Run Baby Run

"Run Baby Run" (Bill Bottrell, David Baerwald, Sheryl Crow, 1993).
Sheryl Crow’s “Run Baby Run” is a rock ballad about a woman who, in being taught by her father to resist the shackles of conformity at all costs, builds her own prison. The song’s protagonist was born into this “Brave New World” on the day Aldous Huxley died. (Although the song does not mention this, November 22, 1963 was also the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, an act many argue created a dystopian America, setting into motion the chain of events that created our present-day oligarchy, a Huxleyan “World State”). Akin to the soma-craving Linda in Huxley’s Brave New World, the protagonist’s mom in Crow’s song “believed that every man could be free” so she got “high, high, high,” while her father fought for equality in Birmingham, “singing mighty protest songs.” Reminiscent of the upbringing of the children Joan Didion describes at the end of “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” the protagonist in “Run Baby Run” may not be in “High Kindergarten” and dropping acid at the age of five, but rather in a never-ending escape from conformity, a never-ending desire to live up to her father’s ideals that keep her on the run.