Demos and Radio Sessions 1986​-​1998

by The Whisky Priests

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about

A comprehensive chronological compilation of demos and radio sessions recorded by The Whisky Priests between 1986 and 1998.


Tracks 1 & 2 recorded on 4-track at Fowlers Yard, Durham City, England on 20th December 1986.
Previously released on 'A Few Drops More' [WPTCD17]

Tracks 3-5 recorded on 8-track at The Pigpen, Trimdon, County Durham, England on 14th February 1987.
Track 3 - Previously released on 'A Few Drops More' [WPTCD17]
Tracks 4 & 5 - Previously released on 'The First Few Drops' (1994 Reissue Version) [WPTCD10]

Tracks 6-9 recorded on 8-track at The Pigpen, Trimdon, County Durham, England on 14th February 1988.
Tracks 6, 7, 9 - Previously released on 'A Few Drops More' [WPTCD17]
Track 8 - Previously released on 'The First Few Drops' (1994 Reissue Version) [WPTCD10]

Tracks 10-18 recorded on 16-track at Studio 64, Middlesbrough, England on 22nd & 23rd October 1993.
Previously released on 'A Few Drops More' [WPTCD17]

Tracks 19-20 recorded and mixed live direct to tape at BBC Radio Newcastle, England on 12th June 1996.
Previously released on 'A Few Drops More' [WPTCD17]

Tracks 21-30 recorded and mixed live direct to tape at Radio Heemskerk, Netherlands for the Mark C. Deren Show on 14th December 1987.
Previously released on 'Live on Radio Heemskerk' [WPTCD16]

Tracks 31-33 recorded and mixed live direct to tape at Radio Sieben, Ravensburg, Germany on 31st October 1998.
Previously released on 'Full Circle EP' [WPTCD23]

credits

released July 8, 2016

The Whisky Priests line-up on these recordings:

Tracks 1-2
Gary Miller - vocals, acoustic guitar
Glenn Miller - accordion
Michael Stephenson - bass
Michael 'Sticks' Stoker - drums
Mark Kelly - banjo

Tracks 3-5
Gary Miller - lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Glenn Miller - accordion
Michael Stephenson - bass, backing vocals
Michael 'Sticks' Stoker - drums
Mark Kelly - banjo

Tracks 6-9
Gary Miller - lead vocals, acoustic guitar, bouzouki
Glenn Miller - accordion
Michael Stephenson - bass, backing vocals
Bill Bulmer - mandolin, harmonicas
David Ayre - drums

Tracks 10-18
Gary Miller - vocals, acoustic guitar
Glenn Miller - accordion
Mick Tyas - bass, vocals
Paul Carless - electric mandolin, harmonica
Nick Buck - drums

Tracks 21-30
Gary Miller - lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Glenn Miller - accordion
Hugh Bradley - mandolin, mandola, electric guitar, whistle, vocals
Cozy Dixon - drums
Andy Tong - bass, vocals

Tracks 31-33
Gary Miller - lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Glenn Miller- accordion
Hugh Bradley - mandola, mandolin, backing vocals


This Compilation ℗ & © 2016 Whippet Records

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The Whisky Priests Durham, UK

The Whisky Priests (1985-2002) was founded by twin brothers, Gary & Glenn Miller (“the Joe Strummer and Mick Jones of Folk Music”). The band was internationally renowned for its energetic live shows, released a number of critically acclaimed albums, toured extensively and developed a worldwide cult following. ... more

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Track Name: The Coal-Digger's Grave [Fowlers Yard Demo 1986]
THE COAL-DIGGER’S GRAVE

There had just been a big cave-in in the depths of Belly Row
And Jim Greenwood was stretched out on the ground
And those with no guts were smiling at the back
While the strong men had failed to bring him round

The burial party had just reached the top of Dead Man's Hill
It was well past closing time and all the men had drunk their fill
They were starting to shovel the soil over his head
When he jumped up and yelled, "Give us whisky!"

The top men are calling for enquiries round the town
They've got a lot of face to save
And they've sent out appeals for the men to rally round
"Will someone put a body in the coal-digger's grave?"

Jim Greenwood had survived many pitfalls in his time
And the thinkers couldn't think what else to do
"We cannot starve your family and we cannot steal your home
But somehow we're going to get you"

And they sent him off to fight in the war
And the bullets knocked him to the ground
And they said, "That's the end of you my son"
But the bugger he came back round

(Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1988 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Pride [1st Pigpen Demo 1987]
PRIDE

I remember working winters
That were cold and filled with strife
But the winters of my winter years
Are the coldest of my life
But we’ll keep the fires burning
With the anger in our souls
And pray to God in Heaven
For the men who dig for coal

My youngest son called Terry
Was a shipbuilder by trade
And he told me he was proud to work
For a good and honest wage
Then his boss said, “Son we’re paying you off
With involuntary redundancy pay
Though you’ve built ships that have sailed
Down South America way”

When you’re faced with a crisis
We will never let you down
We’ll do just what’s required to a man
You can lead sheep to the slaughter
And we’ll follow every one
But you can’t destroy the pride
Of a hard working man

Sitting round with beers
With the lads who’ve never worked
And telling them all stories
Of the times when we worked hard
Then we’ll doff our caps in honour
To the old days long gone by
And drink to a good future
When we’ll never lay down and die

The fighters throughout history
Have never been put down
And they’ll always keep on fighting
Though they’re stamped into the ground
And the marchers keep on marching
Though the blood drips from their feet
And the pride of a whole nation
Reaps a victory from defeat

(Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1992 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Collier's Rant [1st Pigpen Demo 1987]
COLLIER'S RANT

As me and my marrers were going to work
We met with the Devil it was in the dark
I up with my pick it was in the neet
I knocked off his horns likewise his clubfeet

Follow the horses Johnny me laddie
Follow the horses canny lad-o
Follow the horses Johnny me laddie
Away lie away me canny lad-o

Marrer oh marrer now what do you think
I've broken my bottle and spilt all my drink
I've lost my tools among the great stones
Draw me to the shaft lad it's time to go home

Follow the horses Johnny me laddie
Follow the horses canny lad-o
Follow the horses Johnny me laddie
Away lie away me canny lad-o

As me and my marrer were loading the tram
His laugh it went out and my marrer went wrong
You would have laughed to see the fine game
Old Nick took my marrer and I took the tram

Follow the horses Johnny me laddie
Follow the horses canny lad-o
Follow the horses Johnny me laddie
Away lie away me canny lad-o

So here's my horses and here's my tram
Two horns full of grease will make her to gan
There's my marrer all stretched on the ground
You can tear up his shirt his mining's all done

Follow the horses Johnny me laddie
Follow the horses canny lad-o
Follow the horses Johnny me laddie
Away lie away me canny lad-o

(Trad. arr. The Whisky Priests)
Track Name: Grandfatha's Fatha [2nd Pigpen Demo 1988]
GRANDFATHA’S FATHA

When I was a young lad and had never known a job
I would visit my grandfather once a week
And I’d listen to his tales whilst sitting on his knee
But of his days at work he’d never speak

I found out that his father had died long ago
When granda was a young lad like mysel’
It was down the pit he died whilst working on the gang
There was a big explosion so they tell

They were cut off from the world
When the big cage doors were closed
They sang and talked to keep their spirits high
Then his father told the tale
Of when he’d met Old Nick Himself
And then he joked he’d see them all in Hell

They’d both left home together
They were both on the same long shift
And with the other men they piled into the cage
But the clanging of machinery as they descended down
Was warning them “you’re going to your graves”

When the cage reached the bottom
All the men clambered out
And like tiny ants they laboured in the gloom
Then an almighty bang rent the air
As the men began to shout
And the roof caved in to seal them in their tomb

No one knew what had happened
Until the dust began to settle
It looked like there’d been a battle
With the Devil down in Hell
My grandfather had been knocked unconscious
By a beam that had grazed his skull
While his father just lay lifeless where he fell

They’d brought him to the surface
By the time that he’d come round
Someone said “Son forget what happened
To you down there in the dark”
But his mind could never escape the horror
Of seeing his poor father die
In that dark hole that was called his place of work

(Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1988 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: No Chance [2nd Pigpen Demo 1988]
NO CHANCE

Tim Malone took the long road home
As the night was closing in
And the cruel wind struck and wailed in angry moans
With his scarf wrapped tight around his neck
And his cap pulled over his eyes
He fought to keep the cold out of his bones

As he passed by closed down factories
Waste ground and crumbling walls
He recalled the evening's events oh what a story
The cinema's woodbine smells
The patriotic war film as well
And the end to the tune of 'Land of Hope and Glory'

"Cheer up there bonnie lad"
Says the man who knows no cares
"It's no use crying needlessly"
(I'm all right Jack)
"Get up off your backside"
Says the man who knows it all
It’s no use waiting until your boat comes in
(I see no ships round here)
"Because you'll find out son it's never coming in"

At the shipyard on the quayside
He watched the men come out
And the boss said "Are you looking for a job"
He sang "Weel may the keel row"
To the tune of fifty quid
But the boss said "Try some busking with your gob"
(Weel may the keel row that my laddie's in)

He'd sit and curse at four grey walls
And watch his life go slowly by
Waiting for next pay Friday to come
Then he'd sit and sup his beer
Watch people come then disappear
And wonder if their lives were fashioned out of stone

(Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1988 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Jenny Grey [2nd Pigpen Demo 1988]
JENNY GREY

I watched as you watched me with hope in my heart
And I wondered what your eyes were telling me then
But a wall drew around me and trapped me forever
And there was no key that could free me again

I passed by a headstone, which no shadows darkened
There I saw a young woman with flowers and tears
And I envied the soul for whom she was grieving
And I lost all desire to continue my years

When they are drying the blood from my body
And the flowers and grieving are all for me
And when I am gone into Hell or to Heaven
Oh dear Jenny Grey cry for me

We walked together in the cool summer morning
And the birds were all singing in the valley below
But the wind stole their voices as the sweet vision faded
And I walked home without you alone

The factory gates have all closed down before me
And the lights are dimming on the edge of the town
And they are singing a sad hymn in the church in the village
And your face looks so sad as the tears flow down

(lyrics: Gary Miller / music: Glenn Miller)
Track Name: The Row Between The Cages [2nd Pigpen Demo 1988]
THE ROW BETWEEN THE CAGES

One morning when I went to work the sight was most exciting
I heard a noise and looked around and who do you think was fighting
I stood amazed and at them gazed to see them in such rages
I never saw a row like that between the Brockwell cages

The patent to the old cage says although I be a stranger
I can work my work as well as you and free the men from danger
But if the rope should break with me old skinny jaws just watch us
You'll see me clag on to the skeets for I'm full of springs and catches

The old cage to the patent says I warrant you think you're clever
Because they've polished you with paint but you'll not last forever
For when your paint is worn away then you'll have lost your beauty
Now they never painted me at all but still I've done my duty

When going up and down the shaft the patent cage did threaten
For to take the old one's life if they stopped it meeting
The old cage bawled out as it passed you nasty dirty patent
Rub your eyes against the skeets I think you're hardly wakened

The old cage says come over the gates because it's my intention
To let you see whether you or me is the best invention
The new one being raised took off his claes and at it they went dabbing
The blood was running down the skeets and past the weighman's cabin

The brakesman brought them both to bank the mischief for to settle
They fought from five o'clock 'til six and the patent won the battle
It took the brakesman half his shift to clag them up with plasters
The old cage sent his notice in just to vex the masters

(lyrics: Tommy Armstrong / music: Trad. arr. The Whisky Priests)
Track Name: Three Rivers [Studio 64 Demo 1993]
THREE RIVERS

An old man once told me a story
Of three rivers running through this land of mine
And men who would die to feed their loved ones
Now the work is all gone the rivers run clear again
And who would believe they've seen three rivers running clear

Who am I well I'll tell you I'm Jack Robson
And I'd cut you down with words as well as blows
I used to make the steel down at the foundry
Now it's gone the steel is rust the furnace cold
I had a wife and bairns who felt my kindness
And my belt and my rage when hard times came
They left one day to look for something better
I wonder if they found it

If the wounds upon my body had been money
If the tears I've shed for you had all been gold
If the times that I've been drunk had all been diamonds
Would the love you had for me have been so cold

I'm a welder by trade my name is Wilson
And I built the ships that fought my country's wars
I'd take my lad to see the game at Roker
Where he would dream of being captain of the team
To score a goal and get a winner's medal
And hold the cup for everyone to see
His sisters used to sing of Bobby Shaftoe
And what he'd do when he came home from sea

Those who knew me they all would call me Tommy
A geordie collier to the core
Unsung hero of this country
Who never went away to fight a war
Fought my battles down there at the coal face
Two thousand feet below my home
Until a wiser man said "Tom the war is over
There's nothing left for you now go on home"

What's my name it really doesn't matter
I'm the eyes now blinded by hot steel
I'm the hands all bloody black and broken
I'm the ears that heard the last ship leave
I'm the father crying for his children
I'm the husband begging to his wife
I'm the voice of doubt and fear politicians never hear
As three rivers run on silent to the sea

(lyrics: Mick Tyas / music: Gary Miller)
Track Name: When The Wind Blows, Billy Boy [Studio 64 Demo 1993]
WHEN THE WIND BLOWS, BILLY BOY

Where have you been all the day Billy Boy
Now you have put away all of your toys
I wish I had known you when you were a boy
But that's all gone now

I'll never forget when I first put you now
You were dancing all round the town
With your shoes all scuffed and your curly hair brown
But that seems such a long time ago now

When the wind blows you've got time on your hands
But when the time comes it blows by so fast
I'll dream of the days that are coming at last
When the wind blows Billy Boy

You in your innocence were such a sweet little thing
Now that's gone forever flown like birds on the wing
Did you ever regret it did you lose anything
Now it's all in the past Billy Boy

Where have you been all the years Billy Boy
You threw them away like you didn't know how
All for the sake of just living for now
Well I still love you Billy Boy

Now you and your sweetheart will walk hand in hand
You and the world and his wife make a stand
For all that we've ever held at our command
As you count down the years Billy Boy

Now the wind's blown all the time from your hands
Now the time's come will you blow by so fast
Or welcome the days that are here at last
When the wind blows Billy Boy

(Gary Miller)
Track Name: Pitman Tom [Studio 64 Demo 1993]
PITMAN TOM

Well I know of this little old gadgie
You can call him Pitman Tom
With lots of bairns and an indomitable thirst
How could the bugger go wrong?
Not so tall, bow-legged an' all
He looked a little bit frail
But stick a tanner in his pocket
And he was ready for his ale

He was down the pit at the age of nine
His brother carried him to work
And the first thing he could remember
Was sitting in the dark
Now the coal dust made him thirsty
And inspired him to verse
So he sold his songs so that all night long
He could satisfy his thirst

His glory was his pen
His muse was a mug of ale
His wit was as sharp as a knife in the dark
How could the bugger fail?
His legs were made of rubber
His hands were made of clay
His throat was made of sawdust
But his words were made to stay

One day he went to the co-op
But ended up in Durham Gaol
He nicked a pair of stockings
And the judge refused him bail
He said "Tom why did you nick 'em?"
And he answered in reply
"I'll never see another pair of bow-legged leggings
Until the day I die"

But now the bugger's gone
And buried in his grave
And all the folks from 'round about
Never recognise his name
But if he was alive today
He'd write them all a song
About that silly old gadgie
By the name of Pitman Tom

(Gary Miller)
Track Name: Manimal Farm [Studio 64 Demo 1993]
MANIMAL FARM

The cock crows dawn and signals time to rise
Manimal Farm is soon full of life
The horse is in the field or down the mine
The cock just sits there and bides his time
The cock just sits there and bides his time

Spring brings in the lambing time
School days over in summer time
We bring in the harvest at autumn time
But winter is cold at the slaughter time
Winter is cold at the slaughter time

We will grow old before our time
We will taste sorrow and bitter wine
We will bring the crops in until the day that we die
We will feed the swine

The power of authority is thine
The power of the Lord is mine
The harvest fails when God is unkind
He will punish us and we will cry
He will punish us and we will cry

(Gary Miller)
Track Name: Lead Them To Their Graves [Studio 64 Demo 1993]
LEAD THEM TO THEIR GRAVES

The moon is up the stars are out
You're in your shining tower
And love is shining down on you
From its heavenly bower
But the man in the moon will come too soon
Destroying all he saves
And you'll catch a falling star tonight
As you lead them to their graves

Bite the hand that feeds
Are the words you know so well
Yet you fight the hand that bleeds
In your self made living hell
Your love has withered down the years
Yet theirs grows with the days
And you'll reap their crop until they drop
As you lead them to their graves

A million tears count the years
From your cradle to their graves
On faces once so beautiful
Which love could not have saved
Do the flowers of romance still touch their hearts
Do they yearn for days now past
Will they bloom again in their twilight years
Or will they just fade away

The moon is up the stars are out
You're in your shining tower
Yet the architects have failed you
Their work has never flowered
A deep dungeon hides the greatest gift
Once beheld by eyes now glazed
Will they finally free what they long to see
As you lead them to their graves

As you lead them to their graves
As you lead them to their graves

(Gary Miller)
Track Name: Land of the Dinosaur [Studio 64 Demo 1993]
LAND OF THE DINOSAUR

Here amongst the memories
That belong to yesterday
The monolithic metal beasts
No longer rule the waves
The ruins of a greater age
Lie strewn across wasteland
The dinosaurs are now extinct
Their bones rust in the sand

The timbers burned
The wheels have turned
The ships have sailed away
Yet the dinosaurs stand tall and proud
In the graveyard that remains

See the greatness now expired
In the hearts and lives of men
Monuments of men
Monumental men
And their epitaph shall be:
'They walked on water
They parted the waters
Until the seas of power engulfed them'

(Gary Miller)
Track Name: See The Whippet Run [Studio 64 Demo 1993]
SEE THE WHIPPET RUN

I was born and bred into a race of skill
It's the drug that gives me speed and thrills
With a never ceasing heat in my heart and brain
To give me the power of a speeding train

See the whippet run
Watch it leap the highest hurdles
Run rabbit run
Keep on heading down that track
See the whippet run
As it hurtles to the finish line
Racing past your train and never looking back

There's many a pleasure and delight
In being the victor through another man's plight
I can see the gold at the rainbow's end
So carry me up as the gods descend

This race has led me to grief and woe
And brought me to arms against friend and foe
Yet the fire still burns as bright as before
I can win this race and a thousand more

(lyrics: Gary Miller / music: Glenn Miller)
Track Name: Ballad Of John Egan [Studio 64 Demo 1993]
BALLAD OF JOHN EGAN

John Egan is a meek man
A miner, a meek man
And 'The meek shall inherit the Earth', they say
'The meek shall inherit the Earth'

John Egan mined for 50 years
He slaved for 50 years
He mined in the morning
He mined all those days
He served for 50 years

John Egan has a tale to tell
He has a life to tell
And 'It's time that tale was told
Time his life was told

The bells toll, the bells toll
John Egan sleeps and dreams
He dreams of Heaven
He dreams of His Maker
He dreams of Paradise Row
He dreams that the meek shall inherit the Earth
The meek shall inherit the Earth

John Egan is a meek man
A miner, a meek man
And this is the tale the bell tolls
This is the tale he tells

(lyrics: Keith Armstrong / music: Gary Miller)

Copyright ©1998 Keith Armstrong / Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Bonnie Woodha' [Studio 64 Demo 1993]
BONNIE WOODHA'

Down by yon green bushes near Calder's clear stream
Where me and my Annie oft times we have been
Oh the hours flew right past us, right happy we'd be
It was little she thought that a soldier I'd be

So it's farewell to Annie, for I must away
For the king he needs soldiers and I must obey
But if providence proves kind love until my return
I'll wed with my Annie near Calder's clear burn

On the Fourteenth of August our regiment was lost
And a ball from the enemy our lines came across
Oh it struck me on the temple, the blood trickled down
I reeled and I staggered and I fell to the ground

"Come here" cried our captain, "Come here with great speed
For I fear by this bullet young Dimsmore lies dead"
Two men with a stretcher did quickly prepare
And they carried me away to a hospital bed

Cold water and brandy they poured out so free
And they turned me all over my wounds for to see
But if I had my Annie to bind up my wounds
One kiss from her sweet lips would soon deaden this doom

And it's when I am weary and think of Lang Syne
When I was a miner and worked in the mine
Oh the tears they do trickle and down they do fall
Like the roses that bloom around bonnie Woodha'

(Trad. arr. The Whisky Priests)

Copyright © 1998 Gary Miller / Glenn Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: This Village [BBC Radio Newcastle 1995]
THIS VILLAGE

This village draws me
I hear it calling me back through the years
Its people are its life-blood
I am its joy; I am its tears

Makers were forged here
To forge a bond no cruel hands could destroy
Artists' hands seized it
Lost lovers grieved for it
Builders have reached for its skies
Poets have captured its beauty
They speak of its sad beauty now

This village haunts me
Its whispering hurt tears at my soul
Why did I forsake you?
Welcome me back welcome me home

A sacred bond exists here
Between the land and the people it owns
It grants no escape from the realms of its fate
It reaps the crops we have sown
This village has made me all that I am
This village is calling me home

(Gary Miller)
Track Name: Workhorse [BBC Radio Newcastle 1995]
WORKHORSE

Out across the cold grey fields
Like a monument to the damned
He ploughs the fields and scatters
The good seed on the land
And in the evening when the sun goes down
And the whole world is asleep
He carries on with one last shift
To earn his mind some peace

He suffers all the taunts and jibes
Of the cruel ploughboy lads
As they idle all their time away
Though there's money to be had
He carries on regardless
Though his back is bruised and sore
His heart beats faster than a train
And his lungs are clogged and slow

This old workhorse will work 'til he drops
When his work is all done, he refuses to stop
When he's put out to pasture will he finally be free
Will his body and mind at last feel relief

He no longer heeds the danger signs
He no longer hears the warning chimes
Deaf, dumb and blind, just the straight line ahead
Driving him on 'til he drops down dead

Out across the cold grey fields
Like a monument to the damned
He ploughs the fields and scatters
The good seed on the land
And in the evening when the sun goes down
And the whole world is asleep
He carries on with one last shift
To earn his mind some peace

Now who will hold him close and weep
In their deepest thoughts his love to keep
And ease his body from dusk 'til dawn
This self-made martyr with his crown of thorns

(Gary Miller)
Track Name: Brothers In Arms, Again [Radio Heemskerk 1997]
BROTHERS IN ARMS AGAIN

You came to me with cap in hand
While kid gloves were on mine
I worked all the hours God sent me
While you wasted my time
But my best was never good enough for you
I could never do right for doing wrong
And now you want me to apologise
For all the bad things that you've done

When one man digs for buried treasure
There's always another man standing close by
Waiting to step in to take the glory
Waiting to pluck out the other man's eyes
Its a fact of life those who stand idle
May find success when it isn't even theirs
While those who break their guts
And hearts while others profit
Find life doesn't always deal fair shares

So hold those feelings close to your heart
Keep those devils in
For when the saints go marching in
Who will count your sins
Or bang the bitter aching drum
You've hammered on in vain
While I must hang my head in shame
Until we are brothers in arms again

Some people might say that I'm bitter
To them I say "What do you know?"
I only know I'm feeling tired now
I only know I'm growing old
From propping up the deep dark tunnels
Of your crumbling mind
But 'though my mental back is broken
Mine will heal in time

(Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1998 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Car Boot Sale [Radio Heemskerk 1997]
CAR BOOT SALE

I went to the car boot sale
At the racecourse one fine June
I had nothing else better to do
On a boring afternoon
There were cars and stalls and people obsessed
As far as the eye could see
But there wasn't a fucking horse in sight
At the sale of the century

Oh me lads, you should've seen them gannin'
Millin' around like flies 'round shite
With no real sense of plannin'
Hagglin' and fussin', hustlin' and bustlin'
In search of the Holy Grail
Some folks' rubbish is other folks' gold
At the car boot sale

There were people arriving while others were leaving
A lot of them pushing prams
I hope the ones that had just been bought
Were the unoccupied ones
Amidst the clamour you could hear a man cry
"Everything fifty pence!"
But you wouldn't have bothered to look in his box
If you had any sense

There were second-hand clocks and watches
With a history to tell
They might have been worth a fortune
If they told the time as well
Broken toys, torn books, scratched records
Electrical goods of every degree
Finding they don't work when you get home
Is your only guarantee

There was Mister Softee ice cream
Next to a burger van from Hell
In a cone or a tub with monkey's blood
Next to people with no sense of smell
I was trying to find one of those
Backward-facing baseball caps
'Cos no matter how hard I've looked
I've only seen forward ones in the shops

So if you're bored or depressed
With the National Lottery
Come along for a grand day out
With the shell-suit family
Grab a piece of the action
Of this latest national craze
Rogues by the score amid bargains galore
At your local car boot sale

Oh me lads, you should've seen them gannin'
Millin' around like flies round shite
With no real sense of plannin'
Hagglin' and fussin', hustlin' and bustlin'
In search of the Holy Grail
You might find it for a couple of quid
At the car boot sale

Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1998 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Blackleg Mining Man [Radio Heemskerk 1997]
BLACKLEG MINING MAN

Who is that blackleg mining man?
Who is that blackleg mining man?
He’s the one who helps the boss
Nail his brothers to the cross
Who is that blackleg mining man?

Where was that blackleg mining man?
Where was that blackleg mining man?
He was nowhere to be seen
When they killed young Jones and Green
Where was that blackleg mining man?

He was that blackleg mining man
He was that blackleg mining man
He was deep down in the mine
Gone through the picket line
He was that blackleg mining man

Why does that blackleg mining man?
Why does that blackleg mining man?
Dig the blackleg coal
Puts his marrers on the dole
Why does that blackleg mining man?

Someday that blackleg mining man
Someday that blackleg mining man
Will rue what he has done
When there’s no work for his son
Someday that blackleg mining man

One day that blackleg mining man
One day that blackleg mining man
Will realise he’s sold his soul
For a tub of blackleg coal
One day that blackleg mining man

He’ll see that blackleg mining man
He’ll see that blackleg mining man
When he looks into his glass
A traitor to his class
He’ll see that blackleg mining man

Who is that blackleg mining man?
Who is that blackleg mining man?
He’s the one who helps the boss
Nail his brothers to the cross
He is that blackleg mining man?

(Jock Purdon)

Copyright © Jock Purdon / Pit Lamp Press
Track Name: Song For Ewan [Radio Heemskerk 1997]
SONG FOR EWAN

Hello precious one, so small and frail
May you grow to be strong and may your strength never fail
'Though you enter a world of sorrow and pain
May you find peace and may wisdom be your reign

Go forward with laughter and joy in your heart
Be positive in everything you do
Always believe in what you seek to achieve
And I will believe in you

This whole world is yours to paint and explore
May your colours be vibrant, may your canvas be broad
May each path you choose be sure and bold
May the secrets of the universe be yours to unfold

May your journey be exciting, may you reach for the stars
May all your dreams come true
Should you walk on Mars or through war-torn lands
May your aim always be true

The love I feel is deep and real
It's pouring down on you
My heart is on my sleeve for all to see
As I sing this song for you

But hush for now, may your life bring joy
And may you find happiness too
And when I am blessed with a child of my own
May he or she be beautiful like you

(Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1998 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: This Village [Radio Heemskerk 1997]
THIS VILLAGE

This village draws me
I hear it calling me back through the years
Its people are its life-blood
I am its joy; I am its tears

Makers were forged here
To forge a bond no cruel hands could destroy
Artists' hands seized it
Lost lovers grieved for it
Builders have reached for its skies
Poets have captured its beauty
They speak of its sad beauty now

This village haunts me
Its whispering hurt tears at my soul
Why did I forsake you?
Welcome me back welcome me home

A sacred bond exists here
Between the land and the people it owns
It grants no escape from the realms of its fate
It reaps the crops we have sown
This village has made me all that I am
This village is calling me home

(Gary Miller)
Track Name: Going To The Mine [Radio Heemskerk 1997]
GOING TO THE MINE

Into the smoky morning
And I'm trudging down the line
Past the dirty tanky engine
Going to the mine

Rows of pit folks' houses
Like regiments in time
Taste the gritty daylight
When you're going to the mine

Whistle of the buzzer
Time to rise and shine
How I long for Sunday
When I'm going to the mine

Falling snow around us
Turning into grime
Down the coaly track-way
When you're going to the mine

Flying birds and freedom
But I must serve me time
One day I'll be flying too
From going to the mine

Falling down the shaft
And I'm leaving the sun behind
Born to be a human mole
Going to the mine

Into the smoky morning
And I'm trudging down the line
Past the dirty tanky engine
Going to the mine

(Johnny Handle)

Copyright © Johnny Handle
Track Name: Leave Her Johnny, Leave Her [Radio Heemskerk 1997]
LEAVE HER JOHNNY, LEAVE HER

I thought I heard the old man say
Leave her Johnny leave her
It's a long hard pull to the next payday
And it's time for us to leave her

Leave her Johnny leave her
Leave her Johnny leave her
Now the voyage is done and the winds don't blow
And it's time for us to leave her

Oh the skipper was bad but the mate was worse
Leave her Johnny leave her
He'd blow you down with a spike and a curse
And it's time for us to leave her

It's pull you lubbers or you'll get no pay
Leave her Johnny leave her
Pull you lubbers and then belay
And it's time for us to leave her

(Trad. arr. The Whisky Priests)

Copyright © 1998 Gary Miller / Glenn Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Car Boot Sale [Radio Sieben 1998]
CAR BOOT SALE

I went to the car boot sale
At the racecourse one fine June
I had nothing else better to do
On a boring afternoon
There were cars and stalls and people obsessed
As far as the eye could see
But there wasn't a fucking horse in sight
At the sale of the century

Oh me lads, you should've seen them gannin'
Millin' around like flies 'round shite
With no real sense of plannin'
Hagglin' and fussin', hustlin' and bustlin'
In search of the Holy Grail
Some folks' rubbish is other folks' gold
At the car boot sale

There were people arriving while others were leaving
A lot of them pushing prams
I hope the ones that had just been bought
Were the unoccupied ones
Amidst the clamour you could hear a man cry
"Everything fifty pence!"
But you wouldn't have bothered to look in his box
If you had any sense

There were second-hand clocks and watches
With a history to tell
They might have been worth a fortune
If they told the time as well
Broken toys, torn books, scratched records
Electrical goods of every degree
Finding they don't work when you get home
Is your only guarantee

There was Mister Softee ice cream
Next to a burger van from Hell
In a cone or a tub with monkey's blood
Next to people with no sense of smell
I was trying to find one of those
Backward-facing baseball caps
'Cos no matter how hard I've looked
I've only seen forward ones in the shops

So if you're bored or depressed
With the National Lottery
Come along for a grand day out
With the shell-suit family
Grab a piece of the action
Of this latest national craze
Rogues by the score amid bargains galore
At your local car boot sale

Oh me lads, you should've seen them gannin'
Millin' around like flies round shite
With no real sense of plannin'
Hagglin' and fussin', hustlin' and bustlin'
In search of the Holy Grail
You might find it for a couple of quid
At the car boot sale

Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1998 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Alice In Wonderland [Radio Sieben 1998]
ALICE IN WONDERLAND

First she dries the dishes then she dries her eyes
'Though her tears could fill an ocean, her own river's running dry
She's moved to Dead End Street from Opportunity Rise
Where the spirits of dead dreams haunt the back lanes of her mind

Sometimes he shows affection in a way that makes her proud
But mostly he can't stand her; she's just a stupid cow
To one who doesn't love her or respect her anyhow
And cares nothing for their future just his own here and now

So come on now, get your head out of the sand
You're just like Alice dreaming of a wonderland
But yours could be reality if you just take a hand
Think positive! Think confidence! Think, "I am in command!"

Time is a prison time is our own Hell
Time is the destroyer; it's the fire in which we burn
And on this one-way ticket, which offers no return
Time never heals is something you will learn

And as time slips away, it seems such a crime
To see one so young growing old before their time
Life offers too few chances don't let them pass you by
For perhaps the greatest crime is never to have tried

So come on now, get your head out of the sand
You're just like Alice dreaming of a wonderland
But yours could be reality if you just take a hand
Think positive! Think confidence! Think, "I am in command!"

So come on now, get your head out of the sand
Don’t waste your whole life trapped in dreams of wonderland
The reality could be yours if you just make a stand
Think positive! Think confidence! Think, "I am in command!"
Think positive! Think confidence! Think, "I am in command!"
Think positive! Think confidence! Think, "I am in command!"

(Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1998 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: "Farewell Jobling!" [Radio Sieben 1998]
"FAREWELL JOBLING!"

"Farewell Jobling!" rang the shout from the crowd
As he was launched into eternity
And on Jarrow Slakes Gibbet 21-feet high
He was left to rot in the hot summer sky

William Jobling an illiterate man
A scapegoat an innocent victim
An example to the striking miners of the time
Sentenced to hang for another man's crime

On a cold winter's night outside Turner's public house
William Jobling and Ralf Armstrong were standing about
The magistrate Fairles came riding along
Recognised by Armstrong for he'd sent his brother down

Armstrong swung a stick knocking Fairles to the ground
Then he upped and left the scene with Jobling close behind
Armstrong escaped but Jobling was caught
And soon to Durham assizes was brought

Fairles dying plea was for Jobling to be freed
But his innocence contradicted the authority’s need
Without legal defence and an example to be made
Murder was the verdict execution was his fate

Now Jobling had rehearsed a speech for the crowd
But his nerves failed and he uttered no sound
Then a shout rang out to send him on his way
As the gallows took his life and the angry crowd were held at bay

His pitch-covered corpse was strapped in a cage
Then hung from the gibbet at Jarrow Slake
The last man in England to suffer this fate
As the strike collapsed and the authorities got their way

Compare this to another case of the time
When a miner’s leader tried to break up a fight
Without justification a policeman shot him dead
But leniency prevailed as he was gaoled for half a year

The century has changed but some things stay the same
Injustice is still with us and injustice will remain
As long as we let politics rule the course of liberty
Scapegoats will be made while the guilty ones go free

(Glenn Miller / Gary Miller)