There but for Fortune

The memorial I’ve created consists of 22 hand-built pieces of altered clay. They’ve been air dried but not yet glazed and fired. They are numbered 1/22, 2/22, 3/22… Each is purposely left with natural and induced abrasions, gashes and distress marks. Each is unique yet all have certain characteristics in common.

I can wonder why someone might decide that being one of the 22 is preferable to not, but I can’t know why. What I do know is that there but for fortune go you or go I.

There but for Fortune
Show me the prison, show me the jail
Show me the prisoner whose face is growin’ pale
And I’ll show you a young man with so many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or go I
You and I.

Show me the alley, show me the train
Show me the hobo who sleeps out in the rain
And I’ll show you a young man with many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or go I
You and I.

Show me the famine, show me the frail
Eyes with no future, that show how we fail
And I’ll show you the children with so many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or go I
You and I.

Show me the country where bombs had to fall
Show me the ruins of buildings once so tall
And I’ll show you a young land with many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or go I
You and I.
You and I.

There but for fortune, go you or go I
You and I.

“There but for Fortune” written by American folk musician Phil Ochs in 1963.
Performed by Peter, Paul and Mary from the Such Is Love album