BitchTapesPro-Choice Anthems

This story was originally published on March 23, 2013.

One of the funniest (read: most irritating and laughably asinine) consequences of reproductive-rights discussions is that the word “choice” has many, many, many more meanings than what a woman does with her own body, but the same word is used to apply to all of them. For those of you that don’t remember Samantha Bee’s perfect illustration on the Daily Show of how incredibly loaded the word choice has become, watch here. To sum up Sam’s point, we all make choices. And we should! That’s how life gets lived! So let’s reclaim…decisions. No, wait, that’s not quite right. It’s like an alternative… What’s the word I’m looking for?

Here is a BitchTapes dedicated to all sorts of choices, from your pro-choice friends at Bitch Media.

Track List:

1. Aretha Franklin — Think.” Choice lyric: “You better think about what you’re trying to do to me…”

Hey, you. Yeah, you. Hypothetical person thinking about breaking Aretha’s heart. GET AHOLD OF YOURSELF. SHE WILL CLEARLY WIN.

2. Fleetwood Mac: Go Your Own Way.” Choice lyric: “You can go your own way…”

Fleetwood Mac: Clearly ALSO PRO-CHOICE! I had always hoped, in my heart of hearts.

3. The Clash: Should I Stay or Should I Go?” Choice lyric: “Darling you’ve got to let me know, should I stay or should I go?”

By far the most popular choice when I asked friends what should be on this mix. Call it an anthem for indecisive types!

4. Dixie Chicks: Not Ready to Make Nice.” Choice lyric: “Still mad as hell, can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should.”

See what happens when you tell women they can’t choose, death-threat-writing Republicans? THEY GET PISSED OFF AND WRITE CHEESY EXCELLENT COUNTRY SONGS ABOUT IT! Among other things.

5. R.E.M.: Stand.” Choice lyric: “Think about direction, wonder why you haven’t before…”

Or, as I like to call it, “That time R.E.M. tried to start a new dance craze.”

6. George Harrison - Any Road.” Choice lyric: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there.”

This song is NOT pro-choice. George wants us to make no choices and follow creepy “go anywhere” roads. Love you, George, you’re still my favorite. But I’ll take another ride, thanks.

7. Ella Fitzgerald - Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.” Choice lyric: “You’ve got me between the devil and the deep blue sea.”

Even Ella’s vocal delivery is all over the place, in the soaring, exhilarating, best way possible. If this is what confusion sounds like, I’m never saying I’m pro-choice again.

8. Tracy Chapman - Fast Car.” Choice lyric: “We’ve gotta make a decision, leave tonight or live and die this way.”

The first song that ever broke my heart. Choice, particularly NOT HAVING CHOICE, is heartbreaking. And this is what that sounds like, if that feeling had a guitar and could write songs.

9. Sheryl Crow - If It Makes You Happy.” Choice lyric: “If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad…”

RIGHT?! Where is Sheryl Crow this election cycle??

10. Nick Drake - Which Will.” Choice lyric: “Which will you choose from, from the stars above?”

First official appearance of the word “choose!” Also, way too sad a song for exclamation points. Sorry, Nick.

11. Spin Doctors - Two Princes.” Choice lyric: All of them. All of the ones.

I mean, I MYSELF am yet to come across two suitors who have, alternately, rockets or diamonds to offer me, but this song has had me believing that particular dilemma exists since 1992.

12. Björk - Its Not Up to You.” Choice lyric: “I can decide what I give…”

I might be wrong here, but I’m PRETTY SURE this song is a metaphor. If it’s not, oh well. There’s a choir at the end!

13. Impressions - Choice of Colors.” Choice lyric: “If you had a choice of colors, which one would you choose, my brothers?”

“With just a little more education, and love for our nation, we’d make a better society.” WOULD THAT IT WERE SO, IMPRESSIONS. But choices, y’all. THEY’RE RADICAL! And groovy to boot. This song is the anthem to a revolution I’d like to take part in.

These are choosy times we live in, friends. As these and many, many other great songs clearly show us, choice is the spice of life. Plus, the more anyone tells us what to do, the more we’ll yell at them and make them look ridiculous on TV. We’re pretty good at it.

by Katie Presley
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Katie Presley is a writer and editor currently based on the East Coast (help, how did this happen??). She's been with Bitch in one form or another since 2010, when she started as a New Media Intern, and most recently served as Bitch's first and only Music Editor, from 2016-2017. Past resume lines include Assistant Producer for All Songs Considered at NPR Music, panelist on Pop Culture Happy Hour, and bylines at NPR and Ms. Katie is also a doula and herbalist, and writes a blog on herbal medicine, "The Herbal Apprentice." She also co-founded the first full-spectrum doula organization in Texas, The Bridge Collective. She is also a late-comer to being a Dog Person, but currently lives with four cats. 

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6 Comments Have Been Posted

feminist-mix friday

Thank you so much for this mix! I sent it to my entire office and am playing it out-loud. Definitely made my day.


Hi Justyn,
Woohoo! So glad you're enjoying it! Happy Friday to you and your office!

Another song

A couple songs come to mind if anyone wants to expand the mix
Da don't care - team dresch
Hold together (let go if you will) - Diane cluck


Thanks Cyprus! I got SO MANY good recommendations for this mix–more than any other I've made, in fact! A lot of indecisive songwriters out there, clearly... I've added your suggestions to a potential part 2!

Fast Car

So perfect for this mix! I'm going to go listen to it on repeat and cry now.

Great List

<p>Looking through this list, there are some really good songs on here.
All I can think of is the song Oasis by Amanda Palmer, which is an upbeat little ditty that's literally about date rape and abortion.</p>