Cyndi Lauper has shared a rerecorded version of her 1993 abortion rights anthem ‘Sally’s Pigeons’ in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.
In a series of tweets that accompanied the new, more stripped-back and plaintive version of ‘Sally’s Pigeons’ on June 25, Lauper wrote, “In my childhood, women didn’t have reproductive freedom and 50 years later we find ourselves in a time warp where one’s freedom to control their own body has been stripped away.”
She continued, “When I wrote this song with Mary Chapin Carpenter in 1991, we wrote about two little girls who dreamt of stretching their wings like the pigeons they watched that flew above them.
“They dreamt of being free. But freedom then for women and unfortunately now comes at a big price. If we don’t have control over our own bodies then we have no real freedom. We are second class citizens. We need to mobilize. We need to let our voices be heard.”
‘Sally’s Pigeons’ was famously inspired by a childhood friend of Lauper’s who had gotten pregnant in her teens and sought a back-alley abortion. Lauper’s friend died as a result, and Lauper has since made her pro-choice stance clear, even attending a Planned Parenthood Bans Off Our Bodies march in New York City earlier this year in May.
Listen to the ‘Redux 2022’ version of ‘Sally’s Pigeons’ below.
Notable figures in the music industry have expressed their outrage on social media following the announcement of the reversal, including Taylor Swift, Pearl Jam, Charli XCX, Phoebe Bridgers and more. “I’m absolutely terrified that this is where we are,” Swift wrote, “that after so many decades of people fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies, today’s decision has stripped us of that.”
Bridgers and Janelle Monáe both addressed the US Supreme Court in their recent respective appearances at Glastonbury Festival and the BET Awards 2022 with short but similar messages of: “Fuck the Supreme Court!”
In May, Halsey aired a video of protest footage and facts about abortion statistics during her ‘Love And Power’ tour opener and joined the likes of Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion and Bridgers in signing a letter denouncing the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that preceded the reversal.