My two favorite pro-life rock songs

(Updated, with video!)

A while back I stumbled upon a curious Wikipedia page, titled, “List of songs about abortion”. Not surprisingly, most of the songs listed are pro-abortion or “pro choice”. Also surprising was that one of the best pro-life/anti-abortion rock songs ever recorded was not on the list. The song is “legal kill”, from the outstanding album faith hope love (1990) by the hard rock group, King’s X. Here are some of the rather startling lyrics:

i know your side so very well
it makes no sense that i can tell
the smell of hell is what i smell
and you hand it out with handshakes everyday
i have trouble with the persons with the signs
but i feel the need to make my own
yes there are two ways to be
and truth does not depend on me
but i can feel the fight for life is always real
i cant believe its no big deal
its a legal kill

The line, “the smell of hell is what I smell”, is one that has always stuck with me, a perfect summation of the evil of abortion. If you listen to the entire song, you’ll hear a wonderful musical connection made to the birth of Jesus Christ at the very end:

The second song is on the list: “Rock A Bye Bye” by the rock group Extreme, from their 1989 debut (and self-titled) album. The song is verbal and musical play on the lullaby, “Rock a Bye Baby”. Gary Cherone, the band’s lead singer and the co-writer of the song, was raised Catholic (and I assume he is still a practicing Catholic) and is involved with the pro-life organization, “Rock for Life”. (Cherone was also the lead singer for Van Halen for one album, but is now back with Extreme.) Although there is a bit of ambiguity in the lyrics—some insist the song is about child abuse—the introduction of a heartbeat at the 3:05 mark seems to me a clear indication of what the song is about. Here are the lyrics:

If you could only hear/The silent screams
When you wake them up/From their dreams
Nothing is heard
Not even a/Even a/Even a word

Rock a bye baby/On the tree top
When the bough breaks/The cradle will fall
Rock rock rock a bye baby
Rock rock rock bye bye

And if they had/Any chance at all
You still can’t hear/Those voices that call
And when the bough breaks
The cradle will/Cradle will/Cradle will fall

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About Carl E. Olson 1190 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @carleolson.