NRL News

“Danny’s Downs But Love Is Up”

by | Feb 4, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

Michael Kelly Blanchard

Michael Kelly Blanchard

The following ran in NRL News just prior to the 2001 National Right to Life Convention. I run it now for two reasons.

First, to remind readers that it is not too early to register for the 2014 National Right to Life Convention which will take place June 26-28 in Louisville, Kentucky. (See

Please take advantage of the benefits of registering early.

Second, to remind us of the power of music.


As NRLC 2001 rapidly approaches, it’s hard to know whether the convention staff is more excited or more exhausted. Putting on the pro-life educational gathering of the year requires incredible organization, excruciatingly careful planning, and an all-out commitment to detail that is almost mind-numbing.

But, having had the privilege of attending every annual NRLC convention since 1981, I can guarantee you the results more than justify the prodigious number of hours put in by Convention Director Jacki Ragan. It’s the place to be.

Among the many topflight guests is music legend Pat Boone. When Mr. Boone confirmed, the good news triggered a flood of fond memories for me of the l986 convention held in Denver, Colorado. A number of Christian music artists put on a wonderful show, the cassette tape from which I listened to coming in today.

I’m no musicologist, but, like you, I know the power of music to speak to the heart, soul, and spirit. “Danny’s Downs” (sung by Michael Kelly Blanchard) brings a tear to my eye every time I play this song (see The song was inspired by the unspeakably sad, wholly unnecessary death of “Infant Doe” in Indiana.

One of the worse weeks of my life were those six days in l982. A baby boy, born with Down syndrome and an esophageal blockage which made it impossible for him to swallow, was neither fed nor had the blockage repaired.

In “Danny’s Downs,” the parents are confronted with the same temptation to “send him back where he came.” They overcome their weakness, thanks to an old Jamaican cleaning woman whose encouragement allows the parents to overcome the “death” of their dream of a “perfect baby.”

I absolutely love that song, which is etched into my heart.

Mr. Boone’s own “Let Me Live” remains one of the most stirring, life-affirming, powerful witnesses the pro-life community has ever produced. I remember like it was yesterday, the first time I heard it played.

An old friend of mine happened to be sitting at the same table. A woman who combines relentless energy and determination with a kind of pseudo-world-weariness, she bawled like a baby.

We all did.

I look forward to seeing thousands of you in June in the Bluegrass State.

Categories: Down Syndrome