(You’re) Having my Baby – Paul Anka and Odia Coates – 1974

Paul Anka’s 1974 #1 hit was his first in 15 years, a duet with Odia Coates, (You’re) Having my Baby, sat at #1 on the US charts for four weeks.  It also has the distinction of being voted one of the worst songs of all time.

where was i?

I know what you’re asking – where on earth was I and what radio station could I have been listening to to have been inflicted with this?

I was in the supermarket. I was on their musak tape! I recognised the song immediately and wondered, “did Paul Anka ever regret releasing this?” Does he still sing it in concert?

I did some research – the answer to the last question is “no.” Although Paul, now aged 70, still gives the odd concert, this song doesn’t make the set-list. Maybe it’s because it’s a duet and he has no singing partner or, maybe it’s because he’s seen the error of his ways.

is it really the worst song ever?

In 2006 CNN conducted a poll to find the worst song of all time. (You’re) Having my Baby was #1 receiving almost twice the votes of the next song on the list. Then when AOL Radio compiled their list of worst songs, they ranked (You’re) Having my Baby at #48. The comment next to the song listing was, “This song would be an instant way to ensure Anka’s woman instantly regretted deciding to embark on this wonderful adventure with him.”

paul anka

Paul was a teen idol – the Justin Bieber of the late 50s and 60s. Born in Canada, he had a huge hit with Diana.

He later became a songwriter. He wrote the Buddy Holly hit, It Doesn’t Matter Anymore, Tom Jones’ biggest hit, She’s a Lady, and the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s, My Way.

In 1983 Paul Anka worked with Michael Jackson. Together they co-wrote a song called, I Never Heard. That was retitled This is It and released in 2009.

odia coates

Odia was an unknown singer before Paul went into the studio to record (You’re) Having my Baby. While the song was being recorded someone suggested it would be better as a duet. Odia was called into sing the female part.

Odia and Paul went onto sing a number of other duets including the minor hit, One Man Woman/One Woman Man.

Odia died in 1991, aged 49, a victim of breast cancer.

this week’s trivia

Perhaps Odia’s greatest claim to fame is that she had a very public affair with James Hewitt – close “friend” of Diana, Princess of Wales.

(you’re) having my baby fax

  • Paul was a teenage sensation in the 50s and 60s then nothing was heard from him for some time, until August 24th 1974 when, for four weeks, (You’re) Having my Baby sat at #1 on the US charts.
  • Paul wrote (You’re) Having my Baby to celebrate the joy he felt at being the father of four girls. However, he wound up being denounced by the National Organisation of Women for being sexist. Ms magazine awarded Paul their chauvinist of the year award in 1974.
  • Paul was also strongly criticised for declaring that the child was the man’s rather than the couple’s. Paul was aware of the criticism and said;

“It’s not meant to alienate anyone. I could have called it ‘having our baby’, but the other just sounded better. It’s not a male ego trip—’my baby.’ It’s not that at all.”

  • In concert, however, Paul did sometimes sing, “you’re having our baby.”
  • In October 1974 a song titled I’m Having Your Baby reached #11 on the US Country singles chart. It was Paul’s song with slightly differing words so that it was sung from the pregnant woman’s perspective. The singer was country singer Sunday Sharpe.
  • A band named, The Coolies covered the song on their 1986 album.
  • (You’re) Having My Baby has also appeared on an episode of Glee.
  • (You’re) Having My Baby lyrics.

(You’re) Having My Baby – Paul Anka – 1974 – video

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4 Responses to (You’re) Having my Baby – Paul Anka and Odia Coates – 1974

  1. Miki says:

    is it really the worst song ever?

    YYYYEEEESSSS, but not far away from two others . . . Stand By Your Man and Wives and Lovers!!!! Think your one tops the lot though. Can there possibly be others?

    Still all three artists/writers made up for them with great other stuff, so maybe not the end of the world, except when you are assaulted by them in the supermarket?!

  2. Miki says:

    I alway thought YLUML was all about God rather than some sappy woman mooning over a guy – remember Debbie Boone’s version and of course being her father’s daughter this would make sense?

  3. Greg.K. says:

    You may be right – but it doesn’t make it any better 🙂

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