Bodies: “the most important song about abortion”?

I’ve just discovered this article on the Sex Pistols ‘Bodies’. I was Googling it for obvious, topical reasons. In fact I can’t think of any other songs about abortion* apart from Paul Anka’s “Having My Baby” which is one of the most dreadful songs ever written. It isn’t about abortion as such but includes the line “you could have swept it from your life but you wouldn’t do it”. It also includes lines such as “the need inside you, I see it showing, the seed inside ya, baby, do you feel it growing?” And there are gurgling baby noises…. It’s truly horrible. And this from the man who wrote ‘My Way’.

I’d always assumed the song – we’re back to talking about ‘Bodies’ now – was just a reflection of Johnny Rotten/ John Lydon’s Catholic upbringing and that, frankly, it was rather dodgy lyrically speaking and completely juvenile in its politics, although it’s still a great song.  But the author of this piece thinks there are all sorts of subtleties at play. Worth reading as an article about abortion rights, even if you’re not interested in tree-dwelling Pauline.

Oh, and the Tory trolls who’ve been lurking under this bridge over the weekend. This is what I do on my blog. If you’re unimpressed, go off and read Dorries instead.

* I am of course familiar with the work of Jim Thirlwell’s various alter-egos, but I think to go there would be to give people a good excuse to avoid debating the serious issue that’s at stake here.

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  • splinteredsunrise  On August 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    “Rapid City, South Dakota” by Kinky Friedman.

  • avseer  On August 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I have never been a fan of Sex Pistols music – nor am I a fan of branding people with names because you don’t like their views! If you want to call people trolls, at least have the decency to understand the difference between ‘opinion’ and ‘politics’ frankly I am now so utterly disillusioned with politicians of all colours. You’re all children scoring silly points and making the whole country worse. I give my opinion because I can, and not because I’m paid over 64k to do so!

  • Thus Spake Zarathustra  On August 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    You like controversy and baiting people because it’s a good marketing pitch too hoover up page hits and votes. And what’s not to love about that if that’s your thing?

    Nobody is disputing mothers or babies fundamental rights so spare us the crap. What about transexuals right to have *a* life? Behind the spin aren’t Labour just embarrassed about us? Aren’t we Labour’s Achilles heel?

    I slowed down for a moment and actually *read* Nadine Dorries blog and once you actually *look* at what’s there she’s not wrong. And the Tories are doing more for transexuals now than Labour have one in their *entire* period of office.

    Miliband obviously needs a pair so he can have mine and contemplate them bobbing in a jar when Labour lose the next election. If some rich Tory benefactor thinks this artistic gesture is funny and wants to speed the process up donations to my medical fund are always welcome.

    Labour just don’t get aspiration, or beauty, and certainly not fun. It’s not in their DNA. And the way things are going Labour is going to need more surgery than me to correct their congenital defect. Ouch. That’s gotta hurt.

  • nilsinela boray (@northernheckler)  On August 29, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Kerry your link isn’t working – I think this is the one

    It sort of makes me wonder how avseer and Thus Spake Zarathustra feel qualified to comment, having presumably not read the article that your post is about

  • Quietzaple  On August 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Kerry: if you do not first look in Peggy Seegar’s catalogue your education is severely wanting.

    American folksinger Peggy Seeger wrote this song for NARAL.

    Keep your Boenher oout of my Uterus

    I don’t want the boy with the long brown hair
    I don’t want the one with the curls
    I want Jimmy and the devil may care
    and Jimmy’s good with the girls

    He took the girl with the long brown hair
    He took the one with the curls
    He took me and the devil may care
    And Jimmy’s good with the girls

    Come and walk in the Autumn woods
    Come and walk in the town
    She walked with him to the end of the earth
    and together they lay down

    Annie the light that’s in your eyes
    Tells your lovers name
    Annie the hope that’s in your heart will turn to grief and shame

    Sunday Monday passing
    by Thursday Friday too
    Annie walks in the winter sun a week past she was due

    Two weeks three weeks passing by
    Three and four and five
    Annie walked in the winter rain and wished that she could die

    December passed the new year gone
    Judgement day has come
    The doctor sat in the judge’s chair and the judges turned her down

    Jimmy won’t walk, Jimmy won’t talk
    Jimmy don’t come around
    Annie’s gone to a backstreet woman to bring the baby down

    Pain floods into that place
    Where love has come and gone
    Close the door and close the door and Annie’s walkin’ home

    Slowly slowly up the stair into her childhood room
    Her bed filled up with red red blood
    Annie died alone

    She won’t have the boy with the long brown hair
    She won’t have the one with the curls 
    She got Jimmy and the devil may care
    And Jimmy’s good with the girls

    Men sit in the judges chair
    We are up on trial
    Woman if you conceive you must bear your child

    • Quietzaple  On August 29, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      “Lady, what do you do all day” is as much of a glory as “The First Time Ever I saw Your Face”

      Somehow I must listen to her live somewhere.

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