The Lyrics of birth

June 4, 2014

WordPress101 Task  Day 3  Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?  Mmmm songs?


This writing task took me into the delivery room, the place where women often labour and give birth in the UK.  It is common to have the radio playing as a background to events. The family choose the station, in an effort to create a good atmosphere, this was in the good old days before CD’s and IPOD’s.  To be honest it has often been a useful diversion, a talking point and even resulted in a great deal of laughter.  The radio is turned on and often forgotten in the background, but then a particular song will break through.

In circumstances where ordinarily the family and the mother have been distressed the radio has provided a moment of hilarity that has just about got us all through.


An old Ronette’s song was playing

“Be my, be my baby, my one and only baby”

The family and the mother began to sing along but at the point of

“……………..be my baby now”

the mother would shout out the word “NOW” as loud as she could in an effort to bring her labour to a close. It made us all laugh as this obviously helped her to verbalise her frustration.

In similar circumstances, a Buddy Holly song was on the radio and the mother was pushing but making slow progress. She was getting very frustrated and deflated with her efforts and then the chorus kicked in and she yelled/screamed/sang

“Oh baby won’t you come out tonight”.

We again all laughed, it broke the stress and then the baby’s head came around the bend.


Another time I remember was when a primigravida (first time mum) had a stubborn anterior lip of her cervix. We were trying to encourage her not to push by trying alternate positions and breathing.  Then on the radio came Reo Speedwagon with

“Can’t fight this feeling anymore”.

Again,  great hilarity that broke the tense atmosphere. Again the baby soon emerged. I am not sure musical lyrics have been researched as an assistant to birth but I have certainly enjoyed its impact.

Talking of impact, at the beginning of the International Congress of Midwives in Prague (June 2014) hundreds of Midwives from all over the globe joined together and sang The Gerry and the Pacemakers song

“…… And you’ll never walk alone”.

Given the challenges of childbirth in the developing world under discussion at the conference I thought it might be good to change the words of the anthem to

“ ……..And you’ll never birth alone”.


3 Responses to “The Lyrics of birth”

  1. I loved the combination of humour and poignancy in your post. Giving birth is such an emotive experience. I can remember playing a song, “Rescue me” when I gave birth 16 years ago although I can’t remember any of the songs I played when I gave birth the second time!

  2. I think so. I think music was the main thing that kept me going through the birth experience!

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