"Here Come The Ranting Lads​!​" - Live!

by The Whisky Priests

/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      £6.99 GBP

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a jewel case with 8-page booklet including lyrics to all songs, CD liner notes by Gary & Glenn Miller, back cover photo of Gary & Glenn Miller taken during the concert performance, 'thumbnail' photographs of each band member taken during the concert performance, lovely inner back card artwork, recording details and additional credits, etc.

    Signed copies (by Gary Miller) are now available on request (at no additional cost). Simply make your choice by selecting from the various options in the 'Signed/Unsigned' box at the checkout.

    Includes unlimited streaming of "Here Come The Ranting Lads!" - Live! via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 14 days

      £6.99 GBP

     

  • A video of the concert featuring an alternate track listing, which nicely compliments the CD version, as follows: -
    1. Ranting Lads
    2. Widows of Hartley
    3. This Village
    4. Alice in Wonderland
    5. Side By Side
    6. Song For Ewan
    7. A Better Man Than You
    8. Workhorse
    9. When The Wind Blows, Billy Boy
    10. Success Express
    11. Mother, Waiting
    12. Grandfatha's Fatha

    NB: - The video is currently available in a choice of formats (VHS, NTSC, SECAM) - choose your preferred format by selecting from the options in the 'Choice of Video Format (Signed/Unsigned)' box at the checkout.

    Also: - Signed copies (by Gary Miller) are now available on request (at no additional cost). Simply make your choice by selecting from the various options in the 'Choice of Video Format (Signed/Unsigned)' box at the checkout.
    ... more
    ships out within 14 days

      £2.99 GBP

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    A "Special Offer" package which includes both the CD & Video bundled together at a discount price.

    NB: - The video is currently available in a choice of formats (VHS, NTSC, SECAM) - choose your preferred format by selecting from the options in the 'Choice of Video Format (Signed/Unsigned)' box at the checkout.

    Also: - Signed copies (by Gary Miller) are now available on request (at no additional cost). Simply make your choice by selecting from the various options in the 'Choice of Video Format (Signed/Unsigned)' box at the checkout.

    Includes unlimited streaming of "Here Come The Ranting Lads!" - Live! via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 14 days

      £8.99 GBP

     

  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 16 The Whisky Priests releases available on Bandcamp and save 40%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Mad Martins, Freies Radio Wüste Welle, The Devil's In The Detail, Stand Fast Stand Steady, Reflections on War, Nee Gud Luck [Bonus Track Edition], The First Few Drops (1985-1989) [Revised Edition], The Power and The Glory, and 8 more. , and , .

      £76.12 GBP (40% OFF)

     

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.

about

Original CD liner notes:

The tracks on this CD and its accompanying video are taken from a two and a half hour concert, which we originally intended to release on double CD. We discovered, however, that during the show the recording equipment had malfunctioned due to reasons entirely beyond our control, resulting in the loss of several tracks from the ‘main set’, as well as all eleven tracks featured as the evening’s ‘encores’, and therefore a large proportion of the show’s many highlights. Following a certain amount of soul-searching, we decided to release the remaining material as this single CD, as we felt that we had captured some wonderful moments and that what remains is sufficiently representative of our typical live show at this time of writing to warrant its release.
(Gary Miller & Glenn Miller, February 1999)


Media Reviews:

“Glenn and Gary Miller may never be huge stars here, but on the continent their 12 albums and near-continual touring with a seemingly ever-shifting line-up has brought them quite a following. On ‘Here Come The Ranting Lads’ it’s an audibly enthusiastic one. This is the happiest a crowd has sounded since Frampton Comes Alive! Glenn’s accordion (and arranging skills) puts their songs into another realm entirely from the usual shamrock sing-along. ‘Alice In Wonderland’ should have been a single. ‘A Better Man Than You’ sounds like early Undertones and these guys deserve everything they’ve worked to achieve.” ***
Sid Griffin, ‘Q’, UK, November 1999.


“There’s a sense of the theatrical from The Whisky Priests in each of their performances and this recording gives a fair indication, capturing the spirit of their stage craft. This is real punk-folk with each chorus sounding like a Luton football crowd baying for blood.
The energy that the Priests shower upon everyone is infectious in that Geordie goodtime way so reminiscent of Lindisfarne. The lads are obviously having a ball and by the sound of the audience it could well be a case of ‘the panting lads’.
Never knowingly shy in their lyrics, take for instance Keith Armstrong’s ‘Everybody’s Got Love bites But Me’ or the anthemic title track from chief songwriter Gary Miller the band can still chant a fine auld song such as Tommy Armstrong’s ‘Oakey Strike Evictions’. There’s even a touch of the Richard Thompsons on the instrumental ‘Success Express’.”
Musician, UK, December 1999.


“If the acid test for a live album is whether or not it makes the listener feel they missed a real event, then this succeeds due to one track alone. ‘Mother, Waiting’ lasts more than 12 minutes, double the length it should be, with the audience singing the chorus way after the official end and forcing the band to reprise it not once but twice – one of those magic moments that actually does transcend the limits of audio.
For the rest, The Whisky Priests wear their North-Eastern hearts on their sleeves – or maybe their braces – writing original but traditionally-styled songs about miners, fishermen’s widows, sons who never returned from the war and even leaving space for a few caustic comments on car boot sales. All of this is set to post-Pogues folk-thrash and a subtler English roots approach with strong harmonies, which remind you of nothing so much as Steeleye Span – minus Maddy Pryor, of course. Well worth checking out.”
Norman Darwen, Big Issue In The North, No.279, September 20th-26th 1999.


“It may not have been possible, it might not have seemed feasible, but WHY HAS IT TAKEN THEM SO LONG TO RELEASE A VIDEO?? For a band that is essentially a sensational live act, it’s more than just the icing on the cake – it’s practically the whole damn cake! The commanding stage presence of Gary Miller standing rock steady at the eye of the storm and singing his heart out, finds a resonance in the hearts of his audience, who sing, shout, dance, crowd-surf… and throw flowers. His eloquent and impassioned delivery of his own songs speaks to the lost innocent in us all. The crowd in the Markthalle, Hamburg on 10th October 1998 refused to let one song finish – the anthemic ‘Mother, Waiting’ – Gary’s setting of a poem by Keith Armstrong, first released on the ‘Bleeding Sketches’ album in 1995. If you’ve never seen The Whisky Priests live, get an idea of the integrity and raw excitement of their shows from this unforgettable video – then go and see the real thing.”
Jenny Coxon, Folk Buzz, UK, Issue 60, Autumn 1999.


“Following the success of 1993’s ‘Bloody Well Live!’, the UK’s hardest working – and most determined – band, The Whisky Priests, put together an epic video and CD package captured at the same venue, in October 1998, in front of a sell-out audience at Hamburg’s Markthalle.
The band, after fifteen years, seems now to have established a settled line-up whose proficiency and professionalism can’t be faulted. The rhythm section of Andy Tong (bass) and Cozy Dixon (drums) add a rock-solid core to the sound, which comes into its own live, and with multi-instrumentalist Hugh Bradley (electric guitar, mandolin, mandola, whistle) gelling with frontmen, brothers Gary (acoustic guitar, vocals) and Glenn (accordion, vocals) Miller, there’s a vitality and freshness previously only hinted at.
With such an immense back catalogue to choose from, selecting sixteen numbers for ‘Here Come…’ was always going to be awkward, but intelligent use of light and shade sees the band range through the speed folk they’re adept at, to the thoughtfully delivered ballads. Also on display are their folk roots, with covers of historic and tragic tale, ‘The Oakey Strike Evictions’, and pit poet Jock Purdon’s ‘Blackleg Mining Man’.
The self-belief so integral to The Whisky Priests’ vision comes across so much more vividly live, as does their pride in performance and joyous on-stage abandon. As a follow-up to their last live collection, ‘Here Comes The Ranting Lads’ is an unqualified success, and also manages to serve as a comprehensive introduction to the often wild but more often wonderful world of The Whisky Priests.”
Steve Caseman, ‘Rock ‘N’ Reel’, UK, Issue 33, Autumn 1999.


“Full bore, no holds barred stuff this, 16 tracks of total commitment recorded live in Hamburg in October 1998. The driving, percussion led rhythms and a singing style which can only be described as ‘with abandon’ make this just the right sort of record for your millennium party. It’s wild and great fun and guaranteed to keep the neighbours awake.
However, all this apparent mayhem hides some serious talent. The playing is tight and precise, Cozy Dixon’s drumming is consistently spot on and holds the whole together, whilst Gary Miller’s writing is as forceful as the presentation. The whole performance has a refreshing sense of integrity about it. I’m left with the impression of a band who are determined to entertain yet genuinely believe in everything they sing, there are no space fillers and make weights here.
There’s a good mix of serious and lighter material, the title track lets you know just what to expect of the album with a wild thrash and ‘Everybody’s Got Love Bites But Me’ speaks for itself, then right in the middle of all the mayhem there’s an unaccompanied arrangement of Jock Purdon’s ‘Blackleg Mining Man’ that stops you dead in your tracks. Tommy Armstrong’s ‘Oakey Strike Evictions’ is delivered with force and not a little anger, whilst ‘Song For Ewan’ serenades a child. Perhaps serenade is the wrong word to use for this band’s explosive delivery, whatever you choose to call it, it’s music with guts and conviction.”
Jim Hancock, ‘Folktalk’, UK, Issue 23, Winter 1999/2000.


“This CD and its accompanying video are culled from what all accounts was a blinder of a two and a half hour concert in Hamburg in October ’98. The CD contains close on 70 minutes of wonderfully sodden, ranting, in-yer-face punk-folk-rock from arguably its finest practitioners. The bold thrusting energy of the terraces is channelled into a glorious celebration of many of the Priests’ golden anthems, some of which I hadn’t heard in years. I remember my first encounter with the Priests, intimidated by the sheer drama of Gary’s vocal style, which I at the time felt was over the top, even histrionic, but time has enabled me to appreciate its unique expressive qualities. Over the years, the force and passion of the band’s performances hasn’t in any way diminished either, despite personnel changes, and the gentler (for the Priests!) songs like ‘This Village’ still make an awesome impact. The current line-up is tight as hell both instrumentally and vocally – sample their acapella version of Jock Purdon’s ‘Blackleg Mining Man’ on one hand and the new instrumental ‘Success Express’ on the other. The video, which comprises tour footage from 12 of the 16 tracks from the CD, is shot in a commendably straight manner without intrusive gimmicks, and although watching it you don’t feel 100% part of the crowd, it still comes pretty close to conveying the power of the band’s live show in all its unbridled, inspirational rawness. Obviously tremendous fun for band and punters alike. Essential!”
David Kidman, ‘Tykes News’, UK.


“This is ideal for anyone who thought that the early Pogues were over-polite. It’s also a superb live album, capturing all the sweat and passion of an energy-soaked gig by a band who have already released a dozen full-length CD’s, including two previous live outings. “Are you feeling positive?” they ask at one point, just before a lyric about wife beating.
Twins Gary and accordion player Glenn Miller lead a three-piece rhythm section through songs about blackleg miners, love bites and car boot sales. Here are snapshots of working class life in the North West [sic], sung so that you can catch every word and performed with a rare passion. The ferocious results are what survive from a two and a half hour gig in Hamburg. The songs of Gary Miller and poet Keith Armstrong are modern folk music, no less.”
Brian Hinton, ‘Folk On Tap’, UK, Issue 81, Oct-Dec 1999.


“After many problems, fixes and general not nice things, Glenn and Gary Miller have come through with an album choc full of what the Priests are all about – one of the UK’s best independent exports. The story of this album is one that may well be familiar to many a musician. On the night, everything went like a dream; unbelievable audience response, tight playing – indeed, the stuff that dreams are made of. Unfortunately, the recording equipment (unbeknown to the band at the time) decided to be a bastard and fouled up on many of the songs – including 11, yes, that’s right, 11 songs from the encore! However, because the spirit of the event could never be captured again, they decided to release what was salvaged. And, folks, this is it. You still get 16 tracks, featuring some cracking songs, ‘When The Wind Blows, Billy Boy’, ‘Mother, Waiting’, ‘This Village’, ‘Widows Of Hartley’ and ‘Grandfatha’s Fatha’. As always, many of the songs deal with hardships and a kind of life even Dickens would have shuddered at. Cracking, realistic lyrics, superb playing, and yes, a great night was had. Relive it any time you want!”
Dave W. Hughes, ‘The Modern Dance’, UK, Issue 27.


“As anyone who was in the select audience who caught the Priests at the Metropolitan, Bury a few weeks ago will know, they currently boast probably the best line-up of the many they have had.
This CD and video set captures the band at their very best in a massively successful gig in Hamburg towards the end of last year.
The video is a real treat for fans, with 12 songs ranging from recent tunes from their last (and for my money, best) studio album ‘Think Positive!’, to old favourites such as ‘Grandfatha’s Fatha’.
The CD boasts a further four tracks, including the current live favourite ‘Car Boot Sale’, which they played around three times at the original gig because of dodgy recording equipment. It fair takes an old fan back to the early days, when the lads played ‘Blaydon Races’ as an encore.
Despite the technical hitches, which fans can catch up with on the most recent newsletter, both the CD and the video came out extremely well, a truly fine record of what looked like a splendid gig.
As a live collection, they supersede the superb ‘Bloody Well Live!’, and truly capture a great band at the height of their powers. Brilliant. Buy it today.”
Richard Lewis, ‘Bury Times’, UK.


‘“Here Come The Ranting Lads” - Live!’ was recorded once again at the Markthalle in Hamburg but this time in 1998 and has 16 tracks. This one starts off with the title track, which starts off with the words “Here come the ranting lads” repeated a couple of times acapella before the band steams into their usual set of high energetic folk rock and right from the very first song the crowd are in raptures. Once again the lyrics and subject matters are compelling. The Whisky Priests are epic storytellers through their songs. This time we have songs about being the only one without a love bite, ‘Everybody’s Got Love Bites But Me’, car boot sales, ‘Car Boot Sale’, and the epic of a mother waiting for her son to return from the war on the crowd augmented 12-minute ‘Mother, Waiting’. It’s a mesmerising piece; the lyrics are quite moody, yet in the hands of The Whisky Priests it becomes a rousing crowd sing-along. The Whisky Priests can easily portray different emotions through their lyrics even though their music can still be pretty rousing. Over both of their live albums you realise what amazing lyricists The Whisky Priests are and brilliant performers. If you have never been into folk rock music before then you should open your ears to The Whisky Priests, they are not your typical folk rock band. ‘“Here Come The Ranting Lads” - Live!’ is also available on video, which shows what an amazing visual band they are, and how much emotion and passion they put into their music. It’s well worth watching the video. I have never seen The Whisky Priests live but the video gives you a good impression of what a gig would be like.”
Will Munn, Album of the issue (with ‘Bloody Well Live! Special Edition’), ‘Rhythm and Booze’, UK, Issue 16, December 2000.


“If you don’t know The Whisky Priests by now, then I’m tempted to conclude you’ve been listening to Des O’Connor albums for the last three decades! You’re certainly not here with the rest of us. For The Priests are just about the most atmospheric and inspiring example of committed DIY you’ll find, no matter how many stones you look under.
They’ve been lauded and slagged off in equal measure, ignored in their own country but eaten alive in Europe, have had no, repeat no big time help, and deserve every ounce of success which comes along. There… so what do they do?
They play a passionate hard core, folk thrash, rooted in the ways and means of their native north-east. That this sweat drenched slice of flat cap ‘n’ hobnail boots video cum album was recorded in Germany at the Markthalle, Hamburg speaks volumes. The crowd go ape at a set of fist punching, invitation to pogo, mining rants from the pens of poets Jock Purdon and Keith Armstrong or The Priests own brand of rockin’ nostalgia typified by titles like ‘Grandfatha’s Fatha’ or ‘When The Wind Blows, Billy Boy’.
This, my friends, is where determination gets you.”
Simon Jones, ‘Traditional Music Maker’, UK, October 1999.


“Recorded live at the Markthalle, Hamburg one night last October, the latest line-up of The Whisky Priests certainly shop the huge crowd how to have a good time. The last time I saw them play was in a small club in Camden, but here they are on a large stage with a full lighting rig and a crowd that puts British audiences to shame. Yet another example of us having great bands but just not appreciating them.
The CD has 16 songs against the video’s 12, but lovers of the band will want to purchase both anyway. The video is very well filmed, with good camerawork, while the sound is also top quality. For those who have never heard them then the Priests have a sound all of their own. They have been kept going by the sheer tenacity of Gary and Glenn Miller, and it is Gary’s vocal style combined with Glenn’s accordion that give them such a unique taste. They are currently joined by Hugh Bradley, Andy Tong and Cozy Dixon, but that may well not be the same in the near future!
I am always surprised that such a broad vocal can come from one so small, as Gary is not the largest frontman in the world, but the video shows just how much passion he puts into it. They are proud of their roots and some of their greatest songs such as ‘Grandfatha’s Fatha’ and ‘The Oakey Strike Evictions’ show this. However, not all of the songs are about the North East, and ‘Alice In Wonderland’ tells us all to be positive in our outlook.
Call them roots, call them folk, call them rock, call them what you like. But never let it be said that The Whisky Priests are anything but a bloody good band who wear their hearts on their sleeve and are honest in their music. If you are fed up with yet another created pop band on the radio and want to hear some real earthy music with passion then this is the band for you. Buy the video first, then get the CD to go with it.”
Kevin Rowland, ‘Feedback’, UK, Issue 56, 26th January 2000.


“The Whisky Priests have been in existence nearly fifteen years. This is their tenth album and was recorded live in Hamburg. The album is entitled ‘Here Come The Ranting Lads’ and rant they certainly do! They sound like the Pogues at their most vociferous. Virtually every song is delivered full blast with bass, drums and an assortment of other instruments.
Personnel are brothers Gary and Glenn Miller, Hugh Bradley, Andy Tong, Cozy Dixon. Most of the songs were composed by Gary Miller. Between them they play guitars, accordion, bass, drums, mandolin, etc.
If you don’t like this particular style of delivery the chances are that you won’t pay a great deal of attention to the lyrics. Shame, because according to the CD’s accompanying blurb Gary Miller is “one of the best composers in British Folk Music” whose ability as a songwriter must now be unquestioned”! I must concede that the initial blast belies a strong lyrical content.
There are fifteen songs and one instrumental on the album. There are songs celebrating new life, songs expressing a yearning for earlier, better times, songs exhorting us to think positively. There’s a quirky love song called ‘Everybody’s Got Love Bites But Me’. There’s an anti-war song called ‘Mother, Waiting’ in which the mother “knows a letter is coming… from a mad king, who has killed much time and killed her gentle son”. There is even an anti-car boot sale song (!), which scorns this traditional weekend phenomenon with its “Rogues by the score amid bargains galore”.
Most of the songs are in the traditional idiom with a re-working of at least one traditional song (‘The Oakey Strike Evictions’). Being a North-eastern band it’s no surprise that some of the band’s songs were inspired by the coal mining industry and express the hardships associated with that life. For instance, ‘Widows Of Hartley’ is a song which touches on the misery experienced by the women whose husbands and sons died in the mines: “Our men and boys are dead, our lives cracked open, damp corpses in our beds”. Similarly striking lyrics are to be found in ‘Blackleg Mining Man’: “He’s the one who helps the boss nail his brothers to the cross”. ‘Grandfatha’s Fatha’ is a song written by Gary to commemorate one of his own ancestors who was killed in the mines.
It’s raw ‘in-your-face’ music, which won’t be to everyone’s taste. I reckon it’s worth a listen though.”
Gordon Johnston.


“As the title suggests, this is a live concert recording, on this occasion the Priests were ‘spreading the gospel’ to a very receptive audience at the Markthalle, Hamburg back in Oct ’98. Meaningful and heart-felt self-penned songs fill the entire 69 minutes of the CD. Unrelenting rock based Drum, Bass and Guitar form the backing. Vocals and Accordion take the lead along with the occasional touch of Mandolin. The excitement of the performance over-spills into the band’s voices and fingers lending a rough edge to what might have been a smoother sound. Perhaps a ‘studio’ album would give a better idea of what The Whisky Priests can do.”
Tim Howes, ‘Shire Folk’, UK, No.68, Jan-April 2000.


“Twin brothers Gary & Glenn Miller formed The Whisky Priests in August 1985. They made their first single in 1987 and formed the Whippet Records label through which all of their material has been released. Vocalist Gary plays acoustic & electric guitars & mandola while Glenn plays accordion and sings. The band is based in York, England. The rest of the guys are Hugh Bradley (electric guitar, mandolin, mandola, whistle & vocals), Andy Tong (bass guitar & vocals) and Cozy Dixon (drums & percussion).
‘Here Comes The Ranting Lads’ was recorded live on 10 October 1998 at the Markthalle in Hamburg, Germany. Gary and Glenn produced this their eighth release. Gary penned ten of the tunes. Their unique sound is a mixture of Traditional U.K. sounds, folk and new wave with a touch of blues. Some of the great tracks are ‘Car Boot Sale’, ‘A Better Man Than You’, ‘Everybody’s Got Love Bites But Me’, ‘Success Express’, ‘Mother, Waiting’ and ‘Ranting Lads’. The Whisky Priests have been described as ‘Accordions on Acid’.”
***½
John Bates, ‘The Catalogue Man’, U.S.A.

credits

released September 27, 1999

The Whisky Priests line-up on this recording:

Gary Miller – Lead Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Mandola
Glenn Miller – Accordion, Vocals
Hugh Bradley – Electric Guitar, Mandolin, Mandola, Whistle, Vocals
Andrew Tong – Bass Guitar, Vocals
Cozy Dixon – Drums, Percussion

Recorded live at the Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany, 10th October 1998.
Post production at Watercolour Music, Ardgour, Lochaber, Scotland, December 1998 / January 1999 and at Trinity Heights, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, 2nd-6th February 1998.
Mixed by Fred Purser at Trinity Heights.
Remastered by Peter Groom at Fine Cut Facilities, 22nd-23rd February 1999.
Produced by Gary Miller & Glenn Miller.

℗ & © 1999 Whippet Records

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

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

contact / help

Contact The Whisky Priests

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Ranting Lads [Live]
RANTING LADS

Here come the ranting lads
Three cheers for the ranting lads

Here come the ranting lads
Bringing those times back here again
Ranting happy or ranting sad
We'll bring those times back here again
Will those times come back here again?

Young at heart with bodies old
Bringing those times back here again
But memories of the purest gold
We'll bring those times back here again
Will those times come back here again?

Here come the ranting lads
They've got the whole world in their hands
Happy as the collier lads
The canny ranting lads
Ranting by the light of the moon
The ranting lads will come too soon
Bugger me I'm on the town
All night with the ranting lads

Here come the ranting lads
Three cheers for the ranting lads

Life goes on though dreams pass by
Bringing those times back here again
So raise a smile through tear-drenched eyes
We'll bring those times back here again
Will those times come back here again?

Set them up for one last round
Bringing those times back here again
For all we've lost and all we've found
We'll bring those times back here again
Will those times come back here again?

Here come the ranting lads
They've got the whole world in their hands
Happy as the collier lads
The canny ranting lads
Ranting by the light of the moon
The ranting lads will come too soon
Bugger me I'm on the town
All night with the ranting lads

Here come the ranting lads
Three cheers for the ranting lads

(Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1996 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Widows of Hartley [Live]
WIDOWS OF HARTLEY

“What was it there on Hartley Heap
Caused the mother and child to weep”
(George Cooke)

Cold January’s gripped our throbbing hearts
And torn them
Still the sea rolls on

The earth’s bowels stink
Of our loved one’s deaths
The air tastes foul
Still the sea rolls on

They don black gloves
Drag out the bodies one by one
The death-stained faces seem to smile
Still the sea rolls on

We are the widows of Hartley
Our men and boys are dead
Our lives cracked open
Damp corpses in our beds
Still the sea rolls on

We clutch cold messages
From dukes and queens
We wipe the coal dust
From our widowed eyes

The coffin-makers heavy hammers beat
Keep time with lapping parlour clocks
And still the sea rolls on

We are the widows of Hartley
Our men and boys are dead
Take away your stumbling words
And give us bread

(lyrics: Keith Armstrong / music: Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1995 Keith Armstrong / Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Everybody's Got Love Bites But Me [Live]
EVERYBODY’S GOT LOVE BITES BUT ME

In this two-bit town
It’s once bitten twice shy
Chewing streets up and down
My tongue’s asking “Why?”

My teeth are on edge
No work and no necking
Just sucking this ledge
No future worth wrecking

Nothing to say
No reason to pray
Wish something lovely would hit me
Everybody’s got love bites but me

In the back of my mouth
There’s a taste of success
And word has it down south
You can talk oral sex

But in this dingy town
My lips are all cracked
Speechless at home
All sleepless and sacked

Nothing to say
No reason to pray
Wish something lovely would hit me
Everybody’s got love bites but me

(lyrics: Keith Armstrong / music: Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1995 Keith Armstrong / Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: This Village [Live]
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)

Copyright © 1996 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Alice In Wonderland [Live]
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 © 1996 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Side By Side [Live]
SIDE BY SIDE

Mother close the curtains
Kiss me on the brow
Wish me "Good-night and God bless" before you go
Your eyes full of pride
For each little child
Where did it all go?
Where did it all go?

Blood on our noses
Blood on our knees
But flowing thicker than water in our veins
Fighting with each other
Then fighting for each other
Where did it all go?
Where did it all go?

Side by side we will fight
Belief our strength, truth our might
From despair our hope will rise
Stand or fall, side by side
Together we will survive

Instead of doubling our trouble
We can double our score
Turn our differences around
With a passion shared
Two is better than one
The battle still goes on
The battle still goes on

Stand or fall, side by side
Together we will survive

(Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1998 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Song For Ewan [Live]
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: A Better Man Than You [Live]
A BETTER MAN THAN YOU

He's a better man than you will ever be
His heart is a lion his soul is free
He exudes the greatest triumph with the purest dignity
He's a better man than you will ever be

His voice is louder than yours will ever be
He says more in a moment than your whole life can achieve
He captures people's lives and hearts with words of great beauty
In a louder voice than yours will ever be

And if through trouble he should falter
I will be there to break his fall
I will be his comfort, his shelter from the storm
I will be his flower among them all

He's a stronger man than you will ever be
Fighting with such passion for all that he believes
Against prejudice, injustice, deceit and apathy
He's a stronger man than you will ever be

And if he's prone to break my heart sometimes
I know that he still cares for me
For I know he hides a deeper sensibility
He's a better man than you will ever be

He's a nobler man than you will ever be
Giving so much of himself with a natural selfless ease
And should disaster strike, he will face it gallantly
He's a nobler man than you will ever be

And if you doubt the measure of this man
You need look no further than me
For I am his and I know he's the one for me
He's a better man than you will ever be

He's a better man than you will ever be
He's a better man than you will ever be

(Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1998 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Workhorse [Live]
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)

Copyright © 1996 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Blackleg Mining Man [Live]
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: When The Wind Blows, Billy Boy [Live]
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)

Copyright ©1994 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Grandfatha's Fatha [Live]
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: The Oakey Strike Evictions [Live]
THE OAKEY STRIKE EVICTIONS

It was in November I never will forget
The polisses and the candymen at Oakey Houses met
Johnny the bellman he was there squinting round about
And he put three men at every door to turn the pitmen out

And what would I do if I had the power mesel'
I would hang the twenty candymen and Johnny who carries the bell

They went from house to house and they put things in the road
But mind they didn't hurt themselves by carrying heavy loads
One would carry the poker out the fender or the rake
But if he carried two at once it was a big mistake

And what would I do if I had the power mesel'
I would hang the twenty candymen and Johnny who carries the bell

Some of the dandy candymen were dressed up like a clown
Some had caps without a flipe and some without a crown
One had no laps on his coat but there was one chap worse
And every time he had to stoop it was a laughable farce

And what would I do if I had the power mesel'
I would hang the twenty candymen and Johnny who carries the bell

There was one chap had no sleeves or buttons upon his coat
And another had a bairn's ribbon wrapped around his throat
One chap wore a pair of breeks belonging to a boy
One leg was a sort of tweed the other was corduroy

And what would I do if I had the power mesel'
I would hang the twenty candymen and Johnny who carries the bell

Well next there comes the masters and I think they should be shamed
For depriving wives and families of a comfortable home
And when they shift from where they live I hope they go to Hell
Along with the twenty candymen and Johnny whe carries the bell

And what would I do if I had the power mesel'
I would hang the twenty candymen and Johnny who carries the bell

(lyrics: Tommy Armstrong / music: Trad. arr. The Whisky Priests)

Copyright © 1989 Gary Miller / Glenn Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Mother, Waiting [Live]
MOTHER, WAITING

Mother is waiting in the candlelit quiet
For her soldier-boy son to come home
Fireflies swarm in the fallen night
Beneath the black mountain a river seeks rest
As this mother waits on in her charcoal country
Knitting at her nails
The tears that stream from an ancient agony
Hiss like rain on the grate

She is a scrapbook of ancient cuttings
The pregnant wishes the bleeding sketches
The stretch-marks that etch her path
All draw her to damned pictures like these
A mother is waiting waiting waiting
Her thunder stolen from such lightning
As a blinding passion, flesh on heat
And her hands demanding ways

Such a wait on this night
The burden of a life
A soldier she sweated skin for
Lies felled by a blow to the Nation
And over the fields she knows she knows
A letter is coming coming slowly
From a mad king who has killed much time
And killed her gentle son


(lyrics: Keith Armstrong / music: Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1995 Keith Armstrong / Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Car Boot Sale [Live]
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