This week Jim Adams has prompted us with choosing a song pertaining to Long | Short | Small | Tall for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday. I chose “Short People”.
This is a subject I know a lot about. Short and small. I’m 5′ 1″, probably less now since we shrink as we get older. When I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1984, I weighed 88 pounds (40 kg). I got fed for 3 days by the recruiters to fatten me up so I could enlist. The minimum weight for my height was 99 pounds (45 kg). At my physical, I weighed the exact minimum, but soon lost it all back down before leaving for bootcamp. I was the epitome of small and short. So I give you the song that I grew up to (or not) that I knew was about me. Unfortunately, the prejudice in this song has been a life I have endured. Being female and short has been a challenge and one that I have faced head on. This song didn’t degrade me, it made me strong!
The beginning of the song is quite dark in its delivery that “short people got no reason to live”, however if you continue to listen as it goes on, it also states “short people are the same as you and me”. These were words to live by my whole life as I struggled to prove myself to others and that I could keep up with the big girls and boys. The song came at a time that I was most vulnerable, pre-teen. I had just turned 12 in September of 1977 when the song came out in November. One thing is for sure….my voice is not little.
My middle child is about 5′ tall and that child came out with a big set of lungs. Loudest thing I’ve ever heard! She still has a loud and proud voice. Short people can overcome anything if they set their minds to it! So while overs can make fun of our stature, do not underestimate our power!
Short people got no reason Short people got no reason Short people got no reason To live They got little hands And little eyes And they walk around Tellin' great big lies They got little noses And tiny little teeth They wear platform shoes On their nasty little feet Well, I don't want no short people Don't want no short people Don't want no short people 'Round here Short people are just the same As you and I (A fool such as I) All men are brothers Until the day they die (It's a wonderful world) Short people got nobody Short people got nobody Short people got nobody To love They got little baby legs And they stand so low You got to pick 'em up Just to say hello They got little cars That got beep, beep, beep They got little voices Goin' peep, peep, peep They got grubby little fingers And dirty little minds They're gonna get you every time Well, I don't want no short people Don't want no short people Don't want no short people 'Round here Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Randy Newman Short People lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing