I loved you then as I love you still
Though I put you on a pedestal, they put you on the pill

Billy Bragg - A New England lyrics meaning

Meaning

In response to the rising population and amount of single mothers, the NHS launched a campaign to introduce birth control. Although still criticised by sections of the Christian faith, contraception was deemed a morally acceptable solution by the majority of Britain. Consequently implants and injections were widely introduced alongside condoms, caps and the contraceptive pill.

In this line Bragg debates whether he is old enough to become a father, and admits that despite loving this girl, others do not think he is. She is also deemed too young for a committed relationship and parenthood, and is put on the contraceptive pill. By highlighting the social stigma of becoming a parent in young adulthood, Bragg also questions the authority others have over his generation.

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