Be Careful,There's a Baby

Book Card  -  Volume 23  -  Book Review Number 2  -  Sun, Feb 16, 1992 3:32 PM

TITLE: Be Careful, There's a Baby in the House
AUTHOR: Rosalie Sorrels
PUBLISHER: Green Linnet

Last issue, I reviewed Rosalie Sorrels' previous CD, Report From Grimes Creek. Now I'm pleased to review her latest offering, Be Careful, There's a Baby in the House.

The title track is a Loudon Wainwright III composition, about which Rosalie says, "Loudon's song has the best line about love I've ever heard... 'If your "I love you" is an I.O.U., don't expect to get a good deal.'"

Only two or three of the sixteen tracks are composed by Rosalie Sorrels, and the diversity of the selections is amost overwhelming: Shel Silverstein, Don Marquis, Billie Holiday, Damon Runyon, Utah Phillips, Hunter S. Thompson, W.B. Yeats - this is an amazing playlist.

For me, the heart of the CD is Rosalie's Baby Rocking Medley, consisting of a benevolent baby rocking song followed by a hostile baby rocking song. Take it from an inveterate bachelor: this should be required listening for all parents and prospective parents.

At least as powerful as the music are the liner notes, excerpted below:

"There are a lot of women my age in the United States (I'm fifty-seven...born 1933) who can't believe we have to talk about the abortion issue again... who are too tired to talk about it again... who couldn't talk about it in the first place. We HAVE to talk about it! Sometimes that's the only way you can fight back... to tell! Yell!... Make a scene! Make a stink!... Raise HELL!... Put a prop under it!

"I know... now some born-again (never trust anyone who doesn't think their mother got it right when they got born and they have to be born again) Christian type is gonna stomp up to me...

Slash my tires...
Leave a dead rat in my mailbox...
Splash tar all over my windows...
Set my dog on fire...
Knock me to the ground and screech:
"I don't BELIEVE in abortion and I'll kill you if you don't agree with me!"
O.K. Fine!
Nobody BELIEVES in abortion... I don't BELIEVE in abortion...

I had one when I was sixteen (Emmett, Idaho... 1949). It was one of the worst things that ever happened to me. I couldn't even talk about it for at least fifteen years after I'd done it. It was illegal... a surgical puncture with a surgical tool... delivered by some weird old half-drunk lady called a mid-wife... (the mid-wife from hell in a dirty motel)... I don't remember deciding to do it... it was decided... then it was happening... but it didn't happen... just a lot of pain and blood and panic... everybody looking for a doctor who wasn't too afraid of the consequences of even looking at me, let alone saving my life or trying to repair the damage.

"There are other possibilities," the born-again expert on life will instruct you. "For instance, adoption's an option."

Adoptions an option?


A year after my encounter with the mid-wife from hell, another uninvited seed planted itself in my unwilling incubator. I won't discuss how this happened for I ain't (as Mehitabel the Cat would say) no tabloid newspaper and there are so many good moral folks in their safe, sheltered lives who'd assume that I somehow asked for all this grief.

I was graduating from Boise High that year.

I was an honor student... so I couldn't have been dumb... right?

I lost a four-year dramatics scholarship I'd earned... my resolve to be an actress... my self-respect... and more than a year of my life. I went to the Booth Memorial Home for Unwed Mothers in Los Angeles where I stayed for five months before I gave birth to a little baby girl, who I saw every day for the next three or four weeks while I worked in the nursery to pay off my bill and waited for the adoption procedure to go through so I could reenter life as I thought I knew it.

She would be thirty-nine this year. I still grieve for the loss of that child... I still wonder how she would look... what kind of a human being she would be... and now I wonder if I'll ever find out whether I want to or not, now that they have opened all those files they promised would stay closed forever.

"Well," say the bible-banging know-it-all, "marriage never occurred to you?"

Hey... the other party wasn't into it and had the family connections and the money to make it so I didn't exist. It never even occurred to me to ask. I was too young... and poor... and dumb, and I had no muscle.


And on it goes...

Even if you don't believe precisely in Rosalie Sorrels' moral position (I do), you have to see that this is POWERFUL STUFF.

Rosalie Sorrels
be careful, there's a baby in the house
Green Linnet Records, Inc.

Buy it!