She’s on old lady and she’s rich/She’s got a two-car condo and a tub/She’s got truths to tell but she won’t/She had yesterday by the tail.
An Ottawa musician has produced a song aimed at both getting a pro-life message out and generating funds for the cause.
Ken Wintle and his band Kwin (a name formed from Wintle’s first and last names) have released She Cries Inside, a song that tells the story of an abortion’s effects on a mother. Compact discs have been sent to radio stations across Canada, and anyone can download the single for free at the band’s website, www.kwin.ca. All of the song’s royalties will be donated to pro-life organizations.
“If it ever gets popular airplay, a lot of people will relate to the story and the song,” says Wintle. “Any mother who goes through an abortion – the killing of her little boy or girl – is going to feel very sorry inside … The lyrics of the song touch everybody, I think.” Wintle wrote the song in 1989 in a very short period of time. “The words came first. I wrote them in about 10 minutes. They just came to me – verse after verse, line after line. I was at home, watching TV on the couch, and it came to me. Then I put music to it. The melody was a natural addition – I put an old rock and roll styling on it. The melody just fell into place.”
She’s got a two-dog kitchen and a maid/She’s got memories by the score/But there is one she wishes there wasn’t/She had yesterday by the tail.
“It’s a spiritual thing, an anti-abortion mission. We have some courage to jump into this because it is a battle.”
Wintle got his start in music at 11 when his mother bought him a guitar. During the 1960s, he got involved in a basement band while The Beatles were in their heyday. By 1985, he began to play professionally and compose music.
His pro-life sentiments, which were always present, took on added seriousness around 1990, when his wife brought home a pamphlet from church. “It was called The Silent Scream. It was very disturbing … From that moment, I had to do something, and joined the pro-life movement. Even though I had already been against abortion before … I got active on the street with signs and protests. Music wasn’t so important at that point.”
Well, she was with child/And that is a fact/But her man wasn’t there when she needed him most of all/She’s a lonely girl, she’s a lonely girl, she’s an old lady and she’s rich.
While Wintle kept up a day job as a sign maker (some of his signs were donated to and used by pro-life activists), he later formed the band Kwin with partners Mark Alcorn on vocals and bass guitar, and Pat Cullen on vocals and drums. “We seemed to get along really well,” says Wintle. “We had many of the same viewpoints, as well as musical compatibility.”
The band plays a mix of different styles, from rock and roll and country to blues and jazz. “Most of it falls into the rock category, though it’s a wide variety. Each of us has had a lot of different influences. We’re all experienced … We’re pretty versatile.”
Wintle has been a mainstay at the annual March for Life in Ottawa, where he can be seen performing alongside fellow Ottawa musician David MacDonald on the main stage. “David is a friend of mine,” says Wintle. “We just get up there and sing our hearts out.”
Otherwise, Kwin have not been too busy performing live, preferring instead to concentrate on the promotion and success of their CD single. “I don’t want to push (live performing) right now,” says Wintle. “I want to see how much airplay we’re going to get. We’ve done two benefits and two bar gigs.”
Wintle plans to continue writing songs with a social conscience. “My next song will be an anti-drinking and driving song, How High Can You Go? It’s a story about someone who almost dies in a car accident because of drinking and driving. When I do it in a bar, hopefully it’ll make somebody think.”
That tune is slated to be part of an EP (extended play) recording that would also include She Cries Inside, a spiritual song and perhaps another pro-life or spiritual song. “The direction we’re going in is to bring an anti-abortion and spiritual message to secular radio – and get away with it. It’s going to be tough, that’s for sure … She Cries Inside is a gentle song, with a gentle message that a lot of people can relate to, but we’ve got some stronger ones to come out still.”
Although Kwin is currently a three-piece outfit, Wintle sees a day when more instrumentation will be added, such as keyboards. “We’re not looking for a lot of bar work right now. I’d like to get some airplay and get back into the studio with these guys … We’re sounding good. The gigs we have done, everybody liked them.”