This track from Tears For Fears' debut album was influenced by band member Roland Orzabal's childhood, particularly the illness that left his father semi-bedridden. He explained in the liner notes for the album's 1999 re-release: "It was a reference to my father, who had a nervous breakdown. 'Dry skin flakes when there's ice in the veins…' He had arterial sclerosis, and breakdown is the nervous breakdown. At the time there were certain bands that allowed you to be that morbid, and they were cool bands – people like Joy Division – who really glorified that kind of pain and suicidal instincts."
Orzabal grew up amid domestic violence, watching his father abuse his mother. His mother eventually left and raised Orzabal and his two brothers on her own.