The Ballad of Josie Evans

An eloquent, heart-wrenching story of a woman who is abandoned by her government and everyone else to a solitary, but dignified, life and death in a nursing home. Internet publication URL: www.independentliving.org/docs3/evans93.html

Josie was a wheelchair user spent 11 years inside
A short stay institution where she was banged up without trial
11 years the white coats met and talked and analyzed
Dispensed the drugs politely until one day Josie died

Not me said the social worker I was Josie's friend
She was our best customer I was with her till the end
Our boss said no resources were available at the time

And I'm just an employee can't put my job on the line

Not me said the director I can't be held to blame
It's the politicians who make decisions I'm just a pawn in their game I agree
Most strongly that Ms Evans was done wrong
But the council wanted cuts and I had to sing their song

And the finger of guilt draws a circle in the sand
And who'll take the blame for the desperate and the dammed
And which people vote for injustice in the land
Is it you or your mother is it you?

Well the leader of the council wrung his hands and shook his fist
Scandal such as this
You gotta blame the government for a
Blame Thatcher blame John Major blame the ones that put them in
Then he went to wash his hands declaring he was clean of sin

I give to charity everyday said John Major at the table
It's the very least that I can do to help the poor disabled
Efficiency is what we need, poor management's to blame
Would you like a small donation to the memory of what's her name?

And the finger of guilt draws a circle in the sand
And who'll take the blame for the desperate and the dammed
And which people vote for injustice in the land
Is it you or your mother is it you?

Josie left a letter which I found amongst her things
It said I am and I survive and my heart still has wings
They can take away my freedom
They can drug me with their lies
But they don't have my permission
And I hang on to my pride.

English