Day 1: Pat Benatar

This is the first post in a series of what I envision to be a 365 day project on women who are and have been dynamic pioneers in fields ranging from Astrophysics and Basketball to Yoga and Zoology. 

And you know that their little lives can become such a mess
Hell, hell is for children
And you shouldn’t have to pay for your love
With your bones and your flesh

Hell is for Children, Pat Benatar

The first time I heard of Pat Benatar was a few years ago when a rather quirky Economics Professor in college came to class one day and told us to listen to a song called ‘Hell is for Children‘. Rather intrigued, I think I was one of the few who went back and did so. In a world where a large section of society still refuses to explicitly acknowledge violence against children and child sexual abuse, this song has stayed stuck in my head, resurfacing especially in times of recent turbulence all across the world.

Born Patricia Mae Andrzejewski, Pat Benatar is an American singer-songwriter who was very popular in the 1980s, especially on MTV that was relatively new in those days. Having her early beginnings as a cabaret singer, Benatar is a classically trained singer whose songs resonate with a raw energy. There is an honest intensity in her lyrics that is reflected in her memoirs, titled ‘Between a Heart and a Rock Place’ where she writes-

“I’ve enjoyed every age I’ve been, and each has had its own individual merit. Every laugh line, every scar, is a badge I wear to show I’ve been present, the inner rings of my personal tree trunk that I display proudly for all to see. Nowadays, I don’t want a “perfect” face and body; I want to wear the life I’ve lived.”

― Pat Benatar, Between a Heart and a Rock Place: A Memoir

With four Grammys to her credit, she has several RIAA certified platinum and gold albums as well as 15 Top 40 singles, including  “Hit Me with Your Best Shot”, “Love Is a Battlefield”, “We Belong”, and “Invincible”. She partners on stage and in real life with her guitarist husband Neil Giraldo.

Tonight, on the first night of the new year, I leave you with a particularly poignant song of Pat’s. Remember Alan Kurdi, and remember that he wasn’t the only one. Remember that he will not be the last, unless we decide to do something about it.

He used to be somebody’s baby
Someone used to hold him close
And rock him gently
He used to be the light in someone’s eyes
He used to matter

Somebody’s Baby, Pat Benatar



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