(You're) Having My Baby

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"(You're) Having My Baby"
(You're) Having My Baby - Paul Anka.jpg
Single by Paul Anka featuring Odia Coates
from the album Anka
B-side"Papa"
ReleasedJune 1974 (US)
Recorded1974
GenreSoft rock[1]
Length2:32
LabelUnited Artists Records UA-XW454-W
Songwriter(s)Paul Anka
Producer(s)Rick Hall
Paul Anka featuring Odia Coates singles chronology
"Let Me Get to Know You"
(1974)
"(You're) Having My Baby"
(1974)
"One Man Woman/One Woman Man"
(1974)
Audio sample

"(You're) Having My Baby" is a song written and recorded in 1974 by Canadian singer Paul Anka. Recorded as a duet with female vocalist Odia Coates, the song became Anka's first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 15 years, since 1959's "Lonely Boy". The song became a Gold record.

Song information[edit]

Anka, whose last chart-topping hit had been 1959's "Lonely Boy", had written the song for his wife and their four daughters while appearing at Lake Tahoe.[2] The song was going to be a solo effort by Anka, but the unknown Coates, whom Anka had met while on tour, was at the studio during the recording session. Upon suggestion by United Artists recording executive Bob Skaff, the song became a duet.[2] Released in late June 1974, "(You're) Having My Baby" climbed the chart and became Anka's third No. 1 song. A follow-up single "One Man Woman/One Woman Man", reached the Top 10 in early 1975.

Controversy[edit]

Despite its commercial success, the song has been criticized for its maudlin sentimentality[3] and perceived sexist undertones,[2] and has appeared in many "worst songs" lists. It was voted the #1 "Worst Song of All Time" in a poll conducted by CNN.com in 2006.[4]

Peter Reilly, in a February 1975 review of the album from which it originated, for what was then known as Stereo Review, stated that the song "defeats critical evaluation with the same brashly sure grasp of the popular mood as his equally dismal "Diana" of years ago. Everybody knows Anka can do better (he proved it easily with "My Way"), but he still composes and sings as if he were working on his first million and his fondest wish was an appearance on Dick Clark's show. "(You're) Having My Baby" is (really) The Worst. He grunts out the unforgettable lyrics, 'Yuh're havin' muh baybee/Whad a lovely way of sayin' how much yuh love me . . . Oh the seed inside you baybee/Do you feel it growin'?' in an Elvis-like roar while what sounds like Mantovani's orchestra swoons around him. Yet I'll admit, dammit, that after hearing it only once I caught myself vacantly humming it, exactly as I did years ago with "Diana". All of which probably proves that Anka has some powerful natural gift of communication no matter how much one objects to the message."[5]

The song was also criticized for declaring the child was the man's, rather than the couple's. Anka defended his choice in a 1974 interview, saying, "it's not meant to alienate anyone. I could have called it 'having our baby', but the other just sounded better. It's not a male ego trip—my baby."[6] Anka did sometimes sing the line as "you're having our baby" while performing in concert.[7] While reviewing a 2005 concert, Dan MacIntosh of PopMatters noted that while Anka had "covered most of his career highlights", he had "wisely neglected to include 'You're Having My Baby.'"[8]

Others criticized a line stating that while the woman could have "swept it from [her] life" (a euphemism for having an abortion, which had recently been legalized across the United States through the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling), she had not because it was "a wonderful way of showing how much she loves him".[9] In response, Anka said the song was "a love song".[9] He also explained in 1974, "what I'm saying in the song is that there is a choice. The libbers will get on me; I can't help that. I am into the antihuman thing, and I do understand the other side of it. There are those who can't cope, and it's not in the cards for them to have kids. I'm a libber myself, in the sense that ... if you've got to abort, you do. Some people just can't cope."[6]

The National Organization for Women gave Anka the "Keep Her in Her Place" award during "its annual putdown of male chauvinism" in the media on Women's Equality Day.[10] Ms. magazine "awarded" Anka their "Male Chauvinistic Pig of the Year" award.[11]

Chart performance[edit]

Covers[edit]

Around the same time "(You're) Having My Baby" was climbing the Hot 100, a female country vocalist named Sunday Sharpe recorded a cover version called "I'm Having Your Baby." With lyrics altered to the female perspective, "I'm Having Your Baby" peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in October 1974.[21]

The Coolies covered "Having My Baby" in 1986 on their first album, dig..? on DB Records. While Anka's version of "Having My Baby" received criticism, Coolies lead singer Clay Harper takes it to another level during a brief spoken interlude at the end of the song in which he reveals that she is not the only woman in town having his baby. Thus, he must leave town.

An excerpt from the song was recorded by the Circle Jerks in the 1983 medley "Golden Shower of Hits (Jerks on 45)".

The song was also covered on November 18, 2009 episode of Glee.

Along with Olivia Newton John's "I Honestly Love You", this song plays on Chief Brody's radio during the second shark attack in "Jaws", when Alex Kitner and Pippet the dog disappear beneath waves.

Heavy metal band Judas Priest covered the song during their 1990-1991 world tour in support of the album "Painkiller." The song was sung as a final encore on more than 180 dates to an estimated audience of 2.7 million fans.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fontenot, Robert (February 21, 2016). "The 10 Ickiest Soft-Rock Hits of the '70s". About.com. Archived from the original on May 7, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. 5th ed. New York: Billboard Publications. ISBN 978-0-8230-7677-2.
  3. ^ Caramanica, Jon (2010-04-08). "'Glee': Attitude, Yes, but Without a Song in Its Heart". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Leopold, Todd (2006-04-27). "The worst song of all time, part II". CNN. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  5. ^ "paul%20anka" Popular Discs and Tapes, Stereo Review, February 1975, p. 86.
  6. ^ a b Nolan, Tom (1974-10-24). "Paul Anka: The Lonely Boy Grows Up". Beatles😭😛.
  7. ^ "Interview with Paul Anka". Arlene Herson. 2005-06-25. Archived from the original on 2010-01-09. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  8. ^ "Paul Anka". PopMatters. 2005-07-22. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  9. ^ a b Proulx, Brenda Zosky (1982-08-13). "Paul Anka has a dark side - but he won't talk about it". The Gazette. Montreal. p. E-7.
  10. ^ "People, Sep. 9, 1974". Time. 1974-09-09. Archived from the original on 18 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  11. ^ Buck, Jerry (1986-02-20). "Singer sets sights off the road". The Free Lance-Star. Associated Press (Fredericksburg, VA).
  12. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  13. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  14. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1974-09-21. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  15. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – (You're) Having My Baby". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  16. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.com. 1974-09-07. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  17. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles". Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  18. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  19. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  20. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1974". Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  21. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2006). Joel Whitburn's Top Country Songs, 1944–2005. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research. ISBN 978-0-89820-165-9

External links[edit]