Tuesday, August 22, 2017

P. P. Arnold – "The First Cut Is the Deepest" (1967)

The first cut is the deepest
Baby, I know
The first cut is the deepest

In 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule requiring employee health insurance plans to cover 100% of the cost of contraceptives for women.  (No co-payments or deductibles were allowed.)

The rule did exempt churches, and that exemption has been broadened somewhat as the result of the Supreme Court’s 2014 Hobby Lobby decision – a decision which has caused much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

But there is a much more significant exception to the DHHS-imposed mandate that employee-provided health insurance pay for contraceptive drugs, devices, and services: IT DOESN’T APPLY TO MALES

So health insurers are NOT required to pick up the cost of vasectomies or other forms of male contraception.

I’m not sure how that happened.  After all, males still run the world . . . right?  So how did we end up with a law that requires employers to pick up the tab for females but not for males?

What’s ironic about this discriminatory regulation is that only females get pregnant.  If the idea behind paying for female contraceptives is to prevent unwanted pregnancies, you’d think that we’d be paying for male contraception as well.

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The debate over insurance coverage for contraceptives is going to become irrelevant in a few years – at least in the United States and other Western countries.

That’s because the amount of sperm produced by the average male in those countries HAS DROPPED BY MORE THAN 50% IN THE PAST 40 YEARS.  

Anyone who made it through 8th-grade math realizes what that means: in another 40 years, there will be ZERO women getting pregnant the old-fashioned way in the U.S.

Scientists believe that the precipitous drop in male sperm output in North America and Western Europe may be the result of exposure to various chemicals.

If you’re a 2 or 3 lines reader who lives in South America, Asia, or Africa, don’t you worry about a thing.  Males from those continents are producing just as many swimmers as ever.

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You’re probably familiar with Rod Stewart’s recording of “The First Cut Is the Deepest,” which was a big hit for him in 1977.  And I’m guessing you’ve heard Sheryl Crow’s very successful 2003 cover of the song, which was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy.
But I doubt that you’re familiar with the very first recording of that song, which was released by P. P. Arnold in 1967.

“The First Cut Is the Deepest” was written by Cat Stevens, who sold the rights to record it to Arnold for £30.  Her recording of it was a top-20 hit in the UK.

P. P. Arnold had a remarkable musical career.  She was a 18-year-old mother of two when she and two friends were picked by Ike Turner to replace the original Ikettes.  (When her husband found out that she had auditioned for the Ikettes, he hit her.  Arnold immediately packed her bag, dropped her kids off with her parents, and hit the road with the Ike and Tina Turner.)

She quit the Ike & Tina Turner Revue a couple of years later when they were on tour in the UK to pursue a solo career.  (Mick Jagger had encouraged to do so.)

Arnold recorded a number of singles  – including today’s featured song – but had her greatest success as a backup singer, recording and/or touring with the Small Faces, Humble Pie, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters, and others.  

She also appeared in several musicals, and sang backup on the Jesus Christ Superstar album.

Here’s P. P. Arnold’s recording of “The First Cut Is the Deepest”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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