Singing for drug charity

  • Val Sherwood

    Val Sherwood


Tricia turned to me today,

She wanted to stop the

heroin, from going in

What could I say?

There’s a nine-month

waiting list, for ladies

like yourself,

Not in the best of health,

Not in the best of health

Tricia came with her

friend John,

She stood there with a

trembling chin,

confessed her sin

Where’s the money gone?

Yesterday, you stole; you stole the rent from John,

Now you’ll be movin’ on,

Now you’ll be movin’ on.

Tricia came with no last


She was hungry and tired; she was totally wired

Who can I blame?

I’m not qualified to know, was she high, or was she low?

She had nowhere to go,

She had nowhere to go

Tricia’s friend was friend

to me, I used to buy him

coffee all the time, and

life was fine

John works for free

He sells the homeless

magazine; drugs are not

his scene

She ruined everything,

She ruined everything

Tricia, why did you come here?

I wanted to stop the heroin, from going in;

I made it clear.

If she’d only wanted clothing, food or even shelter,

I could have helped her,

I could have helped her.

Tricia, won’t you stay awhile?

We can offer you coffee

and tea, a little sympathy

I tried to smile

In my many times of strife; in my role as mother-wife

Nothing prepared me,


Nothing prepared me, quite

For this day of your life,

For this day of your life

Singer-songwriter Val Sherwood has dedicated a track to promote awareness of addiction charity Focus, which continues to struggle financially.

Ms Sherwood’s folk song Tricia tells the bleak story of a heroin addict she met while working for a young people’s charity in rural Britain in the late 1990s. Although, as a property manager, she could offer food, shelter and clothing to those in need, Ms Sherwood realised that she couldn’t help Tricia with her drug problem.

“At the time there was a nine-month waiting list for her to get any assistance,” she said.

“The song was about the helplessness she was feeling,” she said. Also featured in the song is another real-life character named John, a homeless friend of Tricia’s who sold street newspaper The Big Issue in the Gloucestershire town.

Ultimately, the Pembroke native discovered that Tricia had stolen John’s money to fund her addiction.

“In the lyrics I’m angry with her,” she said. “Here was somebody who had sorted himself out and was coping, and then all of a sudden she completely derailed his recovery.

“I have no idea where she is now. I don’t know what happened to her or John.”

Ms Sherwood is hoping that the track, which featured on her 2004 debut album Never Tell Them Why, will help bring attention to Focus’ current plight.

The Hamilton-based charity, which provides a wide range of services for Bermuda’s drug and alcohol addicts, is struggling to meet its $450,000 a year operating costs.

“Focus is a really good cause,” said the mother-of-one. “I’ve seen young people turned around by having the right attention and support. Often it’s about finding their gift and being supportive.”

The musician, who now works as a property manager for Bermuda Hospitals Board, is asking members of the public to donate whatever they can to the cause.

“I’ve made a small donation, but I know there are people out there who can help more than I can,” she said.

Sandy Butterfield, who cofounded Focus in 1993, thanked Ms Sherwood for her efforts. She said: “I’m very proud of Val and I’m so grateful to her for contributing this song. She has always been a supporter of Focus and I wish her every success in her musical endeavours.”

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Published Feb 18, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 18, 2016 at 7:25 am)

Singing for drug charity

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