Thursday, September 13, 2012

AB Playlist

You, know, there’s some good stuff coming out on the music scene about abortion right now. Good timing. Necessary timing.  Sadly, there’s still a need for timing in all this.

But, while we’re still fighting all this misogyny that I ranted about here, the least we can do is soothe ourselves with a music balm.

A previously unreleased Michael Jackson song, The Abortion Papers, has been discovered. You can read about it here in the  Atlantic.  I love what MJ had to say about the piece: 
"I have to do it in a way so I don't offend girls who have gotten abortions or bring back guilt trips so it has to be done carefully....I have to really think about it."
side note: did you just read that in MJ's voice? Oh, good. I'm not the only one! Whew! Moving on...

I love that he realized abortion can be complicated. That the reasons surrounding the decision to choose abortion are often complicated.  Love him for that.  You can hear a little snippet of the song on snippet.

A quirky, fun, and danceable song “Won’t Go Back” has gone viral onYouTube. Haven’t seen it yet? Oh, please check it out It will really put you in a good mood. I promise. WE LOVE THEM!

But one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard on abortion is from Digable Planet.   Nothing else needs to be said. They said it all.  It’s encouraging. It’s empowering. It tells women that no matter the choice they make, feel pride.  Be proud.  It’s full of love. 

It needs to be played over and over and over and over.  I wish my clinic streamed it through their speakers. 

The lyrics, the lyrics, the lyrics. Here. It's poetry. 

And...these guys need to get back together and TOUR THIS SONG. FOR REAL. 

Digable Planet: hear us? Please, please, please re-release this song. Before the elections. Thank you.

All this made me think about the need for an abortion playlist. I found only a few lists out there on the subject. I came up with one here over a year ago - but it was a playlist I hoped clients would play for themselves. Sarah, a blogger on Feminists for Choice, came up with a great list. Of course, Ani DiFranco (thank goodness for her!) is mentioned: Hello Birmingham and Last Woman Song

One of the things you're gonna notice is a lot of these songs are not current. We're talking the 70's, the 80's, the 90's. And we're STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS SHIT. These songs are relevant NOW. And just wrong.

 Here’s a list of others with links to YouTube videos:
  • Tiptoe, Ani DiFranco (antipicate/tiptoe mix: great video! please wait til the end where she does her spoken word bit. it's amazing.)
  • When Under Ether, PJ Harvey  You may not know of PJ Harvey: I don't think she's too popular in the US yet; but this song is clearly about an abortion + it's powerful. Lyrics here.
  • Red Ragtop, Tim McGraw *it’s neither really pro-choice or anti-choice, but I put it here b/c it’s good the country music scene has at least two songs that aren’t anti abortion.*  Also - this is an acoustic video by the songwriter, Jason White. It's beautiful.
  • Nine Month Blues, by Peggy Seeger *sadly, no YouTube video, but you can listen to a bit of it at the link*
  • Judge’s Chair, Peggy Seeger *about a girl who can't get a judicial bypass. No YouTube video, but you can check out the lyrics at the link.*
  • Oasis, by Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls *she's been ridiculed for writing music in such a 'happy beat' way about a rape that caused a pregnancy which was terminated. But, come on. Sarcasm. Hello! Also, the lyrics are not all happy-go-lucky. Please, please, please, please read this AWESOME article she wrote for the Huffington Post about her song.

Enjoy. Pass along. Think about. 

Oh, and Digable Planets? I was serious.  We need you.


  1. AFP Is not British; she was born in NYC. She married a Brit, so I can understand your confusion ;D

  2. Julezzz - thank you very much for your comment + correction! :)

  3. I would like to add another abortion-related song - "Brick" by Ben Folds Five. I like it a lot. Like "Red Rag Top" its neither pro or anti choice, just telling a story.

  4. Hi S -
    Thank you for your suggestion. I thought about adding it, but since there's controversy about whether it's really pro-choice or not, I decided not to. Still, I think it's a great song and that it's vague enough that it can be open to any interpretation: which is the power of art, isn't it? :)

    Thank you, S!

  5. There should be an honorable mention for "Keep Ya Head Up" by 2Pac (very easy to find on Youtube).

  6. Brilliant, Pet Set Rex. Totally agree! :)

  7. I'll also mention "Runaway Love" by Ludacris also mentions abortion.


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