They Changed Her Mind – Reg Meuross

THEY CHANGED HER MIND by Reg Meuross (from the album England Green & England Grey)  

They Changed Her Mind - Reg MeurossThis song is about the reopening of a mental asylum which had remained locked since the early 1960’s.

When they opened it they found suitcases containing the effects and details of many inmates. The overwhelming impression I got was that many of these people should never have been locked away in the first place.  LISTEN HERE

Reg

 

LYRICS

You closed the suitcase and you waited for the bus

To take you from this place away from all of us

They said you would be better and they said you’d be ok

Just read and sign the letter they’re taking you away today

There’s pictures of your mother and there’s pictures of your sister

There’s nothing of your father but you want nothing of him

There’s pictures of your brother and his watch and medication

He wanted you to have to stop the devil getting in

CHORUS

She got the shakes her love was wrong

She grieved her stillborn child too long

They locked her up to see what they could find

They changed her mind

 

There’s flowers from your wedding made of cloth and made of paper

You thought they wouldn’t last but they outlasted any love

There’s perfume for the morning and there’s perfume for later

Something special for a Sunday and some wisdom from above

 

“Take some writing paper you could be there for some weeks

In no time you’ll be better you’re not like those other freaks”

That was 1927 now it’s 1958

And she is just a number upon a nameless grave

CHORUS

 

Sometimes in the name of kindness man lets the devil loose

Is ignorance or blindness an  acceptable excuse?

Remember the forgotten remember the condemned

Another time, free of crime you could be damned like them

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REVIEWS 

“Meuross, who was once praised by the late, great Townes van Zandt has plenty of social commentary in the album, especially in They Changed Her Mind, which is about a woman sent to a mental asylum” Martin Chilton, Telegraph Music FULL REVIEW HERE

“Meuross.. sings with conviction, understated power and gentle passion…the socio-political seam is also mined on They Changed Her Mind, a story of a woman consigned to a mental asylum in the late 1920s (the causes for her illness hinting at sexual abuse and an illegitimate stillborn child) given a steady Richard Thompson-esque rhythm.” England Green & England GreyMike Davies (FRUK) FULL REVIEW HERE

“On this album it’s the historical material where Reg Meuross’s songwriting is

particularly fascinating… ‘They Changed Her Mind’ as a title is a clever play on words, the song looking touchingly at cases of mental asylum inmates who should not have been locked away at all…. The CD comprises a wide-ranging collection of tracks, all well arranged and played. It certainly merits attention from beyond the folk constituency.” Colin Bailey, Folking.com FULL REVIEW HERE

“With a precise poetic touch and a rich vein of storytelling, his songs form imageries to be remembered…‘They Changed Her Mind, is an incredibly sad tale of individuals confined in institutions by a society that refused to understand… these narratives carry characters and relate experiences that create such powerful visual impressions they make this album theatre for your ears. Writing of this calibre demands a deep understanding of a myriad facets within the human condition.” Tim Caroll, Folkwords FULL REVIEW HERE       

Meuross isn’t the only artist who, just when you think they’ve peaked, produces another set that can now be defined as their best yet, but with ‘England Green and England Grey’ Meuross leaves the listener in little doubt that there are few singer/songwriters who currently come close. ….. ‘They Changed Her Mind’ covers the reopening of a mental asylum that had remained unused since the early 60s and the discovery of suitcases containing the personal effects and details of some of the inmates. Again Meuross delivers a chilling tale… Meuross delivers his stories with so much conviction and passion yet still his vocals never lose their gentleness. He shows that there’s no need to shout to be heard and with a first class bunch of musicians fleshing out those unforgettable melodies which compliment his astute lyrical talent ‘England Green and England Grey’ should be heard by all music lovers, not just those interested in the folk and singer/songwriter genres Meuross is often grouped in with.”
Malcolm Carter Pennyblack Music FULL REVIEW HERE

“Under the surface sweetness of many of Reg’s songs there are a lot of tough stories which reflect on our history in a unique way.” Peter Grieg, Cecil Sharp House

“…I can’t put my finger on what alchemy of harmony and form Reg Meuross has created that collides with you and streams through your body like shock, but this is powerfully emotional stuff. As a songwriter, he grabs you and whirls you around to music that is exhilarating and uplifting, and he then pulls you in close, looks you straight in the eye and tells a story that burns with heart-ache and pain. Wandering through these songs is not an easy journey; several times I had to pause the CD and pace around the room to pull myself back together. Many of the tracks deal with tricky and uncomfortable modern issues, such as the way we treat people with dementia (Counting my Footsteps to You), of the suffering our society has caused in the not-so-distant past to those with mental health problems (They Changed Her Mind)”  Tamsin Rosewell Radio Warwickshire FULL REVIEW HERE

One Response to They Changed Her Mind – Reg Meuross

  1. Martin Holroyd says:

    It’s a colossal song Reg, absolutely amazing – I love it.
    Do you know which asylum it was?

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