April 13, 2022

LifeDate Summer 2022

by Pastor Michael Salemink

I wish I could say they don’t write songs about abortion.

At least they don’t write songs celebrating abortion. But they do write abortion songs, and they sing them. They write and sing a lot about abortion. The internet’s information repository, Wikipedia, lists hundreds released over the last fifty years.

They tend to occupy three categories. Some of them plead with the listener not to undertake an abortion (several from the perspective of the unborn child). Some of them express grief or regret at past involvement in an abortion (several addressed to the unborn child). And some of them (my favorites!) rejoice over the little one for whom they considered abortion but never completed it.

Some noteworthy examples, for your reflection:

“(You’re) Having My Baby” – Paul Anka, 1974. The Canadian singer of “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” (and writer of “She’s a Lady” for Tom Jones as well as “My Way” for Frank Sinatra) hit number one with this the year after Roe v. Wade. “Didn’t have to keep it … you could have swept it from your life but you wouldn’t do it … What a lovely way of sayin’ how much you love me.”

“Unborn Child” – Seals and Crofts, 1974. Better known for their 1972 hit, “Summer Breeze,” the soft rock duo not only put this one out against their label’s advice, but they gave the whole album the same title. “Oh little baby, you’ll never cry, nor will you hear a sweet lullaby … Mama stop, turn around, go back, think it over.”

“Papa Don’t Preach” – Madonna, 1986. Maybe the most recognizable ditty about surprise pregnancy, the fourth number-one from the decade’s radio queen (who by no means embodied any traditional values). “Maybe we’ll be all right, it’s a sacrifice, but my friends keep telling me to give it up … I’ve made up my mind, I’m keeping my baby.”

“Silent Scream” – Slayer, 1988. The heavy metal legends named this number after the renowned anti-abortion film narrated by former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson. “Bury the unwanted child, beaten and torn, sacrifice the unborn … life’s little fragments destroyed … innocence withdrawn in fear, fires burning you can hear.”

“Miracle” – Whitney Houston, 1990. The girl with the golden pipes (think “The Greatest Love of All” and “I Will Always Love You”) reached number nine with this third single from her multi-platinum third album. “I made a choice and today I pay … when love grows inside of you … there’s a miracle in store.”

“Sally’s Pigeons” – Cyndi Lauper, 1993. The ’80s pop princess who told us “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” also cut this sad track about a childhood friend who died from an abortion. It’s no pro-life anthem, but it does acknowledge the grave repercussions of the act. “She left one night with just a nod, was lost from some back alley job.”

“Brick” – Ben Folds Five, 1997, and “The Freshmen” – The Verve Pipe, 1997. Both songs charted top 20 in the same year (“The Freshmen” in January and “Brick” in November), and both laid bare the melancholy that follows a girlfriend’s aborting. Brick: “She is balled up on the couch … I’m feeling more alone than I ever have before.” The Freshmen: “Stomping baby’s breath and a shoe full of rice … we’re guilt-stricken sobbing with our heads on the floor.”

“To Zion” – Lauryn Hill, 1998. Acclaimed as perhaps the best album of the ’90s, the R&B classic debuted at number one and won five Grammys. She left the industry to raise six children (with the son of reggae superstar Bob Marley). About her son, Zion, she sings, “Unto me a man child would be born … I knew his life deserved a chance but everybody told me to be smart … instead I chose to use my heart … I thank you for choosing me … a beautiful reflection of His grace.”

“Cool” – John Michael Montgomery, 2004. Country musicians feel it, too. This ballad didn’t have the popularity of his earlier offerings (“I Swear,” “Sold,” and “I Can Love You Like That”), but it recounts how a father overhears his boy telling the pregnant girlfriend, “There’s a doctor I’ve heard of who fixes mistakes,” and counsels him, “One night a young girl told me the same thing, and you wouldn’t be here if she hadn’t said no.”

“River” – Eminem, 2017. The most famous rapper of this generation and owner of fifteen Grammy awards and an Oscar, his lyrics are profane, profuse, and brutally honest. “I made you terminate my baby … bet I really woulda loved your smile, didn’t really wanna abort it, but … what’s one more lie to tell our unborn child.”

Thank God poets and prophets tell the truth that popular opinion attempts to ignore. And the greatest of these are the verses of Psalm 139: “You knit me together in my mother’s womb … I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”