Friday, November 4, 2016

1916 Election Day Music

Cover of "She's Good Enough to be Your Baby's Mother and She's Good Enough to Vote with You!" The image depicts a domestic scene with a smiling woman in a dress and her rosy cheeked infant looking out a window. The child is waving.This is just so troubling, while supporting a cause that's so right. In the presidential election of a hundred years ago, women still did not have the vote in most states. With the election in the news, it was a good opportunity to push yet again for women's suffrage. Good idea--long overdue. But the message this 1916 popular song conveys is not exactly liberating.

The woman's role is clearly defined in the image: at home, raising the family, smiling to the world. The rhetoric of the chorus then places the woman as a man's helpmate and little more:
She's good enough to love you and adore you,
She's good enough to bear your troubles for you;
And if your tears were falling today,
Nobody else would kiss them away.
She's good enough to warm your heart with kisses
When you are lonesome and blue,
She's good enough to be your baby's mother
And she good enough to vote with you!
A hundred years later, Americans have their first opportunity to vote for a woman as a major party candidate. Progress for sure. But Lord knows what we will think a hundred years from now about the rhetoric of this campaign season.

To learn the tune and read the rest of the song, ask for Rauner Sheet Music SC 4077.

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