Tuesday, May 12

LISTS: Top 3 songs about child abuse

No one likes child abuse, including rock stars. Here are the top three songs about the topic, listed "countdown" style. Curiously, all three are sung by women.

3. "What's The Matter Here," 10,000 Maniacs. The leadoff track to "In My Tribe" finds Natalie Merchant in an uncharacteristically subtle mode. She tells the tale of abuse from the view of an observer who is apparently able to ask the titular question, yet unable to intervene. Hear it here. (Merchant solo version)

Key line:
"And instead of love and the feel of warmth, you've given him these cuts and sores that don't heal with time or age."

2. "Luka," Suzanne Vega. The biggest hit of Vega's erratic career, this song is also perhaps the most famous one about child abuse. It's also sung from the first-person perspective, making it all the more wrenching. Hear it here.

Key line: "They only hit until you cry, and after that, you don't ask why."

1. "Hell Is For Children," Pat Benatar. The tight-panted songstress stepped back from her oversexed image to take on a maternal role in this track. Some took the title literally, perceiving it as an ode to Satan. But a cursory reading of the lyrics shows that Benatar was hardly sending our little ones to eternal damnation. She cares — and the song rocks. Hear it here.

Key line: "It's all so confusing, this brutal abusing. They blacken your eyes and then apologize."

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