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Dead Babies (Killer, 1971)

“Dead Babies” Lyrics:

Little Betty ate a pound of aspirin
She got them from the shelf upon the wall
Betty’s mommy wasn’t there to save her
She didn’t even hear her baby call
(Waaah!)

Dead babies can take care of themselves
Dead babies can’t take things off the shelf
Well we didn’t want you anyway
Lalala-la, lalala-la, la la la

Daddy is an agrophile in Texas
Mommy’s on the bar most every night
Little Betty’s sleeping in the graveyard
Living there in burgundy and white

Dead babies can take care of themselves
Dead babies can’t take things off the shelf

Well we didn’t love you anyway
Lalala-la, lalala-la, la la la

Goodbye, Little Betty
Goodbye, Little Betty
So long, Little Betty
So long, Little Betty
Betty, so long

Dead babies can take care of themselves
Dead babies can’t take things off the shelf
Well we didn’t need you anyway
Lalala-la, lalala-la, la la la

Goodbye, Little Betty

(Order in the court! Order in this court room!
Order! Order in the court! Order! Will you have order!…)

Released in late 1971, “Killer” is Alice Cooper’s fourth studio album. Reaching #21 on the Billboard 200, the record continued to propel the group forward into the limelight of the music world.

Many fans and critics believe this to be the best Alice Cooper LP recorded during the band years. Songs like “Under My Wheels,” “Be My Lover,” “Desperado,” “Halo of Flies,” and “Killer” are iconic representations of early Alice Cooper. They will forever be classics and are still often performed some 45+ years later. The Killer LP is raw, well thought out, and unapologetic – pure Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Dead Babies,” the second to last track on the album, may very well be the most notorious and controversial song of the Alice Cooper band’s career. The song is close to six minutes in length and tells the tragic tale of little Betty. It’s a poignant and ingenious story written about child neglect – a taboo topic that was often swept under the rug at that time.

This song is a grim portrait of gross negligence by Betty’s parents, which ultimately leads to Betty’s overdose on, of all things, a bottle of aspirin. The message is clear. “Dead Babies” is NOT a plea for parents to “off” their children. Instead, it’s a cautionary message pleading with parents to take their role seriously.

“We were trying to be shocking under the critical magnifying glass of radio stations, advertisers, church groups, parents, and even many of the kids that were our age. Plus, we actually did have our own sense of decency. It was a balancing act. As tame as some of our things appear in retrospect – like five androgynous-looking guys with a girl’s name – it really was shocking then. It demanded more thinking than the public cared to do, so many just tried to write us off as a joke. Others threatened to kill us. Girls loved us. But nobody could ignore us. As for threats, our entire career was riddled with threats of all kinds. We had so many threats that we became immune to worrying about them.”  – Dennis Dunaway, founding member/bassist of the band

Dunaway could not have stated it any better. Alice Cooper was a force to be reckoned with – not just because of their shocking appearance and on-stage antics, but because their tracks made you think. The music was intellectual. The lyrics carried a more profound meaning…a purpose…a message.

Little Betty ate a pound of aspirin
She got them from the shelf upon the wall
Betty’s mommy wasn’t there to save her
She didn’t even hear her baby call
(Waaah!)

Dead babies can take care of themselves
Dead babies can’t take things off the shelf
Well we didn’t want you anyway
Lalala-la, lalala-la, la la la

The message of this song is still very relevant almost 50 years later. In fact, in our fast-paced, phone-centered world of distraction, it may apply even more so in today’s society. There are numerous examples of neglect and unintentional death caused by parental distraction or a lack of precaution: children left in cars, drowning in pools, playing with guns, etc.

The bottom line is, parenthood involves giving life, but it’s about receiving life as well. Parents and children are interconnected and interdependent upon each other. Children want the approval of their parents, and parents feel responsible for their children and their well-being.

Like most things in life, we are inherently wired with a desire to love, protect, and care for each other, especially our children. God’s Word has so much to say about children. The secrets to life often lie in the “heart of a child.

While we’ve been called to raise and nourish them, it is us, the parents, who have much to learn from them. Perhaps, God has chosen to loan them to us for that reason – to teach us lessons about life (Psalm 127:3-5).

“He called a little child to Him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”Matthew 18: 2-6

Christ directly spoke these words. He makes no bones about the fact that our role, as parents and adults, is vital to our children. The way we interact with them is critical – not just for them, but for us as well. While there are eternal ramifications for the way we treat and speak to each other, the earthly ones can be just as detrimental.

Pay close attention to verse 6, “If anyone causes one of these little ones – those who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Christ spoke in parables. This was a warning. The lives of children and adults are interwoven.

Have you ever noticed the irreparable harm parents and children suffer when they are severely mistreated? It is crucial to note that the damage caused is mutual.

Both the parent (who mistreats the victim) and the innocent child (who lays victim to their guardian’s actions) are hurt. Abuse and neglect often result in a lifetime of behavioral and emotional consequences for both the child and their parents.

How many therapy sessions with grown adults focus not only on their own childhood experiences but on the mistakes they may have made in raising their own children? In fact, the damage we cause to those we are inherently designed to protect (our children) are often more damaging to us as parents.

Our Father, in Heaven, has “wired” us this way – we are not just one soul going about on our own path. We are interconnected.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”1 Peter 5:2-3

There is a peace that comes from raising children properly and treating them well. There’s a deep connection between us all. From generation to generation and age to age, we are His Creation. We are His children. Humanity forms the interlocking pieces of God’s great puzzle and design.

This connection starts in the womb. A bond is formed not only between mother and child but also between our Creator and His creation.

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”Jeremiah 1:5

Just as God made plans for Jeremiah and knew in what capacity He would use him, our Lord has plans for us all. We’ve each been given a task and role in this life. That task was known by Him well before we were ever born or even conceived.

This discussion brings us to perhaps the most controversial topic we’ve covered in this blog – Abortion.

The narratives for and against abortion are interesting and of the utmost importance in today’s world. On the one hand, Pro-Life claims the life of the fetus is the most important factor. On the other hand, Pro-Choice claims the life of the mother is the most important factor.

We would like to take this time to look at an alternative narrative – one that supports and promotes both the life and well-being of the child and the mother.

The Pro-Grace movement is that alternative and is slowly gaining recognition and momentum. The abortion debate has never fully been resolved, nor has it been handled correctly. The good people at prograce.org see this issue in a different light (and so do we).

NOTE: Take some time to check out prograce.org. Their message statement is as follows: “Pro-Grace is creating a third option in the abortion conversation so that Christians can have a grace-centered, non-political way to respond to the issue. Our local churches will then be able to create communities where both women and children can thrive during and after unintended pregnancy.”

And those communities are what can bring God’s hope – and His answer – to ultimately shift the abortion issue. If you believe this message is correct and vital, find ways to connect your church to the Pro-Grace movement.

What’s most unnerving about the mainstream Pro-Choice and Pro-Life organizations is not necessarily their reasoning, but the miscommunication that occurs between the two camps. A combination of harsh debates, brash tactics, and staunch (sometimes violent) stances create unneeded tension, anger, and defensiveness. The two virtually “hunker down” into their own selective corners, refusing to find common ground.

Each side declines to show or allow any compassion for the other. It’s often hard to see the message of Christ’s Love on either side. Abortion has become a divisive issue separating families and friends into a segregated community.

The Spring of 2019 brought the release of Unplanned, a film about the story of Abby Johnson’s life and her experiences with abortion. This film takes a stand for the lives of the unborn, but it also shows the importance of caring for women dealing with their unintended pregnancies.

Unplanned is paramount in helping us see and understand the Pro-Grace movement. It provides visual evidence for the brutal tactics used to abort children and also explains the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual ramifications on the mother.

At its core, abortion neglects life – not just the life of the fetus but also the life of the mother. Our Creator has designed us as interwoven vessels. Life, by God’s Design, is set in motion by two people (a man and a woman) and carried through by two or more people as well (a mother and her baby/babies.)

From that interaction, a new life is created and interwoven into history. A fetus is not just some “parasite” preying off its host. This child is created as an extension of its mother (and its father).

During this pandemic, many states are touting abortions as life-sustaining procedures – clinics and practices that should not be closed or prevented from taking place. Stop and think about that for a moment. Have we indeed reached a place in time where a procedure that takes one life (and permanently scars another) is deemed a life-sustaining action?

From the lips of Unplanned’s Abby Johnson, “Abortion can never be safe. Any procedure where “success” means the killing of another human being can certainly not be safe.” Her quote is chilling and filled with truth and authority. Abortion is undoubtedly NOT a life-sustaining procedure.

As humanity combats COVID-19, a silent, invisible killer (which has claimed more than 250,000 souls worldwide), it is terrifyingly chilling to note that abortion has claimed over 14 million souls in that same amount of time. That’s not only 14 million children deprived of life, but it’s also 14 million mothers disconnected from the life they were designed to give. It’s heartbreaking.

Wrapping up this week’s post, it’s time for us to take a stand. It’s time for us to stand up for life. Not for the life of the mother or the child independently, but for both their lives.  Lives that, by design, are physically and emotionally interdependent upon each other.

It’s time to be truthful and honest about the ramifications of this procedure while working to save as many lives as possible. How many now live in silent torment (their own private hell) after making the decision to end their pregnancy?

Some women choose abortion for fear of tomorrow. Some for the rectification of a mistake or a crime committed against them. Some for the pure sake of convenience. Whatever the reason, doesn’t Christ’s Grace, Mercy and Love still apply to them as well?

Anyone that’s been through such an ordeal has already had life removed from them. It’s not the responsibility of the church to also strip away the love of Christ. Instead, it is our responsibility as the church to shine His Light into her life…a life that has been through a traumatic, heart-wrenching experience.

In conclusion, the Killer LP and its predecessor, Love It To Death, laid the foundation for the Alice Cooper phenomenon and experience. The band had been together for over three years, but these two albums, released back-to-back in 1971, literally set the stage for Alice Cooper’s career.

During the show, the song, “Dead Babies,” featured Alice chopping up toy dolls and flinging their parts across the stage and into the crowd. It was shock rock laced together with a public service announcement.

“Actually that song was probably the first anti-drug, anti-parental abuse song; it was like ‘Mom is high and in the other room with some guy she’d never seen before. Dad is out drinking, and the baby is taking every pill in the medicine cabinet.’ It was a total anti-parental abuse song.” – Alice Cooper

Like so many songs in Cooper’s catalog, “Dead Babies” is meant to offend and traumatize both the audience and the listener. While many protested and called for Alice Cooper to be banned, a question arose in the process. If shock and awe bring harsh reality to life, is such trauma really a bad thing?

There’s a certain amount of enlightenment that accompanies disruption and repulsion. A fresh, new perspective can be gained when (His) Light is shed on (and in) the darkness, and once that light shines, the darkness can not overcome it (John 1:5).

That’s it for this week. Be well and catch you next Friday!

In the meantime, Keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ with Alice!

Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?

If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:

"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay.  I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"

If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you.  Please contact us at prayers@oceanfloorministries.com so we can welcome you into the kingdom.  We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.

Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?

If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:

"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay.  I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"

If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you.  Please contact us at prayers@oceanfloorministries.com so we can welcome you into the kingdom.  We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.

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