Peggy Palmer was in the Royal Albert Hospital, Lancaster for many years before leaving in the 1980s.
She attended a reminiscence group at the local adult education college in the late 1980s. At the meetings she shared many memories. They included this song, which she had learnt at Leybourne Grange, a large long-stay hospital in the south of England.
Peggy was from Tenby, South Wales but during her life time had ended up in institutions far from home.
Sung by Peggy Palmer.
Peggy: You can sing it about any hospitals though. I still know it though.
NI: Do you want to sing it now?
Peggy: I will tell you it now though. This is the way they taught me at Leybourne Grange. They sing it like this though. I’ll sing it about the Royal Albert though. This is the way they taught me –
They say the Royal Albert’s a wonderful place,
But the goings on there are a shocking disgrace,
The matrons and doctors have nothing to do,
‘Cept stick their nose in the air when they’re walking past you.
They say don’t you worry you’ll soon be free,
My worry is that they’ve strolled over me,
And I think it’s useless to pull up your socks,
For when you go out you shall go in your box.
That’s what they did teach me at Leybourne Grange. I was only there for one year. They used to say that the ‘Grange is a wonderful place.’ You can sing it about any hospitals though.