Woman’s passion leads to a right to life song and CD
by Christine Young
Diocese of Salt Lake City, Utah
October 19, 2007
OGDEN — Marjie Higgins’ passion for the rite to life for all people including
the unborn led her to write the lyrics to a song following the Roe vs. Wade
decision in 1973 legalizing abortion.
Higgins said the song lay dormant until last February when Father Erik
Richtsteig, pastor of St. James Parish in Ogden, gave a homily for the
anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Higgins is a member of St. James Parish. She said
that is when she remembered she had written the song called “Please Don’t Say
“By the grace of God this all happened in six months,” said Higgins. “It went
from having the lyrics printed in the bulletin, to it being suggested Michael
Wooden, a member of St. Joseph Parish, Ogden, put the song to music. Then at
Mass at St. James, I heard Deena Mulhall sing, with Larry Brown, John Zurbuchen,
and Rocky Seale on back-ground vocals, and I just knew this was the group to
make it happen.”
Wooden, who also performs background vocals and plays the piano, said Higgins
approached him with the lyrics and he came up with one version that was a bit to
edgy, so he modified it to go with more of what Higgins was hearing in her head.
After a lot of adaptations, he came up with something, and they decided to put
it together with extra instrumentation. Wooden actually plays many instruments
and is the music teacher at Wahlquist Junior High School in Ogden. He teaches
band, choir, and guitar.
Brown plays the guitar, Zurbachen plays the mandolin, and Seale plays the
bass guitar and the drums. Seale mixed the instrumentation and produced the CD.
“When Marjie came to me with the words, I was interested right away because I
was raised very pro-life,” said Mulhall. “My mother, Mary Ann Chase, is the
pro-life representative for St. James Parish, and has been for many years. I
really enjoyed the lyrics and we just kept singing it over and over.”
“Deena, who is the secretary at St. James Parish, has a beautiful voice. When
she sings this song, she is able to make her voice sound like a child,” said
Higgins. “The lyrics are about a child in the womb who says he or she has a
right to live to receive his or her mother’s open arms and happy smiles. In the
chorus of the song, after the abortion takes place and the mother is seeking God
for grace and peace, the child tells God he or she has forgiven his or her
mother. The child then takes God’s hand and God takes the child home.”
The group sang “Please Don’t Say No,” as the Communion song when Father Frank
Pavone, director of Priests for Life, was in town and celebrated the Masses at
St. James Parish Sept. 30. Priests for Life gives special emphasis to the
pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church. They offer ongoing assistance to the
clergy in addressing the topics of abortion and euthanasia, and training and
resources to the entire pro-life movement.
Fr. Richtsteig said, “This is a beautiful song that expresses a very real
concern. We all have to have a reverence for human life. What I like about the
song most is that it brings it into a very concrete situation. I want to commend
Marjie and Michael Wooden for the music, and the group for making this CD. I am
very proud of all of them.
“My dream for the lyrics of this song is to reach all those who may be
considering having an abortion and those who have had an abortion and are
feeling guilt and a heaviness from the abortion,” said Higgins. “I hope the
lyrics can soften all those who are searching, and mend and heal all those who
are broken hearted.
More Clippings from 2007