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FROM WICKED TO WINSOME

THEY SING! THEY WRITE!

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Remember when pop singers used to get physical and waste away in Margaritaville? These days, they’re writing cuddly kids’ books, high only on family values. A few then-and-now comparisons: Olivia Newton-John Song: ”Let me hear your body talk, body talk/Let me hear your body talk.” (”Physical,” 1981) Book: ”Protect our dear earth. Don’t throw it away/You, too, could make magic from garbage someday.” (A Pig Tale, 1993)

Livingston Taylor Song: ”Working at a bottle of Ripple wine/I’m breathing that clean fine Southern air.” (”Carolina Day,” 1971) Book: ”Chewing a shoe/Will help pass the time/The new ones taste best/I hope Dad won’t mind.” (Can I Be Good?, 1993)

Jimmy Buffett Song: ”Nothin’ to show but this brand-new tattoo/But it’s a real beauty, a Mexican cutie/How it got here I haven’t a clue.” (”Margaritaville,” 1977) Book: ”He sang and played his beautiful guitar, and he ruled Bananaland with wisdom.” (The Jolly Mon, 1988, reissued in paperback 1993)

Tom Paxton Song: ”There are thousands in the prisons/There are widows numbed with sorrow/There are graves unmarked and hidden/There are ghosts outside your gate.” (”White Bones of Allende,” 1977) Book: ”Where’s the baby?/She’s nearby/ Listening to a lullaby.” (Where’s the Baby?, 1993) -Anne Reeks