The Abortion Debate Part 2: Five Pro-Choice Songs
Yesterday Rocks Off allowed five musicians to voice their opposition to legalized abortion in this country through song. Today, we allow rebuttal from the pro-choice camp in order to give everyone their say.
As a note, a conversation between writer an editor brought up Ben Fold's "Brick," and whether such a song can be called pro-life or pro-choice. Frankly, such songs did not find their way onto these articles. We were seeking songs with an agenda. When all we had to go on was the personal pain that reproductive choice can entail, the debate each must have with themselves when faced with the situation, we generally passed on by in search of someone trying to make a political point.
There's a moral in that, somewhere...
Ani Difranco has always been an outspoken political voice, a feminist icon, and a trailblazer in the world of music. Last year she debuted a whole selection of new work at a show at the Ex'ression College for Digital Arts that included "Amendment." The song calls for an addition to the U.S. Constitution establishing reproductive and gender rights, though it touches on many subjects in the political sphere.
When some people think of women in punk they think of L7, but Rocks Off likes the Lunachicks. "Fallopian Rhapsody" appeared on 1995's Jerk of All Trades and displays not only the band's love of tempo switches, but also the bald way they had at looking at social issues. There are no apologies here.
It's the man who would be our governor himself. In "Rapid City, South Dakota" a man picks up a hitchhiker leaving a pregnant girl behind. Friedman himself has said it's the pro-choice country song he knows of.
Oi Polloi is a Scottish punk band, which means that without a lyric sheet we have absolutely no idea what they're saying. With a lyric sheet though you get the message they're trying to get across. Namely that the right to choose is the definition of freedom.
Though Everlast has many characters in this ode to perspective, his simple telling of a woman who braves a crowd of protesters to abort the child of a man who abandons her is the most heart-breaking of the bunch. If there is any message to be taken from the song, it's Everlast's lyric, "God forbid you ever have to walk a mile in her shoes/ Then you really might know what's it's like to have to choose."
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