The Abortion Debate: Five Pro-Life Songs
In this time of great economic stress, high gas prices, mounting debt, and other sober financial concerns gripping the nation, it is only natural that many legislative debates across the nation are focused on abortion. And when we say it's only natural, we mean that it's hard to type while smacking yourself in the forehead with your good hand.
Still, the right to argue and debate is as fundamentally American as free speech, owning a handgun, or drinking cheap alcohol. Rocks Off isn't a qualified political commentator, so we've decided to let music fight this one out for us.
Here are five songs that, to varying degrees, come down on the pro-life side of the argument. Stay tuned for the pro-choice rebuttal tomorrow.
Chicago underground rapper Qwel penned this absolutely brutal pro-life song on 2001's If It Ain't Been in a Pawnshop, Then It Can't Play the Blues when he was only 19. In later years his view has softened some. "I look back on [the song] and I think, 'I was 19 and complaining about things I didn't know nothing about,'" he said in a 2007 interview with Pause magazine, "I don't think a 19-year-old man should do an abortion song. But I'm older now, I could not have known that then."
River City People was a folk-rock quartet from the '80s that scored a nice hit by covering "California Dreamin'." "Carry the Blame" was the single's B-side, and details the guilt of a woman over her abortion. Though not as preachy as some, the lyrics couldn't make the band's meaning any clearer than when they state, "We must be guilty of murder."
Seventh Angel is a Christian thrash band, a sentence that we really enjoy typing. Unlike a lot of thrash, Seventh Angel actually retains the ability to be understood, and that's good because they obviously want to get their point about abortion providers being murderers across. A hardcore song with an unflinching metal charge.
If you were a teenager in the 90s then you knew this song. "The Freshman" was a tremendous breakout bit of melancholia that every misfit indentified with and no one understood. While songwriter Brian Vander Ark initially claimed the song was about a friend's suicide, he has in later years admitted it was a chronicle of the grief he suffered after his girlfriend's abortion. Calling the song pro-life might be a bit of a stretch, but there's no doubt that the pain apparent in the track is something no one would want to be forced to deal with.
Just to be clear, there is nothing funny about terrorism. Having said that, there just aren't Christian musicians like Steve Taylor in the world any more, since he retired to be a full-time filmmaker. No one has the kind of dark, gleeful sense of humor he brought to sacred music.
While he remains a devoted proponent of the pro-life movement, his song "I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good," chronicling the plans of an ice cream man to ensure his future employment by bombing abortion clinics, was the ultimate satirical look at extremists on the fringe. As satire tends to be lost on those being satirized, the song ignited a lot of controversy. It's kind of the point.
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