Malvina Reynolds (1900-1978) was born in San Francisco; she attended the University of California at Berkeley, where she received the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degree. Because of her leftist political activism, she was blacklisted and difficulty getting employment. While writing political songs, she worked as a tailor, a social worker, a teacher, and a steelworker. She wrote more than five hundred songs and enjoyed a successful career as a performer, both in the United States and abroad. Several of her songs were popular hits, including Joan Baez's recording of "What Have they Done to the Rain?" in 1962 and Pete Seeger's recording of "Little Boxes" in 1963. The latter song criticized conformity, consumerism, and political indifference, as symbolized by the "ticky tacky houses" in the spreading suburbs. It was especially well liked by college students and others who had grown up in the "ticky tacky houses" and who wanted to demonstrate that they had not "come out all the same." Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes all the same There's a green one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one And they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same. And the people in the houses All went to the university, Where they were put in boxes And they came out all the same, And there's doctors and there's lawyers, And business executives, And they're all made out of ticky tacky And they all look just the same. And they all play on the golf course And drink their martinis dry, And they all have pretty children And the children go to school, And the children go to summer camp And then to the university, Where they are put in boxes and they come out all the same. And the boys go into business And marry and raise a family In boxes made of ticky tacky And they all look just the same.
Marchers parade on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendement to the Constitution in New York City. The amendament was not adopted, but the women's movement nonetheless had a dramatic effect on family life and on the status of women in the workplace.
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|Title Annotation:||history and lyrics of the 1963 song|
|Publication:||The American Reader|
|Article Type:||Reference Source|
|Date:||Jan 1, 1991|
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