Music to Abandon Your Baby By

baby-hatchWay before video killed the radio star, I was making music videos in my head. I don’t even know when it started.  A lot of them were rather artsy road trip videos (for the time) full of midnight highways, roadside crosses,motorcycles and hitchhikers, and me, Jack, and Neal Cassady menage a troising it across America.. Most of Neal Young’s After the Goldrush is certifiable head trip, some of Harvest,  too, along with his earlier work with Buffalo Springfield  like Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing and especially Broken Arrow. (The beauty of Neal Young is that he doesn’t have to make sense for him to make sense to you.)  I had a particularly long video in my head starting with Grand Funk’s Mean Mistreater that segued into Keep on Hangin’ On, (Vanilla Fudge version) which for good taste’s sake I won’t describe. Later I wrote the a  screenplay for a poem I wrote about Edie Sedgwick and another for Ann Zollar, a hometown hero who was awarded that Croix De Guerre posthumously by Marshall Petain after World War 1 before he became a bad guy.  For the six months leading up to Bastard Nation’s Belly of the Beast demo in Washington DC which I organized, I listened exclusively to Ice-T’s Home Invasion.  Absolutely nothing else. My most memorable head video, though, was the Beatle’s She’s Leaving Home.  In 1966 it was about me, my adoption angst, marrying a man my parents loathed, and moving 1000 miles away only to become a battered wife within days. Today I stick mainly to The Decembrists (especially the Bagman’s Gambit) and lots of Depeche Mode. Lots.

In all my musical head trips it never occurred to me to write or think about or visualize or musicalize about abandoning a baby. No doubt there are plenty of Scottish and Irish ballads about baby dumping (or killing), but–old dead baby jokes aside– they’ve not made their way into modern pop culture.

Then, a few years ago  we got the Massachusetts Morrisesys and their cultic Baby Safe Haven Rap. Once it’s in your head it never leaves. At one time there was talk of a BSHR  ringtone.  A  few months ago I read that the Morriseys are going to re-hash it  (is Lucious Lyon reading this?)  for a new generation of potential dumpers and their eager peer-to-peer young hottie brigade who allegedly travel the country teaching 14 year olds how to legally abandon their newborns with no shame, no blame, no name. Please, some adult.  Sue them.

Of course I’ve  written about Baby Safe Haven Rap a few times, so this is old territory. But damn, I can’t get it out of my head.

Now we have a new song: from Netherlands musician. Erik Witteveed, The Baby Hatch. I’d ‘not have found this on my own, but a friend of mine who is very active in a Save Haven organization (yes I do have friends with whom I disagree!)  forwarded it to me the other day. She thinks it’s strange. I think it’s strange  It does, though, have a sort of plaintive folky sound to it. Actually, it’s pretty sad. But, on  the up side: it  may be maudlin, but it’s not cheap.  It may be sentimental, but it’s not self-promoting.  It may tell a story, but it’s not telling under-age girls it’s OK to hide the baby.

Two questions:  how is the baby supposed to know what its name is if it’s being deposited in a baby hatch anonymously?  (We’re not talking about Nebraska, you know.) And what is the last verse about?

Honestly, if I  were heading for a baby box and heard that song,I’d  grab the kid and run home.I don’t want that song in my head for the rest of my life.,  I don’t want that video  in my head for the rest of my life.



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