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Encyclopedia > Melanie Safka

Background information
Birth name Melanie Anne Safka
Also known as Melanie
Born February 3, 1947 (1947-02-03) (age 60)
Origin United States
Genre(s) Folk, Pop
Occupation(s) Singer, Songwriter, Musician
Instrument(s) Singing, Guitar
Years active 1967 – Present
Website http://www.melaniesmusic.com//

Melanie Anne Safka-Schekeryk (born February 3, 1947 in Astoria, New York City) is an American singer-songwriter. Image File history File links Melaniesafka. ... February 3 is the 34th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1947 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Folk music can have a number of different meanings, including: Traditional music: The original meaning of the term folk music was synonymous with the term Traditional music, also often including World Music and Roots music; the term Traditional music was given its more specific meaning to distinguish it from the... For popular forms of music in general, see Popular music. ... A singer is a musician who uses their voice to produce music. ... A songwriter is someone who writes the lyrics to songs, the musical composition or melody to songs, or both. ... “Instrumentalist” redirects here. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... Harry Belafonte singing, photograph by C. van Vechten Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, which is often contrasted with speech. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... February 3 is the 34th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1947 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Aerial view of the Triborough Bridge (left) and the Hell Gate Bridge (right) spanning Astoria Park and the Astoria Pool Astoria is a neighborhood in the northwestern corner of the borough of Queens in New York City. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ...

Usually known professionally simply as Melanie, she is best known for her hits, "Brand New Key", "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" and "Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma". Melanie has sold over 25 million records over the course of her career. Brand New Key is a pop song written by folk singer Melanie (Melanie Safka), which became a novelty hit in 1971-2. ...


Early career

Melanie made her first public appearance at the age of four on the radio show Live Like A Millionaire and subsequently recorded the song "Gimme a Little Kiss" when she was five. She was a student at New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts when she began singing in the folk clubs of Greenwich Village and signed her first recording contract. The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) is a fully accredited two-year conservatory with campuses located at 120 Madison Avenue in New York City (in a landmark building designed by famed architect Stanford White as the original Colony Club) and 1336 North La Brea Avenue in Hollywood (in a...

Initially signed to Columbia Records in the United States, Melanie released two singles on the label. Subsequently she signed with Buddah Records and first found chart success in Europe when her 1969 song "Bobo's Party" reached Number 1 in France. Her debut album received rave reviews from Billboard Magazine who heralded her voice as "... wise beyond her years. Her non-conformist approach to the selections on this LP make her a new talent to be reckoned with." Columbia Records is the oldest brand name in recorded sound, dating back to 1888, and was the first record company to produce pre-recorded records as opposed to blank cylinders. ... While working at Kama Sutra Records, Art Kass was unhappy with the distribution deal with MGM Records and started Buddah Records around 1967. ... Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry. ...

Later in 1969 she had a hit in the Netherlands with "Beautiful People" before performing at the Woodstock Festival. The inspiration for her signature song "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" apparently arose from the Woodstock audience lighting candles during her set. A gospel-boosted genuine one-off, that combined high drama with Melanie's trademark hippie sincerity, the recording became a hit in both Europe and the United States in the spring and summer of 1970. The B-side of the single featured Melanie's spoken-word track "Candles in the Rain". "Lay Down" became Melanie's first Top Ten hit in America and a worldwide success. Later hits included "Peace Will Come (According To Plan)" and a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday". The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was an event held at Max Yasgurs 600 acre (2. ... Gospel music is a musical genre characterized by dominant vocals (often with strong use of harmony) referencing lyrics of a religious nature, particularly Christian. ... Singer at a modern Hippie movement in Russia Hippie (sometimes spelled hippy) refers to a member of a subgroup of the counterculture that began in the United States during the early 1960s, becoming an established social group by 1965, and expanding to other countries before declining in the mid-1970s. ... World map showing the location of Europe. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the rock band. ... For the restaurant named after the song, see Ruby Tuesday (restaurant). ...

In 1970 Melanie was the only artist to brave the court injunction banning the Powder Ridge Rock Festival, playing for the crowd on a homemade stage powered by Mister Softee trucks. She also performed at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 where she was introduced by Keith Moon and received four standing ovations. Scheduled for July 30, August 1 and August 2, 1970 in Middlefield, Ct. ... Mister Softee (Chinese: 富豪雪糕), owned by the Ng Enterprises Ltd. ... For more information on the ongoing festival, see Isle of Wight Festival 2007. ... Keith John Moon (August 23, 1946 – September 7, 1978) was the drummer of the rock group The Who. ...

Melanie was also the artist who sang to herald in the summer solstice at Glastonbury Fayre (later the Glastonbury Festival) in England in June 1971. The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury or Glasto, is the largest[1] greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world. ...

After leaving Buddah Records, because they insisted that she produce albums on demand, Melanie formed her own label, Neighborhood Records, in 1971 with her producer-husband Peter Schekeryk. Neighborhood Records (Neighborhood Music Pub. ...

It was on her own label that she scored her biggest American hit with the novelty-sounding 1972 number one, "Brand New Key" (also mistakenly known as "The Roller Skate Song"). "Brand New Key" was featured in the 1997 movie Boogie Nights and sold over three million copies worldwide. The song was banned by some radio stations because they interpreted these lyrics as sexual innuendo "I got a brand new pair of roller skates / You got a brand new key / I think that we should get together and try them out you see / I been looking around awhile / You got something for me / Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates / You got a brand new key / I ride my bike, I roller skate, don't drive no car / Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far / For somebody who don't drive / I been all around the world" In 1976 Scrumpy and Western band The Wurzels covered "Brand New Key" with substantially rewritten lyrics as "The Combine Harvester". It reached number 1 on the UK singles charts and stayed there for two weeks. Brand New Key is a pop song written by folk singer Melanie (Melanie Safka), which became a novelty hit in 1971-2. ... This article contains a trivia section. ... Scrumpy and Western refers humorously to music from Englands West Country that fuses comical folk-style songs, often full of double entendre, with affectionate parodies of more mainstream musical genres, all delivered in the local accent/dialect. ... The Wurzels perform at the University of Bath summer ball 2007. ...

The follow-up single to "Brand New Key" was "Ring The Living Bell". To compete with this release, Melanie's former record company released "The Nickel Song" (a song she had recorded whilst still signed to Buddah). Both songs were simultaneous Top 40 hits whilst "Brand New Key" was still on the charts — setting a record for the first female performer to have three Top 40 hits concurrently. Melanie was awarded Billboard's #1 Top Female Vocalist for 1972. Brand New Key is a pop song written by folk singer Melanie (Melanie Safka), which became a novelty hit in 1971-2. ...

She had another Top 40 hit single in 1973 with "Bitter Bad", a song that marked a slight departure from the hippie sentiments of earlier hits (with lyrics such as "If you do me wrong I'll put your first and last name in my rock n' roll song").

Melanie has been awarded two gold albums (and a gold single for "Brand New Key") and three of her compositions were hits for The New Seekers. She is also well-known for her musical adaptations of children's songs, including "Alexander Beetle" and "Christopher Robin". The New Seekers was an Australian pop group, formed in 1969 by Keith Potger after the break-up of his group, The Seekers. ...

In 1973 Melanie started to retreat from the spotlight to begin a family. Her daughter Leilah was born that same year. When she became an official UNICEF ambassador in 1972 she agreed to forgo a world tour in favour of raising money for the organisation. UNICEF Logo The United Nations Childrens Fund or UNICEF (Arabic: ; French: ; Spanish: ) was established by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946. ...

Later career

In 1976 Melanie released one album on Atlantic Records, Photograph, which was overseen by Ahmet Ertegün. The album was praised by the New York Times as one of the year's best, although it was largely ignored by the public. It was re-issued on CD in 2005 with an additional disc of unreleased material. In the 1980s the Quaker Oats Company used a version of "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma" in their commercials for Instant Oatmeal, with the revised lyrics "Look what they've done to my oatmeal". In 1989 she won an Emmy Award for writing the lyrics to "The First Time I Loved Forever", the theme song for the Beauty and the Beast. Atlantic Records (Atlantic Recording Corporation) is an American record label, and operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music Group. ... Photograph is an album released by Melanie in 1976; her only release on Atlantic Records. ... Ahmet Ertegün (July 31, 1923 – December 14, 2006) was the Turkish-American co-founder and executive of Atlantic Records, described as one of the most significant figures in the modern recording industry [1] . He also co-founded the New York Cosmos soccer team of the North American Soccer League. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... -1... An Emmy Award. ... Beauty and the Beast is an American television series, originally broadcast in 1987, centered around the relationship between Catherine (Linda Hamilton), an attorney who lived in New York City, and Vincent (Ron Perlman), a gentle, but lion-faced beast who belongs to a society of misfits and outcasts (see mole...

Melanie has released almost one album a year since 1969. With one exception, her albums have been produced by her husband, Peter Schekeryk. Her three children — Leilah, Jeordie and Beau-Jarred — are also musicians. Beau-Jarred is a guitarist and accompanies his mother on tour.

Melanie's most recent album, Paled by Dimmer Light, was released in 2004. It was co-produced by Peter and Beau-Jarred Schekeryk and includes the songs "To Be the One", "Extraordinary", "Make It Work" and "I Tried to Die Young". In early 2005 most of Melanie's back-catalogue was re-released on the Internet-only music label ItsAboutMusic.com. After a series of disagreements the relationship between the artist and the label was severed. From 2007, the majority of Melanie's albums were available for download from her official website.


Melanie identifies herself politically as a Libertarian rather than anything else, stating: "I'm a total Libertarian, and I am not a Democrat, a Socialist, or a Republican."[1] For a short while, in the beginning of her career, Melanie was a follower of Meher Baba and this influenced many of her songs (such as, "Love to Lose Again" and "Candles in the Rain"). Over time she became disenchanted with other followers and then disassociated herself from Meher Baba. Recently she had a life-altering experience with Amma, the hugging saint from India. See also Libertarianism and Libertarian Party Libertarian,is a term for person who has made a conscious and principled commitment, evidenced by a statement or Pledge, to forswear violating others rights and usually living in voluntary communities: thus in law no longer subject to government supervision. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Mātā Amritanandamayī Devi (Devanagiri: माता अमृतानन्‍दमयी, Malayalam: മാതാ അമൃതാനന്ദമയി; born September 27, 1953) is an Indian spiritual leader revered as a saint by her followers, who also know her as Amma, Ammachi or Mother. She is a widely respected humanitarian and called by some the hugging saint.[1] // Amritanandamayi was born Sudhamani in...

Melanie currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

Cover versions

Many notable artists have covered Melanie's compositions:

  • Ray Charles released a cover of Melanie's "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma" in 1972. The song has also been covered by Billie Jo Spears.
  • The New Seekers covered several of Melanie's songs; "Look What They've Done to My Song Ma", "Beautiful People" and "The Nickel Song" among them.
  • In 1971 Mott The Hoople covered "Lay Down" on their Wildlife album. In 1999, American artist Meredith Brooks covered the song with backing vocals by Queen Latifah. The song was also covered by Max Sharam in 1995 and became a Top 40 hit in Australia.
  • Emiliana Torrini covered "I Really Loved Harold" on her 1996 album Merman. She has also recorded a version of "Lay Down".
  • The 2003 Australian hip-hop track "The Nosebleed Section" by The Hilltop Hoods sampled Melanie's "People In The Front Row".
  • Will Oldham (also known as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy) covered Melanie's "(Some Say) I Got Devil" on his 2006 album The Brave and the Bold.
  • Cissy Houston has covered Melanie's "Any Guy".
  • Macy Gray, Dolly Parton and Cher have all performed "Brand New Key" in concert (the latter on The Sonny And Cher Show).
  • Country singer Deana Carter covered "Brand New Key" on her 1999 Top 10 album Everything's Gonna Be Alright.
  • Yugoslav rock band Bajaga i Instruktori released a cover of Melanie's "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma", with lyrics in Serbian, named "Vidi šta sam ti uradio od pesme, mama" in 1985.
  • The cellist band Rasputina covered "Brand New Key" on their album Thanks for the Ether.
  • Female-fronted punk trio The Dollyrots covered "Brand New Key" on their album Because I'm Awesome

Ray Charles was the stage name of Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), a pioneering American pianist and soul musician who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues. ... Billie Jo Spears (born Billie Jean Spears January 14, 1937, in Beaumont, Texas) is an American Country Music Singer. ... The New Seekers was an Australian pop group, formed in 1969 by Keith Potger after the break-up of his group, The Seekers. ... Mott the Hoople were a 1970s English rock and roll and glam rock band with strong R&B roots. ... Meredith Ann Brooks (born June 12, 1958 in Oregon City, Oregon, USA) is an American singer/songwriter and guitarist. ... Also see the Arab singer Latifa Dana Elaine Owens (born March 18, 1970 in Newark, New Jersey) is a Grammy-winning American rapper/singer, model, and Academy Award-nominated actress. ... Max Sharam is an Australian singer and songwriter. ... Emiliana Torrini. ... Hip hop music is a style of music which came into existence in the United States during the mid-1970s, and became a large part of modern pop culture during the 1980s. ... The Hilltop Hoods are an Australian hip hop group, originating from Adelaide, South Australia. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Will Oldham, a. ... The Brave and the Bold is an album by Tortoise and Bonnie Prince Billy, released in 2006. ... Cissy Houston (born Emily Drinkard on September 30, 1933) is a gospel and soul singer. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is a Grammy-winning and Academy Award-nominated American country singer, songwriter, composer, author, actress and philanthropist. ... Cheryl Sarkisian LaPierre (better known as Cher) (born on May 20, 1946),[1] is an American actress, singer, songwriter, author and entertainer. ... Deana Kay Carter (born January 4, 1966 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA) is an American singer-songwriter who records country music. ... The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from 1945 to 1992. ... Бајага и Инструктори; trans: “Bajaga and the Instructors”) are a highly popular rock band from Serbia. ... Serbian (српски језик; srpski jezik) is one of the standard versions of the Shtokavian dialect, used primarily in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, and by Serbs in the Serbian diaspora. ... Rasputina is a varying collection of cellists playing alternative rock. ... Thanks for the Ether is the debut album of Rasputina, released in 1996 with Columbia Records. ... The Dollyrots are a punk rock band made up of two guys (Chris Black and Luis Cabezas) and one girl (Kelly Ogden). ... Because Im Awesome is the second studio album by punk rock band The Dollyrots. ...

Album discography

Melanie and Beau
Melanie and Beau
  • Born to Be (aka My First Album), November 1968
  • Melanie (aka Affectionately Melanie), December 1969 (US # 196)
  • Candles in the Rain, September 1970 (US #17 - Gold record, U.K #5, Australia #2)
  • Leftover Wine, November 1970 (US #33, U.K #22, Australia #8)
  • R.P.M. (Revolutions per Minute) (film soundtrack), 1970 (US #148)
  • The Good Book, May 1971 (US #80, U.K #9, Australia #29)
  • All the Right Noises (film soundtrack), August 1971
  • Gather Me, December 1971 (US #15 - Gold record), U.K #14, Australia #9)
  • Stoneground Words, November 1972 (US #70, Australia #69)
  • The Four Sides of Melanie, 1972 (US #103, U.K #23)
  • Garden In The City, 1972 (US #115, U.K #19, Australia #38)
  • Melanie at Carnegie Hall, 1973 (US #109)
  • Please Love Me, 1973 (US)
  • Madrugada, May 1974 (US #192)
  • As I See It Now, February 1975
  • Sunset and Other Beginnings, October 1975
  • Photograph, 1976 (Australia #84) (re-issued as Photograph (Double Exposure) in 2005)
  • Phonogenic - Not Just Another Pretty Face, September 1978
  • Ballroom Streets, August 1979
  • Arabesque, August 1982
  • Seventh Wave, September 1983
  • Am I Real or What, 1985
  • Cowabonga - Never Turn Your Back on a Wave, April 1988
  • Silence Is King, February 1993
  • Freedom Knows My Name 1993 (US)
  • Old Bitch Warrior, February 1996
  • These Nights, 2001
  • Crazy Love, 2002
  • Moments from My Life, 2003
  • Paled By Dimmer Light, 2004

Image File history File linksMetadata Melanie&Beau. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Melanie&Beau. ... Born to Be is singer Melanies debut album, released on Buddha Records in 1968. ... Affectionately Melanie (aka Melanie) is the sophomore album by Melanie Safka. ... Songs Candles In the Rain Lay Down (candles in the rain) Lovin Baby Girl Citiest People Leftover Wine Alexander Beetle The Good Guys Carolina In MY Mind (written by James Taylor) Ruby Tuesday (written by Mick Jagger/Keith Richards) What Have They Done To My Song Ma Category: ... Lefotver Wine is a live album released by Melanie in 1970. ... The Good Book is a 1971 album released by Melanie and featuring the Top 40 hit Nickel Song. The album also features Birthday of the Sun - a track Melanie originally performed at Woodstock in 1969. ... Gather Me is a 1971 album released by Melanie and featuring the #1 song Brand New Key. The album also features the singles Some Day Ill Be A Farmer and the Top 40 hit Ring The Living Bell. The album was certified Gold and was arranged by Roger Kellaway. ... Stoneground Words is an album released by Melanie in 1972. ... Garden In The City is a Melanie album released by Buddha Records in 1972. ... Madrugada is a 1974 album released by Melanie featuring the singles Lovers Cross and Love To Lose Again. ... Photograph is an album released by Melanie in 1976; her only release on Atlantic Records. ...


  • 1969 - "God's Only Daughter"
  • 1969 - "Garden in the City"
  • 1970 - "Bobo's Party" (#1 France)
  • 1970 - "Beautiful People"
  • 1970 - "Baby Guitar"
  • 1970 - "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" (#6 U.S. #5 Canada, # 2 Australia; #1 Denmark) (with the Edwin Hawkins Singers)
  • 1970 - "Peace Will Come (According To Plan)" (#32 U.S, #43 Australia) / "Stop! I Don't Wanna Hear It Anymore" (#112 U.S.*)
  • 1971 - "What Have They Done To My Song, Ma?" (#39 U.K.)
  • 1971 - "Ruby Tuesday" (#52 U.S, #9 U.K., #70 Australia; #12 Ireland; #6 Denmark; #16 South Africa)
  • 1971 - "Brand New Key" (#1, U.S, #1 Canada; #1 Australia; #4 U.K.; #8 Ireland, #23 Denmark; #1 South Africa)
  • 1971 - "The Good Book"
  • 1972 - "Ring the Living Bell" (#31 U.S., #41 Denmark, #74 Australia)
  • 1972 - "Together Alone" (#86 U.S.)
  • 1972 - "The Nickel Song" (#35 U.S., #43 Denmark, #74 Australia)
  • 1972 - "Someday I'll Be A Farmer" (#106 U.S, #95 Australia)
  • 1972 - "I'm Back in Town"
  • 1973 - "Do You Believe" (#115 U.S)
  • 1973 - "Bitter Bad" (#36 U.S, #49 Australia)
  • 1973 - "Seeds"
  • 1974 - "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" (#82 U.S, #37 U.K, #93 Australia)
  • 1974 - "Lover's Cross" (#109 U.S)
  • 1974 - "Love to Lose Again"
  • 1975 - "You're Not a Bad Ghost, Just An Old Song"
  • 1975 - "Record Machine"
  • 1977 - "Cyclone"
  • 1978 - "I'd Rather Leave While I'm in Love"
  • 1978 - "Running After Love"
  • 1978 - "Oh Boy"
  • 1979 - "Knock on Wood"
  • 1981 - "One More Try" (#110 U.S.)
  • 1982 - "Detroit or Buffalo"
  • 1983 - "Every Breath Of The Way" (#70 U.K.)
  • 1985 - "Maybe I'm Lonely"

(Titles with an asterisk are b-sides that gained enough radio play to chart on their own accord.) Edwin Hawkins is a gospel and R&B musician. ... Brand New Key is a pop song written by folk singer Melanie (Melanie Safka), which became a novelty hit in 1971-2. ... Will You Love Me Tomorrow is the title of a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. ...

The New Seekers also charted in the U.S. with their covers of Melanie's songs; "Beautiful People" hit #67, "Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma" hit #14 and "Nickel Song" #81. Ray Charles' cover of "Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma" hit #65 in 1972 (and #25 on the R&B Charts). The New Seekers was an Australian pop group, formed in 1969 by Keith Potger after the break-up of his group, The Seekers. ... Ray Charles was the stage name of Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), a pioneering American pianist and soul musician who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues. ...

The above U.S. chart placings are from Billboard Magazine; Melanie fared slightly better on the rival Cash Box charts: Billboard can refer to: Billboard magazine Billboard (advertising) Billboard antenna In 3D computer graphics, to billboard is to rotate an object so that it faces the viewer. ... Cash Box magazine was a weekly publication devoted to the music and coin-operated machine industry. ...

  • "Lay Down" - # 3
  • "Peace Will Come" - # 20
  • "Ruby Tuesday" - # 34
  • "The Good Book" - # 78
  • "Brand New Key" - # 1
  • "Ring the Living Bell" - # 21
  • "The Nickel Song" - # 25
  • "Some Day I'll Be A Farmer" - # 79
  • "Together Alone" - # 57
  • "Bitter Bad" - # 30
  • "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" - #54
  • "Lover's Cross" - # 70

Other credits

  • Lyrics for the theme song of the Beauty and the Beast television series.
  • Recorded "I've Got New York" on The 6ths' Hyacinths and Thistles, 2000

The 6ths is a band created by Stephin Merritt, also the prime mover behind The Magnetic Fields, The Gothic Archies and Future Bible Heroes. ... The name Hyacinth can refer to: the Hyacinth from Greek mythology. ... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


  1. ^ [1]

External links

  Results from FactBites:
MySpace.com - Melanie Safka - NASHVILLE, Tennessee - Folk Rock / Pop / Country - www.myspace.com/melaniesafkamusic (1008 words)
In the years that followed Melanie continued to record, continued to tour.
I have all of Melanie's albums on vinyl and, along with Joan Baez, she was very influential in starting me singing and playing the guitar.
hi melanie it's me angela pettit(hope you remember me) just wanted to stop in and say hi love the new music hope that you got my letter and melanie(my little girl that i named after you) is doing great to she loves you as much as i do hope to hear from you soon angela
Melanie (1102 words)
Melanie Safka was born to Fred and Polly Safka in Astoria, Queens, New York on February 3rd 1947.
Her mother was a jazz singer and Melanie grew up with a great interest for music, making her first public appearance on a radio show at the age of four.
By this time, Melanie had withdrawn from the stage and was devoting her time to more personal and domestic concerns, having the first of three children.
  More results at FactBites »



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