Today is International Workers’ Memorial Day. 
There’s a video of a group of NHS workers talking about the danger, both to patients and themselves, of their working conditions and lack of PPE. At the end of it, one of them said “No-one should go to work to die.” 

But many have. At 11am we observed a minute of silence to respect their memory. The grief of their family, friends and coworkers must be immense in this time, and thinking about it is heartbreaking. I wrote this song about them, it’s called “Heroes”. 


On the 9 o’clock news there’s a solemn announcement,
There’s a double page spread in the papers today:
The faces and names of a hundred key workers
Who were healthy in April, and dead before May.

Goodbye to you nurses, goodbye to my brothers,
Goodbye you bus drivers, you fathers and mothers.
They won’t call you murdered or victims tomorrow –
all they will say is “they died, they were heroes”.

They called it a battle, and gave you no armour.
No armour, but double shifts day after day.
You didn’t sign up to be warriors or martyrs;
you saved other people, but died the same way. 

Goodbye to you nurses, goodbye to my brothers…

Would you still be breathing if things had been different? 
Would you still be here if those masks had been made?
And can we believe that you sacrificed freely?
Ten years of austerity laid the road to your graves.

Goodbye to you nurses, goodbye to my brothers…

Is this the best way we can run our health service?
To ignore the demands of those on the front line?
To leave them to fall amid the blossoms of springtime,
to have no-one say “they were human, not heroes”.