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THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Oh, if only today's kids were as tough as we were

July 01, 2007|Randy Lewis

"American Idol" 2006 competitor Bucky Covington is back on the country chart with his latest single, "A Different World." The song, written by Mark Nesler, Jennifer Hanson and Tony Martin, is a paean to a childhood without seat belts, bike helmets or the surgeon general's tobacco warning labels.

The chorus:

It was a different life

When we were boys and girls

Not just a different time

It was a different world

But that first verse? Hey, Bucky, chew on this:

We were born to mothers who smoked and drank

"Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is caused by maternal alcohol use during pregnancy and is one of the leading causes of preventable birth defects and developmental disabilities in the United States." -- Study on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, 1995-97

Our cribs were covered in

lead-based paint

"Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems and, at very high levels, seizures, coma and even death." -- Centers for Disease Control

No child-proof lids, no seat belts in cars

"In the past two decades, seat belts in vehicles have saved 65,000 lives and prevented countless injuries." -- CDC, National Public Health Week

Rode bikes with no helmets and still here we are

"Among children ages 0 to 14 years, Traumatic Brain Injury results in an estimated 2,685 deaths, 37,000 hospitalizations and 435,000 emergency department visits annually." -- CDC

We got Daddy's belt when we misbehaved

"Physical abuse is physical injury due to punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking or otherwise harming a child." -- CDC

Had three TV channels you got up to change

"In 2005, 51.9% of U.S. residents reported exercise levels as 'insufficient' or 'inactive' according to CDC fitness recommendations; 25.4% reported no leisure-time physical activity." -- CDC

No video games and no satellite

"In 1996, approximately 25% of American adults could not read well enough to address an envelope correctly." -- Young Adult Library Services Assn.

It was a different life

When we were boys and girls

Not just a different time

It was a different world

-- Randy Lewis

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