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about

Brenda: This song was written as part of a game Bill and I played with a UU minister who threw out topics for us to tackle. That particular Sunday, the topic was "Names" and let me address the problems of sexual identity from a different perspective. My apologies to all the wonderful Mildreds out there.

lyrics

Words & music by Brenda Sinclair Sutton
©1987 Mad Tom Music

Deep within the womb I cried out
To my parent’s minds, “Name me Jonathan!
For John is strong, and Johnny’s cute,
And Jack is kind and smart to boot,
And Jonathan would suit me oh so fine.
Please, name me Jonathan!”
But out I popped and Granny said,
“Looks like Cousin Mildred. Name her Mildred.”
They named me Mildred.

You should have heard me rail at them
For all the good it did. “Name me Jonathan!
Don’t make me carry that around.
It doesn’t sing! I hate the sound!
And Mildred is an awkward, backward kid.
Please, name me Jonathan!”
But my parents couldn’t understand
That I could never be a man named Mildred.
They named me Mildred.

Round peg in a trapezoidal hole;
Never really what the name implied.
I was a round peg in a trapezoidal hole.
Shoved into a painful slot,
Urged to be what I was not,
Folded, molded, link by chain,
By an awful, horrid name…Mildred.

My young years flew and soon I grew
Into the very essence of a Mildred.
Uncomfortable inside a dress;
It gave my parent’s much distress
To know that I would rather wear blue jeans
Preferred by Jonathan
I’d sneak out of the ballet hall
To run some laps and play some ball for Jonathan…
But not quite Jonathan.

The day I cut off all the curls
And vowed no more to be a girl named Mildred
My loving father called me “freak”,
My mother said that I was weak,
But it took strength I thought I’d never find
To live as Jonathan.
I left, and when I closed their door
I knew that it would open up for Mildred.
I wasn’t Mildred.

Square peg in a trapezoidal hole
Acting out an artificial part.
I was a square peg in a trapezoidal hole,
Never quite like other guys,
Stumbling through the hows and lies,
Standing wrong but walking right
Feeling awkward from the height
Of Jonathan.

I’ve always learned my lessons slow;
It took me years to know that wasn’t Jonathan.
I couldn’t really be a man;
I was so much a woman,
And the lying made the living so alone.
So, who was Jonathan?
I really didn’t want to see
That Mildred was a great big part of me.
Remember Mildred?

So Johnny fought and Milly fought;
The battle was a doozy.
I was Jonared…Milathan?
The meshing took a long, long time.
Just what was hers and his and mine?
It kept my shrink’s five kiddies all in shoes,
But I’ve got real good news.
My tailor made the dresses fit
And I still have my cleats and lucky catcher’s mitt.
What you see is what you get.

A trapezoid in a trapezoidal hole;
Finding what I am fits me just fine.
I am a trapezoid in a trapezoidal hole.
My many-angled sides seem strange
To those whose lives are all arranged
In pigeon-holes of round and square.
I found my shape. It’s true and fair.
I’m a woman named Jonathan.

credits

from And They Said It Wouldn't Last, released August 16, 2016
Words & music by Brenda Sinclair Sutton
©1987 Mad Tom Music

Brenda: Vocals, Bodhrán; Bill: Guitar, Bass

Recorded at Bedlam House Studios

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