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Breast Cancer Pink

04:19 Download
Kate Reid
10/31/2014
Kate Reid & Chelsey Hauge

Story

Kate collaborated on the writing of this song with a friend of hers who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29. “Breast Cancer Pink” challenges the commercialized, “pink” nature of breast cancer narratives and culture. It insists that artistically expressing feelings of anger and sorrow in response to dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis can be a healing experience. Written from the perspective of one young woman's experience with breast cancer, this song represents a different telling of the breast cancer experience. Adam Popowitz plays electric guitar, Toby Peter plays bass, Richard Brown is on drums, and Kate plays acoustic guitar and sings the vocals. Chelsey and two of her "cancer buddies" sing backup vocals on the final chorus.  

To find out more about Kate's collaborative songwriting service, go to the dashboard of this website and click on Our Lives in Song.

Lyrics

I think I’ve got everything under control, it’s going to be fine, it’s going to be fine
I’m just trying to find a way to hide this new body of mine
I’ve got me some of those loose-fitting, with-the-sleeves-rolled-up-
Hipster-boyfriend-button-down shirts to pull around my chest
Shirts that make me look like I wouldn’t
If you saw me undressed

But there’s one more problem, I want to feel normal again, I want to look normal again
I want to look like what people expect normal should look like
Whatever normal should look like, what does that look like?
I need to fill in this space the surgery left behind
Something to cover up this scar zigzagging across my ribcage and my mind

Chorus 
Cuz they took my left tit away
Like they didn’t even give a shit
And I’m on the brink of a fit of rage
Cuz all I’m surrounded with is
Breast cancer pink

At the lingerie store it’s all about the perfect rack from that straight male fantasy
Whether it’s Victoria’s Secret, or the store for women like me with partial mastectomies
But excuse me, what’s so perfect about
Bras for chicks with no left tit, trying to make me look all flawless 
This is one more space in which my body just doesn’t fit

Chorus
Cuz they took my left tit away

Like they didn’t even give a shit
And I’m on the brink of a fit of rage
Cuz all I’m surrounded with is
Breast cancer pink

Everywhere I turn all I see is this ghastly pastel shade
Pink bows, pink lace, pink ribbons, pink panties all over the place
What’s any self-respecting, no-left-breasted, post-structural feminist supposed to think?
What can I say?

This gendered cancer game feels like a straitjacket to me

Bridge
And they call us all warriors, as if we’re fighting a war
Then they call us badass survivors when we don’t die
Well, warriors don’t wear pink lace lingerie
And survivors don’t hide behind little bows
So gimme some underwear with attitude
Gimme some red and black gitch
Stitch it up with rhinestones and spikes
But nothing proper and nothing lady-like, no!

Chorus
Cuz they took my left tit away
Like they didn’t even give a shit
And I’m on the brink of a fit of rage
Cuz all I’m surrounded with is
Breast cancer pink