Rumors of the death of Adventures Through The Mines Of Mellow Gold have been greatly exaggerated. You know the old saying, friends: once a wuss, always a wuss. But you know how it goes. You listen to nothing but mellow music for a whole year, you end up in therapy, and who’s there to pay the bill? Benny Mardones? I think not. He has problems of his own. So you can expect this mellow tradition to continue here on Popdose, albeit at a slower pace.
Today, though, I’m unbelievably excited to share with you a Mellow Gold gem, but one with a twist. Forget about the subservient male; today’s artist cares little for the feelings of the fairer of the sexes, and is damn proud of it.
Paul Anka – (You’re) Having My Baby (download)
I have wanted to write about this song for such a long time. Every time I hear it, I can only think one thing: Man, is Paul Anka a selfish assclown. There, I said it. But I wouldn’t just make such a bold statement without backing it up, would I? (I totally would.)
Paul Anka, all tan and smug
Let’s start with the title: “(You’re) Having My Baby.” That’s right, sweetie-pie: you are so unimportant to Paul right now that you’re reduced to a parenthetical. And listen to him sing it — he barely says the word at all. If anything, it’s a murmur. It’s the least important word in the entire song. First verse:
(You’re) havin’ my baby
What a lovely way of sayin’ how much you love me
(You’re) havin’ my baby
What a lovely way of sayin’ what you’re thinkin’ of me
Ladies of 1974, let me hear you. I need you to assure me that you listened to this bullshit — sung in harmony by two men, as if the douchebag needed his unemployed best friend Larry to come over and join in — and you were okay with it. I know 1974 was a very long time ago, and things have certainly changed since then. But come on — it was 1974, not 1955! Maude had already had her abortion two years prior! Women’s lib was not exactly something new. And yet you all allowed Paul to lay down the law. You pretty much paid him bags of money to do it, too. This song wound up climbing all the way to #1, and I’m squarely laying the blame on you. Don’t try to blame it on the men: although the macho guys may have agreed with the song’s sentiment, not one of us would have gotten past the first six notes, accentuated by some wussbag on the flute. Except maybe Randy VanWarmer. He would have been cool with it.
I can see it
Your face is glowin’
I can see it your eyes
I’m happy in knowin’
That (you’re) havin’ my baby.
Ladies, don’t you kind of love it when Paul tells you exactly what’s going on with you? Your face is glowin’, baby. No, it’s not sweat. It’s NOT SWEAT! It’s…glow. Stop crying. Stop crying! I know you’re emotional, but listen. (You’re) havin’ my baby.
You’re the woman I love and I love what it’s doin’ to yuh
(You’re) havin’ my baby
You’re a woman in love and I love what’s goin’ through yuh
And yes, it’s “yuh,” not “you” or even “ya.” I don’t think Paul Anka talks like this in real life, nor do I think this is representative of his typical style of singing. However, in order to truly convey this specific level of male dominance, you really need to get laaaazy on those vowels. There’s nothing really wrong with that first sentence, but I absolutely adore “you’re a woman in love” — any smart woman who’s heard the first sixty seconds of this song is going to counter with “Don’t you DARE tell me what I am!” — and I also love “I love what’s goin’ through yuh.” Can we please take up a pool and buy Paul Anka a goddamn baby book? With the royalties from Rock Swings, I’m sure we could almost purchase an e-book. I admit that I am not a father, and thus have never experienced all the intricacies of pregnancy. However, I’m 99.99% sure that the baby doesn’t actually go through anything until it’s actually time to push that lil’ bastard out the door. During pregnancy, the only thing goin’ through yuh is last night’s quesadilla.
This, of course, leads to one horrible, frightening thought: What if Paul Anka is actually singing this song while she’s in labor? Can you imagine? (Holy cow, I have an idea. More on this in a second.)
Don’t look now, everybody: here comes his female counterpart, Odia Coates, to absolutely reiterate every single thing Paul Anka just mandated. As Paul sings “(You’re) Havin’ My Baby,” his lady partner echoes back: “I’m a woman in love and I love what it’s doin’ to me / I’m a woman in love and I love what’s goin’ through me.” NO, Odia! You’re making it worse! I can’t imagine it was long before Ms. Coates received a hand-delivered telegram from Gloria Steinem.
It wasn’t as if the entire nation turned a deaf ear to the sexist sentiments of this song: the National Organization of Women awarded Paul Anka the “Keep Her in Her Place” award for his unabashed display of male chauvinism. (Also receiving the award? Seals & Crofts for their song “Unborn Child.” No joke. Surely a song with a lyric such as “You’re still a-clingin’ to the tree of life, but soon you’ll be cut off before you get ripe” deserves a prize, but I’m not so sure it’s this one.)
Didn’t have to keep it
Wouldn’t put you through it
You could have swept it from your life
But you wouldn’t do it
Awesome. We just went from a sexist love song to a pro-life anthem in under 2:30. Bravo, Paul Anka.
I’m feeling a little bad about this Anka attack. (Ankattack?) Maybe I should try to play devil’s advocate. After all, men do pretty much get shafted (no pun intended) when it comes to this whole pregnancy thing. It’s all about the mommy-to-be. Nobody ever asks how the daddy-to-be is holding up, how he’s feeling emotionally, or if he needs any help during this exciting but also challenging time. And we all know the reason why: all we did, guys, was stick our thing in that thing. We’re not walking around with morning sickness, longing for the days when we could see our feet, wondering why a pickle dipped in a pint of Chunky Monkey tastes so damn delicious. But dammit, don’t we deserve a bit of credit? Don’t we deserve our moment in the sun? Hell, yes, we do! And here comes Paul Anka to give it to us! Thanks, Paul! Man power!
Nah, this isn’t working. Yeah, we have feelings, but I don’t think we can ever possibly relate to what a woman goes through when she’s expecting (or delivering). And this song couldn’t possibly be any clearer in its message: you are nothing but an Anka-worshipping conduit for my child. Oh, and it had better be a boy, damn you.
Back in the ’70s, there were rumors that Anka, in response to pressure from groups like NOW, changed his lyrics from “(You’re) Having My Baby” to “(You’re) Having Our Baby.” Anka starts off denying it in this interview, but then changes his tune:
I never changed it at all. What I did was … there was some slack … I really didn’t get the fray of it, nor do I want to give out pamphlets with every record explaining what I write about, but … at some of my concerts, at the end of the song, I would end it with “You’re having our baby,” but that was the extent of it. I never changed anything, nor would I ever. I don’t believe in those kinds of restrictions in the creative process.
You hear that, ladies? Paul Anka doesn’t believe in those kinds of restrictions in the creative process! Now get back in the kitchen!
Before I sign off, I want to give some advice to the men reading this (which is fine, since I’m imagining most of the ladies have thrown their hands up in disgust and walked out). Specifically, this is for the men who think that they may, at some point, wind up in that delivery room, helping a lady get through the magic of childbirth.
I want you to have this song going through your head. Play nothing but this song for the few days before the birth date, if possible. Through your headphones — we don’t want anybody to know what you’re doing.
I want you to keep it to yourself for a while. Hum it aloud if you have to, but keep it down — there’s a lady in labor next to you, for cryin’ out loud.
I want you to wait for that moment. You know, the moment when she decides that no, natural childbirth is for chumps, and yes, she will have that epidural and she will have it right now, goddammit, and she’s still in the middle of pushing and screaming and she’s all sweaty and you’re scared out of your fucking mind. In that moment, I want you to pull it together, and be the best Lamaze coach you could ever be. I want you to get her attention, any way you can. Make sure that for just a brief second, she’s focused on nothing else but you. And as she looks into your eyes, with all the intensity of this moment, you look right back at her and you tell her.
“(You’re) havin’ my baby.”
And then you either run like hell, or send your the bill for your broken arm to Pressing Needs, loyal sponsor of Popdose.
If, for some crazy reason, your lady hasn’t strangled the shit out of you, feel free to continue the song. Save the “thru yuh” line for just the right moment. Don’t worry about holding her hand, giving her any encouragement, or even being there to see that child’s arrival into this world. After all, Paul Anka wouldn’t worry about it — why should you?
That’s going to do it for this edition of Adventures Through The Mines Of Mellow Gold! In case you were in fear of us ending this entry on a strong note, don’t be concerned. Let’s sign off by featuring Mr. Anka himself, crooning (and I mean crooning) this classic back in 2006 (you’re going to love the ending). And if that doesn’t do it for you, good news! YouTube has multiple videos with creepy pictures of pregnant women AND animals, all to the tune of “(You’re) Having My Baby.” See you next time!