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John Cullimore, the chair of the Alfred Williams Heritage Society, is an accomplished musician whose work has always been influenced by Alfred's life, and the workhouse has again proved an inspiration for one of his songs.

So we commissioned John, whose previous works included the album The Hammerman, and the numbers and score from The Hammerman stage production, to write a special song for the project, which he called The Shadow of the Workhouse.

The song will shortly be available for listening on this site, and also appears on John's brand new album, Filled With Gods.

Watch this space for more news in the near future.



The Shadow of the Workhouse
by John Cullimore,
Chair of the Alfred Williams Heritage Society

To all those I have loved, this song is writ for you.
In sickness and in health, I've known what I must do.

Here in our self-made Eden, we've struggled and we've grieved.
We trusted dear old England to meet our every need,
And yet it seems we've come to this; we live on charity and gifts.

While some admit defeat and turn away in shame,
We struggle to go on and hope for better days.

The shadow of the workhouse reaching to our door,
And if we take relief, we're doomed for evermore.
I'd rather die here in my bed than join those ranks of living dead.

Forced to sacrifice the homes that they had built,
Sad they could not raise the funds to pay their bills.

I hear them kicking, screaming, taken with brute force
From their place of refuge, dragged through their front door.
How did they reach this sorry state?
No man should ever bear this fate.

Last home of the poor and unfortunate,
Many go there to end their days,
Out of sight of all that is kind and charitable:
Forgotten, deserted, forlorn.

The shadow of the workhouse reaches to our door,
And if we take relief, we're doomed for ever more.
How did we reach this sorry state?
No man should ever bear this fate.

The dust and rags of human kind alone, abandoned and resigned.