Abortion’s impact on music

What is your favorite love song? Tough question, because most of us would have a challenge narrowing it down to a single favorite. Chances are, your favorite love song was written years ago for the simple reason that fewer love songs are being written this century. Thus, abortion’s impact on music.

“You’re crazy,” may be your immediate response. “How could abortion have any impact on music?”

Let’s start at the beginning: What is love?

The Bible tells us that “God is love” in 1 John 4:7-12. That’s a big idea. So love songs are about God and His Creation, whether the composer understands that or not.

St. Paul wrote of love’s primacy among all the virtues: “So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13).

Twelve hundred years later, Thomas Aquinas offered a practical definition: “To love means to consistently will and choose the good of the other.” In other words, we are to love what God loves, our neighbors, who are His creation.

Love is all about giving, not taking.

Abortion clearly is an attack on Love. It wills not the good, but the destruction, of the other for the sake of convenience. It is a rebuke of God’s very creation, a deadly rejection of our Creator which carries profound spiritual consequences to those involved in each abortion.

By contrast, love is creative, inspiring beauty in the world and our lives. No work of art uplifts our souls more than a love song.

Love songs are transformative

Music historian, Ted Gioia provided a secular viewpoint on the value of love songs in his book, “Songs: The Hidden History”:

“People are wrong to view these songs as mere entertainment or escapism. The purpose of a successful love song is to create love. The first love songs were part of fertility rites and they aimed at changing the world, not just describing it. When the Beatles sang ‘All You Need Is Love’ or John Coltrane performed ‘A Love Supreme’, they wanted to transform the world in which they lived. And on a personal level, many of us would not be here today if our parents hadn’t heard a love song at the right time and place. Those love songs aren’t just life-changing, they are life-creating.”

So love songs are transformative.

Love songs are disappearing from the pop charts

Freelance music blogger, DJ Rob, noticed that love songs are disappearing from today’s pop charts, with a precipitous decline on Billboard’s Premier Singles Chart since 2000. He conducted a decade-by-decade analysis of #1 songs with the word ‘love’ in it. Here are the results:

1960s: 23 love songs

1970s: 26 love songs

1980s: 25 love songs

1990s: 24 love songs

2000s: 7 love songs

2010s: 5 love songs

The drop really kicked in beginning in mid the 1990s as the first Roe v Wade generation came of age. Coincidence?

The decline of the love song has accelerated in the 20s, with but a single “love” song, that isn’t really a love song, topping the charts. “Savage Love,” by Jason Derulo is anything but a love song, with lyrics like this:

“When you kiss me, I know you don’t give two f*%@ks … but I still want that.”

How romantic.

Contrast those sentiments with these expressed in the Elvis Presley hit song (above) from 1961, “Can’t Help Falling In Love”:

Wise men say,

“Only fools rush in.”

But I can’t help

Falling in love with you.

‘Only fools rush in’ invokes the virtue of sacrificial love. It reminds us of the first responders at the Twin Towers who sacrificed everything trying to save others. Love is self-giving, not taking.

Elvis summarizes Aquinas so simply with these words:

Take my hand,

Take my whole life, too.

For I can’t help

Falling in love with you.

Love goes far beyond sexuality

It is an exchange of lives. “I give my life to you, you give your life to me.” Or as God explains in the Book of Genesis, “two become one flesh.”

Now that’s something to write a song about!

The post-1973 generation grew up in a milieu that put the individual first over the good of the other. Foundational American freedoms of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness transmogrified into Choice, Equity, and Lifestyle Choice, all at the expense of the human rights of our posterity.

Artists’ understanding of what love really is became twisted  

Abortion has debased sexuality and corrupted the Roe Generation’s perception of love.

The fruits of Roe

Just look at what Roe spawned: no-fault divorce; skyrocketing divorce rates; so-called same-sex marriage that precludes procreation; gender confusion and mutilation; epidemic teen suicide rates; single parent homes as the norm. It’s no wonder a new generation doesn’t know how to write a decent love song.

And yet despite abortion’s impact on music and our culture, there are signs of hope. The Knot (an online wedding planning platform) conducts a survey of wedding trends. Guess what the most popular first wedding dance song for 2023 was? Wait for it:

“Can’t Help Falling in Love” by the King himself, Elvis!

Elvis knocked off Ed Sheeren’s “Perfect” which had been #1 for the previous seven years. And nipping on Elvis and Ed’s heels is Taylor Swift’s “Lover.”

So here’s what we’ve learned: love is timeless. After all, a 63 year old song, performed by a long dead singer, is still in demand by a generation hungry for authentic love.

Despite Roe’s ugly legacy, people still want to hear real love songs. As long as we keep singing the beautiful words of love, the world has a chance.

[Pulse Life Advocates understands that music can promote a culture of life. To that end, we ask you to support our upcoming pro-life concert, “Women of Worth,” on April 14th at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in West Des Moines, IA. Details to come.]