music and rants in honor of south dakota

i’ve been too angry to post about south dakota — and really, too unsurprised and cynical to have anything particularly interesting to say — but some music has been particularly resonant to me the last few weeks watching the South Dakota legislators presume to regulate the personal lives and medical decisions of women. so here’s a few pieces i keep in my ‘favories’ playlist, plus a couple of others i dug out special from my music archives:

  • “Butyric Acid”, by Consolidated, from the album Business of Punishment (1994). [lyrics below the fold; you have to click on “more” to open up this page separately and then the lyrics link will work]
  • “Green Monkey” by Laura B., a spoken word piece on the album Cause – Piece of Mind: Rock for Choice (1992). [I’ll try to get the text but don’t have it now.]
  • “Femme Fatale”, by Digable Planets, from the album Reachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time And Space) (1993). [lyrics below the fold]
  • A trio from Ani:

  • “Hello Birmingham”, by Ani DiFranco, from the album To the Teeth (1999). [lyrics below the fold]
  • “Lost Woman Song” by Ani DiFranco, from the album Ani DiFranco (1990). [lyrics below the fold]
  • “tiptoe” by Ani DiFranco, from the album Not a Pretty Girl (1995). [lyrics below the fold]
  • and just a couple more:

  • “Every Sperm Is Sacred” / Monty Python, from “The Meaning of Life” [lyrics below the fold]
  • And a special dedication goes out to SD state Senator, Bill Napoli: “Dead Men Don’t Rape”, by 7 Year Bitch, from the album Sick ‘Em (1992) and also on There’s a Dyke in the Pit! (1992). (Lyrics below the fold, but I think you can guess the refrain.) And don’t construe this as a threat because I’m a pacifist, but when I listen to this song I reflect on the ways that state-mandated pregnancy is a continuing, multi-month, invasion into a woman’s body. And I hold every one of those legislators and officials who signed off on this obscene legislation equally culpable for that violation. I’d call them fuckers but I really hope they never get laid again.

and here’s another I just thought of, and will get lyrics to after work tonight:

  • “Here’s to the State of Mississippi” / Phil Ochs. (Because the list of benighted states just keeps growing ….)

Lyrics below the fold.

“Butyric Acid”, by Consolidated, from the album Business of Punishment

i want to talk about media distortion ad campaign telling lies about abortion standing there call yourself a good christian break your fucking sign because you’re causing me friction ignorant group operations rescue if you treat women then they might even kill you randall terry says they’re soldiers of god if you ask me i’d say they’re smoking much prod a little advice for the medical students (they’re) teaching cowardice not medical prudence lobbying pressure from the a.m.a. cracker don’t treat women and you call yourself a doctor standing in line fucking slime with no sense two can play at that start clinic defense yelling over me showing patients no respect break for the lane get (an) elbow in your neck
if you don’t want a nazi in your house don’t let one don’t know a fundamentalist ’til you’ve met one if you’ve memorized your civil rights don’t forget one if you don’t want an abortion don’t get one

marching with your cross and your dead fetus picture don’t let me see you or i’ll jam it up your sphincter you’re lucky that i find violence so heinous but my wife and her friends’ll put a foot in your anus confused sad woman kill apologizing sad fucking bible you still memorizing had to make a choice between god and her sisters you imitate your oppressor so you dissed her even though you told me you had the procedure just ’cause you’re rich and you’re white that freed you from the consequence of a child out of wedlock from the family shame at the congregation potluck crazy pregnant woman citing her religion the baby’s going to die without cesarian section i won’t support scientific intervention give her the freedom to deal with her actions

if you don’t want a nazi [refrain] …

ru486 yes i am sir anything to empower women that’s for damn sure know what it means when they’re bombing all the clinics who’s going to say get off the fence to the cynics harassing g.y.n. with a death threat say that you’re doing god’s work well yeah bet respect women and give her some room believe in her rights stay out of her womb if you want to see women stop termination give her a future and a real education do you think women want to kill their own babies if got your own twisted baggage then maybe

if you don’t want a nazi [refrain] …

Thanks to Linus Nordberg for typing this text (and Erik Mats for posting it).

Digable Planets, “Femme Fatale”

it was 8:49 on a beautiful 9th day of july
there was not a cloud to speak of so the orange sun hung lonely in the sky
i was laying prone in my catbeat home
listening to fine nappy jackie and his jazzcat’s horn
sliding in a tape of bird on verve when suddenly rang my phone
hello butterfly a voice said
slip on some duds comb out your fro and slide on down to my pad
the vibe here is very pleasant and i truly request your presence
a problem of great magnitude has arose
and as we speak it grows
damn, what could it be i thought
a juice i bought and rolled on down to her pad
seeing bros i know slapping fives i arrived and pressed G-5
and there was nikki
lookin some kind of sad with tears fallin from her eyes
she sat me down
and dug my frown and began to run it down
“you remember my boyfriend sid that fly kid who i love well our love was often a verb and spontaneity has brought a third
but due to our youth and economic state we wish to terminate
about this we don’t feel great, but baby that’s how it is
but the feds have dissed me
they ignore and dismiss
and the pro-lifers harrass me outside the clinic
and call me a murderer, now that’s hate
so needless to say we’re in a mental state of debate”
hey beautiful bird i said digging her somber mood
the fascists are some heavy dudes
they don’t really give a damn about life
they just don’t want a woman to
control her body or have the right to choose
but baby that ain’t nothin
they just want a male finger on the button
because if you say war they will send them to die by the score
aborting mission should be your volition
but if souter and thomas have their way
you’ll be standing in line unable to get welfare while they’re out
hunting and fishing
it has always been around it will always have a niche
but they’ll make it a privilege not a right
accessible only to the rich
pro-lifers should dig themselves
cause life doesn’t stop after birth
and to a child borne to the unprepared
it might even just get worse
supporters of the h-bomb and fire bombing clinic
what type of shit is that? orwellian in fact
if roe v wade was overturned would not the desire remain intact
leaving young girls to risk their healths
and doctors to botch and watch as they kill themselves
i don’t want to sound macabre
but hey, isn’t it my job
to lay it on the masses and get them off their asses
to fight against these fascists
so whatever you decide make that move with pride
sid will be there
and so will i
an insect til i die
rhythms and sounds
spinning around
across the nation
your block
my block
what a shock
land of the free — but not me

“Hello Birmingham” by Ani DiFranco

Ani Difranco – Hello Birmingham Lyrics
hold me down
i am floating away
into the overcast skies
over my home town
on election day

what is it about birmingham?
what is it about buffalo?
did the hate filled wanna build bunkers
in your beautiful red earth
they want to build them
in our shiny white snow

now i’ve drawn closed the curtain
in this little booth where the truth has no place
to stand
and i am feeling oh so powerless
in this stupid booth with this useless
little lever in my hand
and outside my city is bracing
for the next killing thing
standing by the bridge and praying
for the next doctor

it was just one shot
through the kitchen window
it was just two miles from here
if you fly like a crow
a bullet came to visit a doctor
in his one safe place
a bullet ensuring the right to life
whizzed past his kid and his wife
and knocked his glasses
right off of his face

and the blood poured off the pulpit
yeah the blood poured down the picket lines
yeah, the hatred was immediate
and the vengence was divine
so they went and stuffed god
down the barrel of a gun
and after him
they stuffed his only son

hello birmingham
it’s buffalo
i heard you had some trouble
down there again
and i’m just calling to let to know
that someone understands

i was once escorted
through the doors of a clinic
by a man in a bulletproof vest
and no bombs went off that day
so i am still here to say
i’m wishing you all of my best
oh birmingham
i’m wishing you all of my best
oh birmingham
i’m wishing you all of my best
on this election day

Ani DiFranco, “Lost Woman Song”

i opened a bank account
when i was nine years old
i closed it when i was eighteen
i gave them every penny that i’d saved
and they gave my blood
and my urine
a number
now i’m sitting in this waiting room
playing with the toys
and i am here to exercise
my freedom of choice
i passed their handheld signs
went through their picket lines
they gathered when they saw me coming
they shouted when they saw me cross
i said why don’t you go home
just leave me alone
i’m just another woman lost
you are like fish in the water
who don’t know that they are wet
as far as i can tell
the world isn’t perfect yet
his bored eyes were obscene
on his denim thighs a magazine
i wish he’d never come here with me
in fact i wish he’d never come near me
i wish his shoulder
wasn’t touching mine
i am growing older
waiting in this line
some of life’s best lessons
are learned at the worst times
under the fierce fluorescent
she offered her hand for me to hold
she offered stability and calm
and i was crushing her palm
through the pinch pull wincing
my smile unconvincing
on that sterile battlefield that sees
only casualties
never heroes
my heart hit absolute zero
lucille, your voice still sounds in me
mine was a relatively easy tragedy
now the profile of our country
looks a little less hard nosed
but that picket line persisted
and that clinic’s since been closed
they keep pounding their fists on reality
hoping it will break
but i don’t think there’s a one of them
leads a life free of mistake

Ani DiFranco, “tiptoe” / Not A Pretty Girl (1995) [lyrics from danah boyd’s ani lyrics site]


tiptoeing through the used condoms
strewn on the piers
off the west side highway
sunset behind
the skyline of jersey
walking towards the water
with a fetus holding court in my gut
my body highjacked
my tits swollen and sore
the river has more colors at sunset
than my sock drawer ever dreamed of
i could wake up screaming sometimes
but i don’t
i could step off the end of this pier but
i’ve got shit to do
and i’ve an appointment on tuesday
to shed uninvited blood and tissue
i’ll miss you i say
to the river to the water
to the son or daughter
i thought better of
i could fall in love
with jersey at sunset
but i leave the view to the rats
and tiptoe back

Monty Python, “Every Sperm Is Sacred” (“The Meaning of Life”)

Dad: There are Jews in the world, there are Buddhists.
There are Hindus and Mormons and then,
There are those that follow Mohammud, BUT
I’ve never been one of them.
I’m a Roman Catholic,
And have been since before I was born,
And the one thing they say about Catholics
Is they’ll take you as soon as you’re warm.
You don’t have to be a six footer,
You don’t have to have a great brain,
You don’t have to have any clothes on,
You’re a Catholic the moment Dad came.
Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great,
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

Children: Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great,
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

Child: Let the heathen spill theirs
On the dusty ground,
God shall make them pay for
Each sperm that can’t be found.

Children: Every sperm is wanted,
Every sperm is good,
Every sperm is needed,
In your neighborhood.

Mum: Hindu, Taoist, Mormon,
Spill theirs just anywhere,
But God loves those who treat their
Semen with more care.

Men: Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great,
Women: If a sperm is wasted,
Children: God gets quite irate.

Priest: Every sperm is wanted,
Bride & Groom: Every sperm is good,
Nannies: Every sperm is needed,
Cardinal: In your neighborhood.

Children: Every sperm is useful,
Every sperm is fine,
Funeral: God needs everybody’s,
Mourner1: Mine!
Mourner2: And mine!
Corpse: And mine!

Nun: Let the Pagan spill theirs,
O’er mountain, hill, and plain,
Statues: God shall strike them down for
Each sperm that’s spilt in vain.

Everyone: Every sperm is wanted,
Every sperm is good,
Every sperm is needed,
In your neighborhood.
Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great,
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

“Dead Men Don’t Rape”, by 7 Year Bitch

You ain’t got the right tellin’ me I’m uptight
And I’m not obligated to give in ‘cuz you’re frustrated
No, my revenge is death, ‘cuz you deserve the best
And I’m not turned on by your masculinity
Dead men don’t rape
I don’t have pity not a single tear
For those who get joy from a woman’s fear
I’d rather get a gun and just blow you away
Then you’ll learn first hand
Dead men don’t rape

You’re getting sucked into society’s sickest
Don’t go out alone you might get raped
But not by a dead man ‘cuz
Dead men don’t rape

You ain’t got the right tellin’ me I’m uptight
Dead men don’t rape