>Wheelchair Talking Blues

>I’m listening to this song and could resist sharing because I love it. The lyrics of the version I’m listening to are slightly different to these and, I think, better show some of the issues wheelchair users face. BUT it’s still good and I hope you like it.

Wheelchair Talking Blues

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 –

~Written by Fred Small, as sung by Iain MacKintosh

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