“Ooh, Lord, won’t you let me wash away the stains”

For seventeen years I`ve been scrubbing this washboard. Ever since the fellas started in after me  My mother – poor soul – didn`t know what to do  The Canon said, “child there`s a place for you”  Now, I`m serving my time at the Magdalen Laundry  I`m toeing the line at the Magdalen Laundry

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There are girls from the country, girls from the town  Their bony white elbows going up and down  The Reverend Mother, as she glides through the place  A tight little smile on the side of her face  She`s running the show at the Magdalen Laundry  I’ve got nowhere to go – but the Magdalen Laundry

Ooh, Lord, won`t you let me  Don`t you let me  Won`t you let me wash away the stains
Ooh, Lord, won`t you let me wash away the stains.

I`m washing altar linen and cassocks and stoles  I`m scrubbing long John’s for those holy Joe’s  We know where they`ve been when they`re not saving souls  What the red wine spilt, what the smooth hand poured  We`re squeezing it out at the Magdalen Laundry  We`re scrubbing it out at the Magdalen Laundry

Ooh, Lord, won`t you let me  Don`t you let me  Won`t you let me wash away the stains Ooh, Lord, won`t you let me wash away the stains

Sunday afternoon when the Lord`s at rest  It`s off to the prom to watch the waves roll by  We`re chewing on our toffees, hear the seagulls squawk  There go *The Maggies*, the children talk  Through our faces they stare at the Magdalen Laundry  In our eyes see the glare of the Magdalen Laundry

Ooh, Lord, won`t you let me  Don`t you let me  Won`t you let me wash the stains
Ooh, Lord, won`t you let me wash away the stains  Ooh Lord, won`t you let me

The Fall – by Rachael Romero

Don`t you let me  Won`t you let me wash away the stains  Ooh, Lord, won`t you let me wash away the stains  Ooh, Lord, won`t you let me  Don`t you let me  Won`t you let me wash away the stains  Ooh, Lord, won`t you let me wash away the stains

The song “Magdalen Laundry” written by J Mulhern has the chorus line “Ooh Lord won’t you let me wash away the stains”, and refers to the Magdalen Asylums run by the Roman Catholic Church in which Irish unmarried mothers, developmentally-challenged women and abused girls were incarcerated indefinitely.

I adore this rendition by Jazz/blues singer, Mary Coughlan. She is such a natural. Mary had tough times in her own life, hence the empathetic soul oozing out of every word she sings.

An aside; I saw MC walking down Renelagh, Dublin, with her children approximately a year ago.

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