LESLIE FISH


The Day It Fell Apart Lyrics

Just a little general hospital, in a little factory town.
The board put me in charge for mainly keeping prices down.
I hadn't touched a patient since 1982,
But the day of the explosion I remembered what to do.
At eleven in the morning, we all heard the factory blow.
The blast took out the windows, and the shrapnel fell like snow.
We could get no help from out of town for half a day or more.
We had near a thousand casualties and beds for ninety-four.

Chorus:
And can you keep your head, your backbone, or your heart?
We all found out the answer on the day it fell apart.

It was worse than combat medicine; supplies were draining fast.
Bandages ran out and antiseptics wouldn't last.
I took all the able-bodied I could catch inside the door
And made them help the doctors to go scrounge supplies and more.
I invented laws to tell them saying in such emergency
Forget your usual job and boss, your orders come from me.
I sent the cops to commandeer anything in reach:
Food or disinfectant cloth or alcohol or bleach.

The janitor ran cleanup squad, the cook maintained supplies,
The garbageman removed the ones who died before our eyes.
The clerks burned all our papers to boil water on the fire
For sterilizing instruments, as the body count went higher.
A local healthfood herbalist brought everything he had.
The painkillers were useful, and the poultices weren't bad.
A smack and cocaine pusher handed us his whole supply.
The quality was lousy, but a few more didn't die.

We did triage in the parking lot, ranked minor, major, grave.
A sad-eyed fireman gave the stroke to those we couldn't save.
Then sometime in the chaos, a director wandered in
To tell us we were breaking rules, what trouble we'd be in.
But if we'd swear the factory was not the fire's cause,
And the harm was accidental, he'd forget the broken laws.
The staff sneaked up and grabbed him, and tied him to a door.
He gave them blood transfusions 'till he hadn't any more.
(musical interlude)

When that day was over, and we'd saved all that we could,
We saw that law and politics would hang us where we stood.
We'd saved eight hundred lives but shattered all authority.
I told them, "People, save yourselves, put all the blame on me."
I took my books and instruments, and a few supplies beside,
Packed my car and ran away to open countryside.
So now I live an outlaw, condemned by righteous men,
But for all the lives I saved that day ... I'd do it all again.

And can you keep your head, your backbone, or your heart?
You'll all find out the answers on the day it falls apart

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