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Wheelchair Talking Blues

  • (Fred Small)

    I went out jogging in the city air
    I met a woman in a wheelchair
    I said, I'm sorry to see you're handicapped
    She said, What makes you think a thing like that
    She looked me in the eye with a smile on her face and she said
    You want a race?

    She began to roll and I began to run
    In two minutes she was long gone
    Going up the hill I could hit my stride
    But coming down she flew on by
    When I finally caught up with her she said
    Hey - not bad for someone who is able-bodied
    You know, with care and supervision you could be taught simple tasks
    Would you like to eat?

    I said, Eating, yeah, that suits me fine
    We're near a favourite place of mine
    We made our way over there
    And the entrance was up a flight of stairs
    I never noticed that before, said I
    No problem, the manager replied
    We've got a service elevator here
    It's round the back

    We went upstairs on the elevator
    With the garbage, flies, and last week's potatoes
    I said, I'd like a table for my friend and me
    He said, I'll see if I can find one that's out the way
    And he whispered, Is she gonna be sick? Is she gonna pee on the floor?
    I said, No, I don't think so, she had polio when she was small
    But that was twenty years ago

    He points to a table, she rolls her chair
    And some people looked down and other people stared
    One mother said to her little girl
    She said, Keep away from her, darling, that woman's - ill
    We felt real welcome

    Then the waiter said, What can I do for you?
    I said, I'll have one of your special brews
    He said, What about her?
    I said, Who?
    He said, Her
    I said, D'you mean my friend here?
    He said, Uh-huh
    I said, Why don't you ask her yourself?
    He said, I'm sorry, don't get sore
    I've never waited on a crípple before

    She spoke to the manager when we were through
    And said, There's one or two things that you could do
    To make life a little easier for people like us in these wheelchairs
    He said, It isn't necessary
    The handicapped never come here

    As I said good night to my new-found friend
    I said, Now I begin to understand
    To understand just how it feels
    To go through life on a set of wheels
    She said, Don't feel sorry, don't feel sad
    I take the good with the bad
    I was arrested once in a protest demo
    But the policemen had to let me go
    We were protesting about the fact
    That so many public buildings lacked wheelchair accessibility
    Seems the gaol was the same way

    She said, In fifty years anyhow
    You'll be in worse shape than I am now
    We're all the same in this human race
    Some of us are called handicapped
    And the rest of us are just temporarily -
    Able-bodied

    (as sung by Iain MacKintosh)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1988:] I just had to sing this one after watching a TV programme which exposed the lack of understanding and the difficulties encountered by wheelchair-bound people in public buildings. After a concert one night, I asked a girl in a wheelchair what she thought about the song. "I loved it," she said, "but could you perhaps add a verse about those people who pat us on the head?" (Notes Iain MacKintosh, 'Gentle Persuasion')

  • [1988:] I have been deeply impressed with the advertising by the Spastics Society stating "Our biggest handicap is other people's attitudes". (Notes Dick Gaughan, 'Call It Freedom')

  • [1999:] Concerned that there might be an emergency on board the flight and that the cabin staff might not appreciate her [deaf] sister could not hear them, my friend phoned BA to explain the problem. She was assured that they would take care of it. Sure enough, when they arrived at the airport there was a BA representative waiting for them ... with a wheelchair. (David Beresford, Observer, 3 Oct)

Quelle: USA

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