Because Lori Burke is "All About That Breast"
Local singer parodies infectious pop song to spread message about controversial topic.
Whether you listen to pop music on the radio religiously or only get your dose of it in waiting rooms and elevators, you've likely heard the infectious tune by Meghan Trainor, in which she confesses that she's "All About That Bass." And you may have even heard or read that Trainor's song -- an anti-treble anthem that doubles as an affirmation of being body-positive -- hasn't been without controversy.
Regardless of your take on Trainor and her track, there's a new version of the song, and this time it's "All About That Breast" -- breast feeding to be specific -- and you should really give it a listen.
Local singer/songwriter Lori Burke, who also performs with the Tiger Maple String Band, came up with the hook one morning when getting her two children ready for school.
"I literally thought up all 'about that breast' as I was getting my kids on the bus yesterday morning. I was like 'yeah, that'll work,'" she says. "So I pitched it to my quorum of friends and family and got thumbs up all around. Plus, I love Meghan Trainor's talent for writing great songs and melodies. I really hope she isn't offended."
But Burke says the inception for the song came after being invited by her friend, Gretchen Arnold, to sing at the La Leche League conference this coming April in Pittsburgh. She decided to tackle Trainor's chart-topping song after seeing it performed on the Today Show, when the Holderness family parodied the song for Thanksgiving.
"They basically poke fun at parenting and how competitive and ridiculous it can be," Burke explains. "Breast feeding has been a controversial topic lately."
And it should come as no surprise that Burke's right about that, since the issue prompted Time Magazine to even published The Top 16 Breastfeeding Controversies.
"I have two children 6 and 8 years old. I breast fed both but also bottle fed, pumped, used formula -- I did it all. So I'm not trying to isolate moms who choose not to," she says of her parody. "I support all mothers and know that we all have to do what is best for our children and ourselves. Breast feeding is very stressful as a new mom. But it is the healthiest and least expensive way to feed your newborn, not to mention the bonding, immunities, and good things you pass on to your infant."
Already the video's gaining momentum on the web -- gaining more than 79K views in just the first nine hours it was available on various social media platforms, according to Burke -- and it's even prompting mothers to reach out to Burke directly.
"I want to help those new mamas who are frustrated. I had a mom write me yesterday that she was about to give up on breast feeding and in that moment she literally saw my video come up on her Facebook page, watched, laughed, and tried again. That made my day yesterday," Burke says.
Now that it's no secret that Burke's just as talented at parodies as she is original tunes, parents are asking for more.
"Parents are requesting an album of parodies just for them, so that is my next direction. The next song in the queue is one I've performed at sing alongs and it's well received -- it's a take on one of the songs from Frozen -- you can probably guess which one -- so keep an eye out for that next."
The bottom line for Burke is having fun by occasionally poking fun at parenting.
"It's the hardest job in the world, and in my opinion, one of the most important. If this sparks a conversation about breast feeding, great. If kids see it and start asking questions or saying boobies, breasts, etc., we can teach them that the female body is more important and functional than what the media -- advertisers -- wants us to believe. Boobs are there to feed us. Tell KimYe I'm bringing boobies back."
Want to hear Lori live? She's performing tonight at Fat Willies, with TMSB Friday in Pittsburgh at the Thunderbird, and at a fundraiser at the Metropolitan Saturday. Check her website, www.loriburke.com, For updates on when she's playing next in Erie, check her website -- www.loriburke.com -- where you can also check out her new album.