Faraway People – recorded live at We Shall Overcome #Cambridge

I played this new song, Faraway People, live at the We Shall Overcome benefit gig at the Golden Hind, Cambridge on 3 October 2015. I wrote the song after finding the Hephaestus site which was a long list of all the people up until the end of 2014 who had died directly as a result of cuts to their benefits by Atos or because of the bedroom tax. The names are real and just a tiny few of the many who suffered.


Original lyrics © Reg Meuross:


Carl Payne, Leanne Chambers and Terry McGarvey
There but for grace luck and fortune go we
Wayne Grew, Linda Wootton and poor David Coupe
But for the whim of our government go me and you

Stephanie Bottrill lived only on custard
While her small income paid for a bedroom unused
One cold winters day she walked under a lorry
Her benefits cut and assistance refused

Julian Little was bound to a wheelchair
His machine in the spare room to keep him alive
‘it’s a luxury people like you can’t afford’
Said the council and Julian withered and died

These are the voices of faraway people
The man in the street and the hospital bed
The scandal of governments unfit to govern
Look down look down look down
You’ll be unfit to work when you’re dead

Seven ropes swinging and seven souls singing
Lifted from poverty lifted from pain
Freed of their guilt and relieved of their burden
For the price of a hotel or lunch on the plane

For 300 pounds you spend a day on the benches
And award for a week just a sixth of that fee
To a man who faced death for this land in the trenches
And sooner than starve hangs himself from a tree

Look into the eyes of Nicholas Barker
Barely able to hold up the gun
Or young Christelle Pardoe clutching her baby
As she leaps 5 months gone into oblivion.

Reg Meuross Singer Songwriter Storyteller