Review: Voicemail for Jill

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“Voicemail for Jill” by Amanda Palmer hits heavy with many women. The song tells the story of Jill, a woman who attempts to comfort her friend going through the difficult decision of getting an abortion. Regarding her purpose for writing this song, Palmer mentioned, “I wrote this song as a gift, a handbook for any woman on her way to have an abortion, and as a reminder that this is not an experience you have to face alone.”

The lyrics and the tone of the song poetically illustrate the tumultuous decision  of getting an abortion. The sweet tone contrasts the sorrowful lyrics, including: “No one’s gonna celebrate you. No one’s gonna bring you cake. And no one’s gonna shower you with flowers.” Jill describes the harsh reality that comes with getting an abortion; if the baby was kept, then there would be celebration. However, many do not celebrate getting an abortion, and may even feel ashamed of the experience, even if it was in the best interests of both the mother and the baby. Jill does not undermine her friend’s decision  to get an abortion, and instead wants to stay supportive while making sure her friend understands the complexities of her decision.

“Voicemail for Jill” provides many women comfort in the fact that they are not alone. It is a truly powerful piece of music that is skillfully able to discuss abortion. The piano, synthesizer, and the fact that the song was recorded in one take really exemplifies the beauty and simplicity of this song. I encourage you all to give a listen.