10 songs about abortion that hit differently after the repeal of Roe v. wade

Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Olivia Rodrigo and Megan Thee Stallion used the Glastonbury Festival stage as a platform to let off steam.

Janelle Monae turned her presentation concert at the BET Awards into an opportunity to express her concern.

Halsey has spoken passionately during her live performances and artists such as Pink, Lizzo and Eminem tweeted messages filled with fury, sadness, promises to keep fighting, and financial commitments to Planned Parenthood.

Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade after 50, who denied the constitutional right to abortion, drew a swift reaction from the music community.

Some artists were quick to turn their angst into new music: Ani DiFranco and Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard released “Disorders” and Promise of the Real’s Lukas Nelson (son of Willie) released a heartbreaking ballad about a trio forced to have babies despite extreme circumstances such as incest and date rape.

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Artists who tackle the subjects of reproductive rights and abortion are not new. Some mainstream hits — Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach,” Paul Anka’s “(You’re) Have My Baby,” the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Slide” — vary in their levels of blatant discussion of pregnancy.

Here are 10 songs that dive into the emotions associated with reproductive decisions. From regret to relief, from fear to anger, they are all complicated:.

Cyndi Lauper, “Sally’s Pigeons” (1993)

Lauper’s striking voice colors the true story of her childhood friend with a “pirate smile” who had a clandestine abortion and died from it. Co-written with Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lauper’s gently throbbing ballad from the album “Hat Full of Stars” resonates with Lauper’s vivid storytelling: “She left one night with just a nod, was lost from a job in an alley / I close my eyes and Sally’s pigeons fly / She never saw those birds again Lauper re-recorded the song following the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade .

Seals and Crofts, ‘Unborn Child’ (1974)

An anti-abortion presentation from Jim Seals and Dash Crofts, who have already scored huge radio play with “Summer Breeze” and “Diamond Girl.” The title track from Seals & Crofts’ 1974 album damaged the duo’s popularity and stalled at No. 66 on the Billboard Hot 100 after many fans boycotted the release on radio. The upbeat brass and squeaky guitar of the soft-rock song – based on a poem written by the wife of the band’s sound engineer – is at times incongruous with lyrics that include: “Oh unborn child, begin to grow inside your mama, but you’ll never know/Oh little bud, growing in the womb, only to be crushed before it can bloom/Mama stop!Turn around, go back, think- y. But there is no denying the group’s position or sincerity.

Nicki Minaj, ‘It’s All Right’ (2014)

Nicki Minaj, presented at the 2022 Essence Festival in New Orleans, posted the very personal "Everything is fine" on his 2014 album, "The pink footprint."

The deeply personal opener from the rapper’s 2014 album, “The Pinkprint,” unfolds a myriad of personal struggles, including her rocky relationship with her mother, the murder of her cousin in 2011, and ruminations about motherhood. . Expressing her love for her younger brother Micaiah near the end of her raucous rap, Minaj references an abortion she had as a teenager, though she doesn’t offer any details beyond her name. partner at the time, “My child with Aaron would be 16 every minute… It’s like he’s ‘Caiah’s little angel, watching over him.

The stars have spoken out on Roe v. Wade.But was it important?

Amanda Shires, “The Trouble” (2020)

The haunting duet between Shires and her husband Jason Isbell finds the couple exchanging words about the confusion and grief faced by a young woman after deciding to have an abortion. “What do you wanna do? I’m afraid to even tell the truth / It’s been the hardest year / Is it even legal here?” they sing in the contemplative piano ballad, which offers also unwavering support (“It’s going to be fine / I’m on your side”). In 2021, Shires released an edited version of the song to reflect his own experience seeking abortion. alternative country features Cyndi Lauper, Angie Stone, Sheryl Crow and other female artists.

Ben Fold Five, ‘Brick’ (1997)

An unusually dark song from the trio known for its catchy, sardonic lyrics and pounding pop piano, “Brick” immediately grabbed attention. The song unpacks Folds’ confused feelings as he oscillates between supporting his pregnant girlfriend through an abortion and his own ambivalence and feelings of guilt. “They call her at 7:30, I pace the parking lot / Then I go downstairs to buy her flowers”, he sings solemnly. Although the song caused some controversy, it became the band’s biggest radio hit.

Sinead O’Connor, “My Special Child” (1991)

The Irish singer has spoken openly about her decision to have an abortion in 1990 following a planned pregnancy. But the apathy shown by his partner solidified O’Connor’s choice. “I just had to decide whether or not to have the child, knowing that the father was not going to be there. I decided it was better not to and that I would have a child later, when his father was there and involved. I didn’t feel like I could get by on my own,” she told Spin magazine in 1991. O’Connor’s singing voice, strings and pennywhistle carry the song, while mournful bagpipes play behind her as she quietly sings, “You were precious to me, after all I called you into existence / I wanted you to know. Yes, you were precious to me.

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Fleetwood Mac, ‘Sara’ (1979)

One could be forgiven for assuming that Stevie Nicks was singing about a friend or a muse with her mystically poetic lyrics. But in recent years, the Fleetwood Mac maven revealed that Sara was the name she gave to her unborn child with Don Henley, who she was dating at the time. The couple determined they weren’t ready to have a child, which led to Nicks’ decision to have an abortion. The song, however, is only partially about pregnancy, Nicks told Billboard: She was also friends with a Sara who became Mick Fleetwood’s wife.

Eminem, ‘River’ (2017)

Eminem teamed up with Ed Sheeran in 2017 for the song "River," about an unfaithful wife who becomes pregnant and decides to terminate the pregnancy.

On his 2017 album, “Revival,” Eminem is joined by Ed Sheeran in a loquacious song about cheating spouses. Rapper plays (he’s never confirmed if it’s a true story) the other man who impregnates “Suzanne” and then tells her to terminate the pregnancy since they weren’t in a relationship real. “I can’t keep my lies straight / But I made you end my baby / This love triangle left us in a wreck, tangled up,” Eminem raps with growing intensity.

The Verve Pipe, ‘The Freshman’ (1997)

Once the ’90s band shot to No. 1 on Billboard’s alternative rock charts with that guitar-buzzer, the suddenly dissected lyrics were widely understood to involve suicide (“His daughter took a week’s worth of Valium and slept”). But decades after the song’s breakthrough, singer Brian Vander Ark explained in an interview with American Songwriter that the first verse alludes to a girlfriend having an abortion – although he was never sure if it or a friend who was also dating her was the father. “Now I’m guilty / Sobbing with my head on the ground / Stop a baby’s breath and a shoe full of rice, no,” he sings.

Robyn, “Surrender You” (1999)

A personal account of the Swedish dance-pop singer who had an abortion a year before writing the introspective ballad for her album “My Truth”. “With you in me, I was beautiful / Two months of joy before the impossible / Every second I yearn for the day you’ll come back / Come back to stay, when the time is right”, she offers. Fans may recall that his album “My Truth” was never officially released in the United States. She told The New York Times in 2018 that the decision was made in part because of her abortion-themed song. “You can’t really talk about stuff like that in America, or you couldn’t back then,” she said. “Not if you were an 18-year-old pop star.”

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