CCM Backbeat: Taking on Abortion

As I mentioned in an earlier post, one thing I appreciate about early contemporary Christian music is that it was not afraid to take a stand on issues, and it made no exception to that rule when it came to the evils of abortion. The good news with this topic is that several of today’s Christian artists have continued in the trend.

Let’s take a look at a few of the songs of the recent past that tackled this topic. If you will remember, Roe v. Wade passed in 1973, and what is disappointing is that we do not see really any songs in the 70’s on this topic. Part of this was due to the fact that CCM was still trying to find its footing. In the 80s and 90s, however, we see several artists make contributions to the cause. As you will see, some of the songs stand the test of time, and others, not so much.

1980’s

In 1980 Phil Keaggy kicked us off with a song called, Little Ones.

Below is a sample of the lyrics (see full lyrics here)

Who will speak up for the little ones?
Helpless and half-abandoned.
They’ve got the right to choose life
They don’t want to lose,
I’ve got to speak up, won’t you?

Equal rights, equal time, for the unborn children.
Their precious lives are on the line,
How can we be rid of them?
Passing laws, passing out
Bills and new amendments.
Pay the cost and turn about,
And face the young defendants.

In 1981, Andrae Crouch came out with a hard hitting song called I’ll Be Good to You Baby.

The verse below was not afraid to tell it like it is (see full lyrics here)

You are becoming an endangered species
They think more of the fishes in the sea
And you already out number the great Holocaust
And nobody’s even weeping your loss
Cause you never saw the light of day (you never saw the light of day)
And you never heard a robin sing (you never heard a robin sing)
And you never took a ride on a merry-go-round
Cause somebody came and cut you down.

Now for three of my favorites. In the 1983 Steve Taylor took on several topics in his song Whatever Happened to Sin.

The first verse addressed abortion (See full lyrics here).

A Christian counselor wrote, quote,
“It’s the only human choice ahead
If you can’t support it
Why don’t you abort it instead?”
You say you pray to the sky
Why? when you’re afraid to take a stand down here
‘Cause while the holy talk reads like a bad ad-lib
Silence screams you were robbing the crib
Say it ain’t none of my business, huh?
A woman’s got a right to choose
Now a grave-digger
Next you pull the trigger
What then?
Whatever happened to sin?

In 1984, the 77’s, featuring the ever-talented Michael Roe, released the album All Fall Down. This album received critical acclaim with the hit single Mercy Mercy making it into rotation on a fairly new music channel called Mtv. This was back when Mtv played music videos. Even with this crossover success, they were not afraid to let the world know of their pro-life views with the song Your Pretty Baby.

This song pressed home the issue of abortion regret with the lyrics below (see full lyrics here).

You couldn’t bear this thing
To save your life
Suppose you start to show

So you call the doctor
But who’s gonna nurse away
The little voice inside when it cries
You’ll curse this day

The final song I will highlight from the 80s is, once again, from the unparalleled Steve Taylor called I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good (1987). This song got him into some trouble with several Christian retailers because, as the Babylon Bee as proven to the world over and over again, many people do not understand satire.

In this song, Taylor sings from the perspective of an ice cream truck driver who is afraid, if abortion continues, he will be out of a job because there will be no more kids. Due to this fear, he decides to blow up an abortion clinic. However, the entire point of the song is found in a line from a preacher on a corner who calls it a crime and says “The end don’t justify the means anytime.”

This one is worthy of posting the full lyrics.

I have the road in my blood
I drive a custom van
I play the tunes
I’m the neighborhood ice cream man
so don’t you mess this boy around

The other day, when the clinic had its local debut
some chicks were trying to picket
the doctor threatened to sue

Now I don’t care if it’s a baby or a tissue blob
but if we run out of youngsters
I’ll be out of a job, and so I
I did my duty cleaning up the neighborhood
I blew up the clinic real good

Try and catch me, coppers
you stinking badges better think again
before you mess this boy around

I’ve hung in Saigon just to see the special effects
I’ve hung from gravity boots for my Napoleon complex

It’s time to close
ooh…there she blows
history in the making
you picked the fight
I picked dynamite
I blew up the clinic real good

Preacher on a corner
calling it a crime
says, “The end don’t justify the means anytime”
I stood up on my van
I yelled, “Excuse me, sir.
Ain’t nothing wrong with this country
that a few plastic explosives won’t cure.”

-Steve Taylor

The 80’s also gave us these songs.

1990’s

1990 kicked things off with DC Talk doing their nu thang and reminding the world that Children Can Live (Without It).

See full lyrics here.

A miracle of God
Now looked on as a choice
It’s time for all His children
To unify a voice
With influence in our numbers
And power in out prayer
We must defend the children
And fight for what is fair
What appears to be an upset
Can change its ugly course
And we can do it all
Through Jesus Christ our Lord

The final song I will highlight is Steve Green’s Roses (1998). In this song, he encourages us to make the right choice.

See full lyrics here.

May we learn to hold as dear
what God Himself has planted here.
And may we make the choice in fear,
lest we keep God’s rose from blooming

The 90’s also gave us these songs.

In closing, I don’t think it would be right to end this post without a nod to Matthew West who continues to carry the torch.

May we continue to stand for the most vulnerable among us. Let us never forget, however, that as we do, these artists all had several other songs presenting the gospel because there is forgiveness for sin in Jesus, and the sin of abortion is no exception.

-D. Eaton

Are there any other Christian songs you remember that dealt with abortion? Let me know in the comments.

8 thoughts on “CCM Backbeat: Taking on Abortion

  1. Great list of songs. I was going to mention the Barren Cross song until I saw that you had some honorable mentions before moving on to the 90s.

    There is one other Steve Taylor song worth mentioning, though the two you mentioned are great. He had another song called Baby Doe, about a baby born with Down syndrome who was allowed to starve because he had a treatable condition but the parents didn’t want to raise a special needs child. It’s technically about infanticide but our culture’s attitude about abortion logically entails support for infanticide.

    Also, a song from the 80s you overlooked is Games of Chance and Circumstance by A.D., but that’s likely too obscure to be considered a CCM song.

    A few more recent songs I like are Lucy by Skillet, Let’s Get Out of Here by Blessid Union of Souls and This Time by John Elefante.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember Baby Doe, I considered adding it. I am familiar with Lucy and the John Elefante song, but I will have to check out the Blessed Union of Souls song. I am not familiar with that one. Thanks for stopping by.

    Like

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