Song Of The Day 10/28/2016: Deep Purple – “Why Didn't Rosemary?”

Halloween Week -- I have increased my admiration for Deep Purple over the last few years and think this is a very funny song, but as the continuity supervisor in this deal I must say it doesn't line up very tightly in the narrative sense. Basic premise: The lead singer bemoans his unfortunate lot in life and blames it on the existence of Satan. We'll skip the religious debate here; if you wish to involve yourself in that little cone of hysteria go hit another site. The lead singer's tortured question is "Why didn't Rosemary take the pill?" This was a direct reference to Ira Levin's classic Rosemary's Baby, which was made into a very popular movie by Roman Polanski. This was about a meek and generally congenial housewife (Rosemary) whose husband barters with Satanic representatives and agrees to have her impregnated by the Dark Lord, thereby spawning Satan's child. It's like the whole Virgin Mary-Son of God thing, which I'm kind of surprised Satan didn't try to get done earlier. I forget what the husband gets back in the deal. I want to say the key to the executive bathroom but that doesn't seem a balanced trade. Anyway, mayhem ensues.

So, in this song, the singer's wondering why couldn't Rosemary just have taken oral contraception so that the Devil never would have been born. However this line of questioning falls apart. Rosemary's Baby, the book, was released in 1967; the movie and "Why Didn't Rosemary?" came out in 1969. The notion of Rosemary herself had only been in existence for two years. The singer makes no reference to time, but I'm assuming if you're writing a song about being dogged by Satan that it's been that way for more than two years. It's a blues song, so theoretically we're talking about a whole lifetime of pain. Also: I don't know how Satan facilitates his version of the miracle birth, but whatever he does I'm sure he's figured out a way to get around the birth control pill. It would have been useless in Rosemary's case.

Yeah, it does get lonely sometimes, why do you ask?

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