I’m not talking about a smarmy folk song you’d sing in a church youth group. Not a cry in your beer, patriotic country music song. I’m talking about a sexy, kick-ass, defiant rock or pop song from the point of view of a person with a disability. I would even accept a dance, R & B, or Hip-Hop track, even though those are not my favorite genres. The main thing is I want it to be genuine, and genuinely good. I don’t want to “like” it because it’s about disability, even though musically it’s just mediocre. I want to like it from all angles. It should go without saying that writing a sad song about how awful it is to be disabled doesn’t count.
The only way I see this happening is if the music world produces a popular or at least niche popular band in which one of the main writers has a disability. Even then, it might not happen, given how ambivalent most disabled people are about sharing details of their experience. Plus, I have no idea at all what a truly satisfying disability song would even be about.
Disability has worked as a subject in just about every other art form. Why is it just about unheard of in music?
Disability life, ideas, identity, culture, commentary, and politics.