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What people believe on our planet depends so much on whereabouts on the planet they were born. Dr Richard Dawkins, lecture 1: Waking Up In The Universe, 1991
Obviously what we believe is affected by our upbringing. But that doesn’t mean we can’t change our minds. We all have the right to see the evidence and re-evaluate our beliefs. Richard Dawkins, The Genius of Charles Darwin part III, Channel 4 2008
Death and taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them. Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind, 1936
We cannot cross the cause why we were born. William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost IV iii 216
Hell and night
Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light. William Shakespeare, Othello I iii 409
When we are born, we cry that we are come
To this great stage of fools. William Shakespeare, The History of King Lear IV vi, Lear
The desires of the heart are as crooked as corkscrews
Not to be born is best for man. W H Auden, Death’s Echo 1937
Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen. Mark Twain
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Mark Twain
What is the use of a newborn child? Benjamin Franklin
Across the world tens of thousands of people have been part of a truly remarkable scientific project. It’s altering our understanding of what made you the way you are today. Scientists think they have discovered in these people’s lives the secret of a healthy happy long life for all of us. Studying our journeys from baby to adulthood is revealing the most important part of your life, maybe one you can’t even remember: the nine months before you were born. Horizon: The Nine Months That Made You, BBC 2011
David Barker believed that in these records he had found a simple and powerful link between a low weight at birth and heart disease later in life. The idea that future health was linked to birth weight was named the Barker Theory. ibid.
From the moment you are born parts of your future health, happiness and personality could already be determined. ibid.
Scientists are discovering it’s not just the food that reaches us in the womb but also the hormones we are exposed to that could powerfully affect how our life unfolds. ibid.
More testosterone exposure makes your behaviour more male. ibid.
Then from those profound slumbers we awake in a dawn, not knowing who we are, being nobody, newly born, ready for anything, the brain emptied of that past which was life until then. And perhaps it is more wonderful still when our landing at the waking-point is abrupt and the thoughts of our sleep, hidden by a cloak of oblivion, have no time to return to us gradually, before sleep ceases. Then, from the black storm through which we seem to have passed (but we do not even say we), we emerge prostrate, without a thought, a we that is void of content. Marcel Proust, Sodom and Gomorrah
Nurse delivering newborn baby to mother: What was the colour of the father’s hair?
Mother in bed: I don’t know. He kept his hat on. Donald McGill, seaside postcard
You’re born to this shit. You are what you are. The Sopranos s1e7: Down Nec, HBO 1999
Why were we born? The Sopranos s2e7: D-Girl, AJ
I was born on a snooker table. Big Fat Gypsy Gangster: Bulla the Movie 2011 starring Ricky Grover & Omid Djalili & Tulisa Contostavlos & Steven Berkoff & Peter Capaldi & Rufus Hound & Rochelle Wiseman & Laila Morse et al, director Ricky Grover
What you say of the pride of giving life to an immortal soul is very fine, dear, but I own I can not enter into that; I think much more of our being like a cow or a dog at such moments; when our poor nature becomes so very animal and unecstatic. Queen Victoria, letter to Princess Royal 15th June 1858
I was born in very sorry circumstances. Norman Wisdom
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come. William Wordsworth
Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery. Andy Warhol
The only sin is the sin of being born. Samuel Beckett
They gave birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more. Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot, 1955
I said I wish I had never been born. It’s a Wonderful Life 1946 starring James Stewart & Donna Reed & Henry Travers & Lionel Barrymore & Thomas Mitchell & Beulah Bondi & Frank Faylen & Ward Bond & Gloria Grahame & H B Warner et al, director Frank Capra, George Bailey
Take her to the foetus-frightening room. Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life 1983 starring Graham Chapman & John Cleese & Terry Gilliam & Eric Idle & Terry Jones & Michael Palin & Carol Cleveland & Patricia Quinn & Simon Jones & Matt Frewer et al, director Terry Jones, doctor in theatre
And get the machine that goes ping! ibid.
And that’s the most expensive machine in the whole hospital. ibid. doctor to patient
Hospital Administrator: Ah, I see you have the machine that goes ping. This is my favourite. You see we lease this back from the company we sold it to and that way it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account. ibid.
Patient: Is it a boy or a girl?
Obstetrician: Now I think it’s a little early to start imposing roles on it, don’t you? ibid.
Contrary to the rumours you’ve heard I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here to save the planet Earth. Barack Obama
Prosecuting Attorney: Chicolini, when was you born?
Chicolini: I don’t remember. I was just a little baby. Duck Soup 1933 starring Groucho Marx & Harpo Marx & Chico Marx & Zeppo Marx & Margaret Dumont & Louis Calhern & Raquel Torres & Edgar Kennedy et al, director Leo McCarey, court of Freedonia
Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb,
Now leaves his well-beloved imprisonment. John Donne 1572-1631, La Corona, 1609
Born down in a dead man’s town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground ...
Born in the USA ... Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA
Why came I so untimely forth
Into a world which, wanting thee,
Could entertain us with no worth,
Or shadow of felicity? Edmund Waller, To My Young Lady Lucy Sidney, 1645
Goalkeepers are not even born until their late twenties or early thirties. Kevin Keegan, match co-commentator England v Holland, European Championships 1996
That meant Margaret, like all other expectant mothers in the medieval world, was about to face the greatest danger she would ever probably encounter. Medieval Lives: Birth, Marriage and Death, BBC 2013
She would have no pain relief in childbirth, and the possibility of dying was very real. ibid.