It has been years since I thought of this song, but as soon as I read a few of the words the tune came right back to me. I also vaguely remember relating to the song a bit because it seemed to be in the voice of a disabled chid. Reading the lyrics, it sure sounds like a deliberate song about disability, though it is broad enough to connect with anyone who feels odd or different. I like that the song is rather vague about the “wonder” of the child in question. We don’t really know exactly what’s different about her (or him?). Also, “this child will be able”, but we don’t get wish-fulfillment specifics. It doesn’t say she will be fixed or cured, but that she will be valuable and capable regardless of whatever makes her unique, whatever has brought doctors “from distant cities”.
For what it’s worth, I found an explanation of the song, which includes some second-hand information from Natalie Merchant who tries to broaden the message, while acknowledging that the song is indeed about a woman with disabilities.
Disability life, ideas, identity, culture, commentary, and politics.