I am a child of the 70's and unlike most kids my age I was a music NUT. Carly Simon, Gerry Rafferty, England Dan and John Ford Coley... America, Bread, James Taylor and Helen Reddy. Although I confess that I love me some disco, you can see that in my heart I'm an easy listening girl. I like carnations and books, saddle shoes and black and white movies, and I spent at least a few unhealthy prepubescent years more than slightly enamored with a young Mickey Rooney from the old Andy Hardy series.
I'm a closet dork. I've been one for as long as I can remember. I love all things retro, and my memory of popculture begins circa the invention of the atom bomb. A guy I know calles me "'55" because he swears that's the year I was born. He's 5 years older than me and has to call his grandmother to figure out what I'm talking about. I own sweater clips for goodness' sake, and it's easier (and more interesting) for me to talk to a 70-year-old woman about gardening than it is to talk about fashion with an age-appropriate peer. Maybe part of my premature senior citizenship is from living with my grandparents.
In 1977 I pestered Grampa until he gassed up the white Thunderbird (with the trendy red naugahyde interior, baby) and zoomed down the street to the theater in the old Kmart shopping center in Nashville, Tennessee. Pete's Dragon had just come out, and I was delighted. It was an actual kids' flick, and I could go to watch Mickey Rooney and Helen Reddy "legitimately". My eyes were glued to the screen, and when the lights came up I knew that someday I would be a movie star so I too could get paid for playing dress-up and dancing on exploding beer barrels just like Reddy.
On the way home her voice came on the radio singing "You and Me Against the World". I was only six-years-old, but even then it choked me up. In case you missed it, it's the quintessential single mother anthem of the universe. The song most noted by feminists in the 70's had nothing to do with motherhood however, and was called "I Am Woman". It was also pretty catchy and didn't squirm around in your guts like "You and Me..." did. At the time, I was still wearing days-of-the-week underwear and had quite a penchant for Saturday morning Sid and Marty Krofft, but I knew what I liked, and I idolized Helen Reddy. "Delta Dawn" was my favorite. (What was that flower she had on?) That song came on the radio and no one was allowed to risk the loss of even one note by so much as breathing. (Truth be told, I kinda felt the same way about Rhinestone Cowboy, but that's a closely guarded secret). Oh to be a kid again and not the adult who grew up and was horrified to discover how proud Helen Reddy is of the fact that I was able to legally kill my child and also ruin my life.
Yep, in addition to having a gorgeous face and a set of golden pipes she also supports killing innocent children in the name of "choice". It makes me shudder. Needless to say, when a Reddy song comes on I hear it in a whole new way. See if you don't feel the same...
Here are a few lyrics Reddy and company sing in Pete's Dragon's "There's Room For Everyone":
"There's room for everyone in this world
if everyone makes some room
won't you move over and share this world
everyone make some room..."
"From an ant to a bird
to a buffalo herd
let them walk and fly and roam
LET THEM LIVE
it's simple to give
like us they just need a home"
"Just think how far out the ocean goes
The whirling wind blows
shore to shore
door to door
Think of the valleys and mountaintops
The earth never stops
there's miles of sky
we all have a part of the pie"
"There's room for everyone in this world
Will everyone make some room
Love given freely can spare this world
Let friendly feelings bloom
Just give an inch, give a yard, never flinch
When the time comes to offer a hand
So let's all make sure
We give everyone somewhere to stand
Just the way God planned it
Just the way God planned it."
If that doesn't just beat everything, check out a few lines from "I Am Woman":
"I am woman watch me grow...
But I'm still an embryo
With a long long way to go
Until I make my brother understand"
(Wait, did she just call herself an "embryo" in an argument to be recognized as an equal person under the law???) Not only did a seemingly very confused Reddy write the single mother anthem and the feminist anthem, apparently she has also written the abortion-related post traumatic stress disorder anthem (also known as "post abortion syndrome"). Read a few lyrics (or the whole song) from "Leave Me Alone":
"Big ole ruby red dress, everybody laughs
Say she's got no future and never made no past
Something hurt that ruby, something she can't bear
Ya look at her real close now, you see a little tear
When she says now
LEAVE ME ALONE (repeat over and over)
Some folks say some farm boy up from Tennessee
Taught it all to Ruby, then just let her be
Her daddy tried to hide it, tried to keep things cool
But something happened to Ruby, she broke down to a fool"
I throw my hands up. I simply don't understand Reddy's support of abortion. I just sit here, shake my head, and feel betrayed (and stupid for never noticing the contradictions before). If she lost a child in a second trimester abortion because no one would help her any other way... well I can't help but wonder if she'd be "singing a different tune".
If I can stand the frustration, I think for the next couple of blogs I'm going to talk about the obliviousness of famous people whose ties to abortion are particularly baffling due to the fact that the rejection of abortion in a crisis pregnancy either saved their own lives or filled their hearts with unending love. The subject is the stuff ulcers are made of.