The Magdalene Laundries

I was an unmarried girl
Id just turned twenty-seven
When they sent me to the sisters
For the way men looked at me
Branded as a jezebel
I knew I was not bound for heaven
Id be cast in shame
Into the magdalene laundries

Most girls come here pregnant
Some by their own fathers
Bridget got that belly
By her parish priest
Were trying to get things white as snow
All of us woe-begotten-daughters
In the streaming stains
Of the magdalene laundries

Prostitutes and destitutes
And temptresses like me--Fallen women--
Sentenced into dreamless drudgery
...Why do they call this heartless place
Our lady of charity? Oh charity!
These bloodless brides of jesus
If they had just once glimpsed their groom
Then theyd know, and theyd drop the stones
Concealed behind their rosaries
They wilt the grass they walk upon
They leech the light out of a room
Theyd like to drive us down the drain
At the magdalene laundries

Peg oconnell died today
She was a cheeky girl
A flirt
They just stuffed her in a hole!
Surely to God youd think at least some bells should ring!
One day Im going to die here too
And theyll plant me in the dirt
Like some lame bulb
That never blooms come any spring
Not any spring
No, not any spring
Not any spring
JONI MITCHEL