I Blew Up The Clinic Real Good

[Image: 'I Predict 1990' Front Cover]



I have the road in my blood
I drive a custom van
I play the tunes
I'm the neighborhood ice cream man
So don't you mess this boy around

The other day, when the clinic had its local debut
Some chicks were trying to picket
The doctor threatened to sue

Now I don't care if it's a baby or a tissue blob
But if we run out of youngsters
I'll be out of a job, and so I
I did my duty cleaning up the neighborhood
I blew up the clinic real good

Try and catch me, coppers
You stinking badges better think again
Before you mess this boy around

I've hung in Saigon just to see the special effects
I've hung from gravity boots for my Napoleon complex

It's time to close
Ooh... there she blows
History in the making
You picked the fight
I picked dynamite
I blew up the clinic real good

Preacher on a corner
Calling it a crime
Says, "The end don't justify the means anytime"
I stood up on my van
I yelled, "Excuse me, sir.
Ain't nothing wrong with this country
That a few plastic explosives won't cure."

Look at that, mama!
You see that!
I blew up the clinic real good

I blew up the clinic, blew it up, real good

Recorded Appearances

About The Song

From I Predict: Steve Taylor's Next Album , Harvest Rock Syndicate, Winter 1987:

It's a spoof on people blowing up clinics in order to get their point across. Which is, uh, not the best way to get a point across.

From Cornerstone 1987, July 1987:

When I was a kid my parents taught me a Bible verse at a young age. The Bible verse went, "vengeance is mine, I will repay, sayeth the Lord." It was a good verse to know, in fact, I remember using it on a number of occasions when it looked like I was going to get beat up.

It seems like recently there's people in some Christian circles who are going around and deciding that God didn't mean it when he said "vengeance is mine," and they're doing things that would seem to indicate they believe that the ends justifies the means.

Like a lot of you guys I've been involved in the pro-life movement for a number of years and recently we've been making some gains, we've been seeing some things going more towards the pro-life side of things, and then a little over a year ago a couple of bozos decided they would go around and take the law into their hands and start blowing up abortion clinics.

This next song is a little bit of a departure for me. It's a little bit sarcastic. See, I don't want to believe that these people who are doing this are really following God and really care whether or not human life is sacred, I think that they are more like the main character of this next song.

The main character of this next song is a guy in his mid-thirties, kind of a macho guy. He drives a little ice cream truck around the neighborhood. He drives by an abortion clinic one day and he notices that a couple of women are picketing this abortion clinic and he starts thinking about this issue. He doesn't really care whether abortion is right or wrong, but if they don't do something, the population of children is going to gradually decrease and he might be out of a job.

This next song is that man's story. It's called "I Blew Up The Clinic Real Good".

From Clone Club News Flash Winter 1988, Winter 1988:

As a strong believer in the sanctity of human life and an outspoken opponent of abortion, I felt like this was a song that needed to be written. I've been dismayed to watch the Pro-Life Movement in the U.S. lose some of its credibility because a few people don't believe God when he says, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay," (Deut. 32:35, Rom. 12:19).

From Kansas City, MO, April 30th, 1988:

I gotta tell ya, this song has been a bit controversial recently. I feel I need to tell you a little bit about this song. It's a bit of a satirical song, kind of a departure for me. You guys know I've been involved in the pro-life movement for quite a few years, right? Right, good. You know the pro-life movement is--we believe all human life is sacred because we're all made in God's image, and so we're all worth protecting, right?

So the whole movement was going along really well, and then some guys decided for whatever reasons to take the law into their own hands, and they did something that was a pretty stupid thing, they started blowing up abortion clinics. Now, I don't know what their deal was, maybe they don't believe God when he says, "vengeance is mine, I will repay," maybe they think the ends justifies the means, but it set the whole movement back, right?

So it ticked me off, and I thought, "you know, that would be a good song to write about." In this song I decided to play the main character and the song is from his point of view. Now would be a good time to tell you a little bit about myself. I'm kind of a macho guy, I've got kind of a macho job. I drive around one of those little ice cream trucks around the neighborhood for a living.

One day I'm riding around, I'm driving by an abortion clinic, and I see some women picketing this abortion clinic, and it gets me to thinking, which is something that I don't do very often. I decide that I don't really care if abortion is right or wrong, but I'm afraid if the population of children starts going down, that I could eventually be unemployed. So this is my story, it's called "I Blew Up The Clinic Real Good".

From Devoted To Satire, Chicago Tribune, November 28th, 1993:

"Some listeners didn't get the satire in 'I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good,' [...] When we were getting ready to tour Australia, it was in all the newspapers and on the TV shows over there that this guy was coming whose song told people to blow up abortion clinics. So, yeah, satire can have its problems sometimes."

From Now The Truth Can Be Told Liner Notes & Song-By-Song Essays, Now The Truth Can Be Told Insert Booklet, August 23rd, 1994:

A very incendiary song indeed. Reasonable people on both sides of the abortion debate could argue that this was not a song that needed to be written, but it was the unreasonable ones who made the most noise: The director of an abortion clinic in San Diego threatened a lawsuit against a video show that aired the "Clinic" clip, and when I called her at the show's request to explain that it was satire, she was so whining and obnoxious that I ended up giving her an earful of what I thought of her profession, then begged her to sue me. Australian TV's version of Geraldo Rivera did a story on me prior to a national tour there, claiming I was advocating blowing up abortion clinics--the story got picked up by all the major newspapers and eventually forced cancellation of most of the tour (forever dispelling the show biz dictum "all press is good press"). I even spent an hour on the phone with an elderly bookstore owner in Arizona--he'd pulled the album because he thought it was wrong to blow up abortion clinics, and I congratulated him on his integrity in choosing principle over commerce before gently explaining to him the song's satirical intent.

So what happened? It all seemed obvious to me--the flashing neon lyric in the middle of the song that says, "the end don't justify the means anytime." What better example to use than a clinic bomber (except perhaps the nutcases that are now shooting abortionists?) "Christian" relativism's finest hour! (Okay, maybe Oliver "proud to be a God-fearing liar" North matched it for sheer shamelessness. "Does this mean it's OK to tell lies, daddy?" Do I still sound angry? Does a duck have lips? Do we get the heroes we deserve, or what?)

I'll take flak anytime for the right reasons, but this song was controversial for all the wrong ones.