#19 Traveling Wilburys: Nobody’s Child: 1990
Nobody’s Child is an old song which was first recorded by Hank Snow in 1949. Several artists have cover versions of this song but the one I want to talk about today is the Traveling Wilburys’ version which is the first song on the Nobody’s Child: Romanian Angel Appeal benefit album released in 1990. George Harrison’s wife, Olivia, had been to Romania and seen the plight of the children in the orphanages so she, along with the wives of the other three ex Beatles created the Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation in April 1990. Artists, including Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Van Morrison, Bee Gees, Ric Ocasek, Duane Eddy, Ringo Starr, Gun’s and Roses, Paul Simon, Dave Stewart, Billy Idol and Eric Clapton donated their time and talent to the album which was produced by George Harrison.
So first a brief history; under the communist regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu birth control was forbidden. Ceaușescu wanted to rebuild the population of Romania after World War 2 as he believed population growth would automatically lead to economic growth. What this lead to though, unfortunately, was many unwanted babies who were abandoned to state run orphanages where they were pitifully neglected, starved of human touch, stimulation or affection. After the execution of Ceaușescu on Christmas Day of 1989 and the fall of communism, Romania opened up to the world, the media went into Romania and discovered the orphanages and the children.
Recently, I sat and just listened to my Nobody’s Child CD, something I had not done in a while. My beautiful neighbours are from Romania. They came as a newly wed couple and now have three Australian born children; they are up there with the best and most loving parents I have ever seen. Soon they will become Australian citizens, and Aus is very lucky to have them.
Back home in Romania they have family close to the Ukrainian border who are taking in refugees as they flee their war torn country into safer parts of Europe. Yesterday in our little church we took up a special collection to help orphans and others suffering in Ukraine and we pray. We pray for peace and we pray for all those suffering and we pray for the innocents.
It’s not a happy song but it does remind us of the need in our world, the need to be kind.