aside Laura Ann Brady’s song “Perform Your Rights” in response to abortion laws in Ireland

laura ann brady
Laura Ann Brady

This article is from our ‘Celebration of Women’ campaign and first ASLI Magazine issue:

Laura Ann Brady, 30, Dublin, Ireland. Laura’s main area of interest was initially theatre and acting, having studied Drama and Spanish at degree level as well as working for a number of years in stage management. Playing live music is something Laura has been involved in for the past three years, although her love of music has always been a huge part of her life.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of women’s rights in your art?

At the time when the whole Savita Halappanavar case happened, there was a huge emotional response from people in Ireland to it, and I wanted to try and capture that mood in a song as best I could, and maybe make people think a bit more about the subject.

Tell us why you chose this submission?

I felt that it was suitable in terms of the fact that it deals with issues surrounding a woman’s personal experience of herself and her world, and how women are very often sidelined in society, even a supposedly forward thinking country such as Ireland.

Listen To Perform Your Rights

(click the title to listen)


The bus will often pass

The place where she was born

But she won’t often think back

To that early afternoon

When she was coaxed and warmed into the world

Well when did words finally become words?


Lost evenings home from music school

and I remember the cold metallic steel of the spool of your thread

The way you emboss me on your jacket

You emblazon you perform your right

Well you were always at it

And it was just a habit

But you were always at it


You force her hand

You lead the way

Because she wouldn’t know

Where to go without you


She’ll trickle in

She’ll apologise

For everything she says

Was she always that way?


It’s not the way we do things here

It’s not the way we do things here

It’s not the way we do things here


She’ll trickle in

She’ll apologise

For everything she says

Was she always that way?


She’ll weigh it up

How much is it worth?

To be broken, to be bruised, to be her.


She’ll perform her right

She’ll perform you’re right

She’ll reform your rights

We’ll reform you’re right

Don’t conform you’re right, don’t conform your rights, we’ll reform our rights.


This is a song I wrote in response to the current laws pertaining to abortion in Ireland and the issues that correlate directly with these laws, such as having a child and giving that child up for adoption, travelling overseas for a termination, and teenage pregnancy.  Abortion is illegal in Ireland where a pregnancy has occurred by means of rape, incest or foetal abnormalities. The Catholic Church’s dwindling but continuing influence on Irish culture has a huge part to play in this. There are organisations in Ireland that actively campaign against safe and legal abortion for women in Ireland, something that is a basic human right,that is for a woman to have control over her own body and for her womb not to be seen as an incubator.

The song also touches on a woman’s perception of herself and the relationships she has with the people around her. The idea of ownership is also explored within the lyrics, the suggestion of men laying claim to a woman in a relationship, “the way you emboss me on your jacket.” and also the feeling that the woman’s voice isn’t being heard effectively;

“When did words finally become words?”

“She’ll trickle in, she’ll apologise for everything she says, was she always that way?”

The line “It’s not the way we do things here” is related to the response Savita Halappanavar

received when she requested a termination in Ireland in 2012.

The song ends with a refrain asking women not to conform, and to keep on the campaign to try and reform the situation in Ireland.

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

This is the medium that I use to voice myself on any issues affecting me. My music is a form of therapy if you will! Writing a song about something helps me figure out my thoughts on an issue.

Laura Ann Brady
Laura Ann Brady

What is your process when creating?

It depends but when something strikes me I will try and work on it straight away  if I can before it gets lost . The song usually comes first, with the lyrics taking longer for me, I find lyrics a challenge and there are usually many drafts of songs.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

I am influenced by the people, places and events that I encounter everyday. Everything inspires me, subconsciously and consciously.

Laura Ann Brady
Laura Ann Brady

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

For me, yes of course I am a feminist as I believe in equality for women in every sense of the word. Feminism simply means to me the championing for a world where women have exactly the same rights to be entirely themselves in a society where very often we are unfortunately still expected to conform.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

A friend sent me on the link to your call for submissions and I wanted to get involved as I feel that art can help spread a positive message, in terms of opening up new ideas to people and giving a perspective on something that might not have been explored before.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

I think people generally feel pressure to conform to social norms and stereotypes and I think it’s something that is difficult to avoid in modern society, where we are constantly barraged with other people’s lives, be it on the internet or TV. We all want to be accepted and loved. In certain countries I think women have to conform to social norms or they risk being shunned by their families and communities. This is something that is unfortunately prevalent in many parts of the world. It is a difficult topic to discuss in such a broad sense and the cultural context has a huge amount to do with it also.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

Women and men are not equal in all societies unfortunately. The fact that in Ireland in 2015 women still don’t have autonomous control over their own bodies is an example of how inequality is still something that women have to campaign against, even in supposed modern “forward thinking” countries.

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

I am passionate about freedom of speech, campaigning for positive body image and body acceptance, equality for all, equal marriage rights for all.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

Art Saves Lives is a positive affirmation in the fact that art really does save lives in my opinion. Art helps those who create it and those who experience it to deal with and work out issues in their lives, and is a hugely healthy way of releasing and unburdening yourself from an experience that you have had and may have affected you without even knowing it.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

I would love for my songs to inspire positive change in the world. Who doesn’t want that! I will keep writing songs and hopefully they will touch the lives of the people that hear them. We are all writing our stories together and helping each other.

Laura Ann Brady
Laura Ann Brady

What are your goals as with your art?

My main goal with my music would be to touch the minds of the people that hear my songs and make a connection with them. If I can make one person feel less alone when they listen to my music I feel like I will have achieved my goal.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

I am currently in the process of recording my debut album which will be released in the autumn.

And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?

Just that I hope to keep making art,keep talking, keep trying, keep going!!!

If you would like to know more about Laura Ann Brady follow these links:




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