Virginia State Epileptic Colony

Album: Journal For Plague Lovers (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • The song's title refers to a US hospital that involuntarily sterilized 4,000 patients deemed "unfit" to reproduce between 1920 and 1972.
  • Manics lyricist and guitarist Richey Edwards was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Cardiff and, later, to the Priory in London for treatment having shown signs of emotional instability for several years. The therapy he received appeared to have helped him. However in February 1995,Edwards disappeared, leaving a folder containing various lyrics including the words of this song, which targets an institutional approach to care. Frontman James Dean Bradfield discussed the track with the NME May 16, 2009: "You get the overall cynicism of treatment trying to subjugate the intelligence of the patient. Somebody saying, 'There's not one thing you've told me that is gonna make me better.' You get the overall cynicism of someone saying, 'Just get the f---k out of my room and let me try and solve these problems myself.' And it is heavily laced with sarcasm. I also feel it's Richey doing a bit of research here and integrating the story of the Virginia State Epileptic Colony into his own experience."

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