The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57244   Message #899682
Posted By: CapriUni
27-Feb-03 - 11:28 AM
Thread Name: songs about disabilities
Subject: RE: songs about disabilities
What about that Si Kahn song - i don't remember the title but the chorus starts "it isn't what you're born with but what you do with what you've got".

That gets sung a lot... And although, as a person with cerebral palsy, I like the message that handicapped* people have more abilities than disabilities, I resent the implication that we are inherently a saintly bunch because of our physical and/or mental conditions.
It's a message that's implied for most of the song, and stated directly in the last verse:

between those who use their neighbours
and those who use the cane
between those in constant power
and those in constant pain
between those who run to glory
and those who cannot run
tell me which ones are the cripples
and which ones touch the sun?

I know for a fact that using a wheelchair does not impair your ability to be a power-hungry, money-grubbing S.O.B., if that's your choice, it only makes it harder to get up a flight of stairs. I've yet to see a pedestal that was at all accessible ;-)

Actually, I think the best song about "The issue of disability" wasn't written for that purpose at all -- the 'novelty' song: You can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd (but you can be happy if you've a mind to) by country-western singer Roger Miller, the lyrics to which can be found here.

*Although the word "handicapped" is considered politically incorrect today, because it sounds like it's about begging (cap in hand), and because of its association with government agencies of past generations, I much prefer it to "disabled". The word actually comes from a 14th (iirc) century bartering/gambling game, with the implication of having to pay a higher price (in time, effort, frustration, etc.) to achieve the same goals as everyone else, but that we are strong enough to do so. "Disabled" simply means "not able" or "broken". And that just aint so!