Video Review: Donna Summer “There Goes My Baby”

In silhouette, a young man paces in the kitchen as he talks on the phone. He says that he understands and thanks the person. His wife (Donna Summer) notices him sitting in the chair, his head in his hands. He throws his head back and sighs after another rejection.

His wife takes her coat in the kitchen and apologizes. He complains that it’s “6:30 and that it gets later everyday.” She explains that their was a new shift and she had to train. He points to his chest and says they have a child. She counters that they have bills to pay and she’s the only one who is working. He walks out of the room.

He sits in the chair and asks their little boy to come over to him. He gives him a hug. While talking with his wife, he says “there’s a war” and that he’s joined the military. She accuses him of doing it only for himself.  She writes a letter to him.

At the train station, she runs through the crowd of sailors and army men, looking for her husband. She believes she sees him but once she locks eyes, she realizes it’s another man.

In bed, she holds his last letter to her heart.

She stands on a rising platform at the train station, the American flag behind her.

In the war, her husband walks underneath faded blue smoke with his troop. They seek shelter from the pouring rain. She reads his letter while writing out a check for the electric bill. Her little boy looks at her as she leans over the sink, washing the dishes.

Her husband uses a lighter to read the letter from Summer again. She hands the clerk some information about her husband and asks if his train has arrived. The clerk shakes his head. The men celebrate coming home.

She waits outside, clutching her purse in the cold night air. Behind her, man carries his large duffel bag. She turns and sees her husband for the first time in a year.

Rating: 4/5

The letters home weren’t enough. Donna Summer had to see her husband to know he was okay. He asked about their child and how work was going but didn’t get into any detail about his emotions. Her mother told her he has likely seen a lot and doesn’t want to talk.

She waited in the station for two hours for him. She checked her datebook to make sure it was the correct day and asked the clerks for confirmation. The clerks couldn’t tell her anything.

Her husband had been out of work for six months. In the meantime, she held down two jobs to make ends meet. The frustration was wearing on him and he was lashing out at her. For him. joining the military seemed to be the only solution. She objected to it, stating he gave up. On the day he left, she cried in his arms and watched as he boarded the plane.

He was right. With his check from the military, she was able to quit her second job and take care of their child. She read his letters every night, counting down the days until he came home. She was proud of her husband. He was a hero.

Director: N/A Year: 1984

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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