a kind of shelter. Sometimes all we have to get through today’s failure is the emotional shelter of yesterday’s success.
  • Self-Actualization: Without all of the previous shelters, there’s no space for creativity, no confidence to take a risk, no physical place to make it happen.

So there you have it: It all comes down to shelter, both figuratively and literally.  Had enough half-baked analysis? Let’s get to the songs:


“Shelter,” Lone Justice.

“Shelter,” The XX.

“Shelter,” Corrosion of Conformity.

“Shelter,” Cheap Trick.

“The Sheltering Sky,” King Crimson.

“Shelter From the Storm,” Bob Dylan.

“Shelter of Your Arms,”  Sammy Davis, Jr.

“Pale Shelter,” Tears For Fears.


There you have it: Eight songs to seek shelter by. What did I miss? I’m hiding in my bunker, but I’m listening.

2 replies »

  1. Tough one!

    “The Shelter of Your Eyes” – Don Williams
    “In the Shelter” – Jimmy Buffett
    “Gimme Shelter” – The Rolling Stones
    “Shelter Me” – Joe Cocker
    “I’ll Be Your Shelter” – Taylor Dayne
    “No Shelter” – Rage Against the Machine

    Liked by 1 person

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