DailyAfirmation (dailyafirmation) wrote,

Mental illness in a trio of Helen Reddy songs...

~Saturday~  Today, I drove two hours to Jacksonville, NC to join my sister and her husband, Jeff, to have a 'tween birthdays lunch with my parents. My mom turned 81 on March 1, and my dad will turn 82 on April 30.

On the way, I was listening to one of the playlists put together by DJ 808, which consisted of greatest hits of Helen Reddy.

These three songs came on in a row:

  1. Delta Dawn

  2. Angie Baby

  3. Leave Me Alone

and by that third one, I thought, "Damn. That's a lot of mental health issues permeating those songs."

From Delta Dawn:

She's forty-one and her daddy still calls 'er "baby"
All the folks 'round Brownsville say she's crazy
'Cause she walks downtown with her suitcase in her hand
Lookin' for a mysterious dark-haired man

From Leave Me Alone:

Big ole ruby red dress wanders round the town
Talkin' to herself now, sometimes sittin' down
Don't you get too close now, ruby runs away
Poor ole ruby red dress born on a sorry day

Something hurt that ruby, something she can't bear
Ya look at her real close now, you see a little tear
Her daddy tried to hide it, tried to keep things cool
But something happened to Ruby, she broke down to a fool

And the truly bizarre, all the way through really, Angie Baby:

You live your life in the songs you hear
On the rock and roll radio
And when a young girl doesn't have any friends
That's a really nice place to go
Folks hoping you'd turn out cool
But they had to take you outta school
You're a little touched you know, Angie Baby

Lovers appear in your room each night
And they whirl you across the floor
But they always seem to fade away
When your daddy taps on your door
Angie girl, are you all right
Tell the radio good-night
All alone once more, Angie Baby
Angie Baby, you're a special lady
Living in a world of make-believe
Well, maybe

Stopping at her house is a neighbor boy
With evil on his mind
'Cause he's been peeking in Angie's room
At night through her window blind
I see your folks have gone away
Would you dance with me today
I'll show you how to have a good time, Angie Baby

When he walks in her room,
He feels confused like he's walked into a play
And the music's so loud it spins him around
'Til his soul has lost its way
And as she turns the volume down
He's getting smaller with the sound
It seems to pull him off the ground
Toward the radio he's bound never to be found

The headlines read that a boy disappeared
and everyone thinks he died
'Cept a crazy girl with a secret lover
Who keeps her satisfied
It's so nice to be insane
No one asks you to explain
Radio by your side, Angie Baby

Angie Baby, you're a special lady
Living in a world of make-believe
Well, maybe
Well, maybe

I was so struck by this that I looked up Helen Reddy in Wikipedia to see if she had some connection to mental illness.

The nearest thing—that I could find—to it might be that she was married to a cocaine addict for eight years.
Tags: music

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