There but for the Grace of God Go I  

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Baby, she turns out to be a natural freak
Popping pills and smoking weed

--"There but for the Grace of God Go I" (1979) by August Darnell

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"There But For The Grace Of God Go I" (1979) is a musical composition written by August Darnell, performed by Machine and voiced by Fonda Rae, first released in 1979 on RCA Victor.

The song, noted for its social commentary, has an interesting bit of music censorship history behind it.

Fire Island (Farley & Heller) did a cover in 1994. The hook was sampled by Love Tribe in their 1996 dance song "Stand Up".

The song was used on Spike Lee's Summer of Sam soundtrack and on the soundtrack of the film Kiss Me, Guido

Controversy and censorship

In the first verse, the parents of the girl want to "find a place far away... with no blacks, no Jews, and no gays." The phrase was thought to be racist and omitted in the radio edit.

The song is about a couple, Carlos and Carmen Vidal who gave birth to a child and wanting to find a suitable place for their child to grow up in, they move from the Bronx to a better neighbourhood. They moved overseas and the child gets a very moral and protected education with many "do's, don'ts and dears." When she is ten years old, she discovers rock 'n' roll, but her dad bans it from the home. Things go bad for the child, she becomes a "natural freak," "popping pills and smoking weed." The above line is replaced in some edits with "gaining weight and losing sleep." Eventually, the daughter runs away from her parental home with the first man who comes along. The mother starts to see the error of her ways and concludes: "Too much love is worse than none at all."

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "There but for the Grace of God Go I" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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