Stand Fast Stand Steady

by Gary Miller & Ralf Weihrauch

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about

"From Durham to Dorsten" - England meets Germany to create a unique acoustic duo. Songwriter of folk punk pioneers The Whisky Priests teams up with German Ralf Weihrauch to perform a selection of new songs, some updated acoustic versions of "old hits" specially selected from The Whisky Priests' early catalogue, and a few North East of England traditional songs and tunes.

credits

released October 1, 2005

Gary Miller - lead & backing vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin.
Ralf Weihrauch - lead & backing vocals, accordion, whistle, bodhran.

Recorded at Lager 1 Studio, Castrop Rauxel, Germany, 20-22 June 2005.
Produced, engineered and mixed by Markus Seidel.
Tracks 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 written & composed by Gary Miller.
Tracks 2, 3, 7, 9, 11 trad. arr. Weihrauch/Miller.
All tracks arranged by Gary Miller & Ralf Weihrauch.
Copyright Control / PRS/MCPS

Photography by Ralf Pieper.

℗ & © 2005 Whippet Records


Gary Miller - lead & backing vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin.
Ralf Weihrauch - lead & backing vocals, accordion, whistle, bodhran.

Recorded at Lager 1 Studio, Castrop Rauxel, Germany, 20-22 June 2005.
Produced, engineered and mixed by Markus Seidel.
Tracks 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 written & composed by Gary Miller.
Tracks 2, 3, 7, 9, 11 trad. arr. Weihrauch/Miller.
All tracks arranged by Gary Miller & Ralf Weihrauch.
Copyright Control / PRS/MCPS

Photography by Ralf Pieper.

℗ & © 2005 Whippet Records


Although CD copies of the album are currently unavailable via Bandcamp, it is still in stock via the following online stores:
Amazon: www.amazon.co.uk/Stand-Fast-Steady-Miller-Weihrauch/dp/B002EUI948
CDBaby: www.cdbaby.com/cd/garyralf

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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

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Track Name: Pitman Tom
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)

Copyright ©1994 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: The Sandgate Lass's Lament
THE SANDGATE LASS’S LAMENT

I was a young maiden truly
And I lived in Sandgate Street
I thought to marry a good man

To keep me warm at neet
Some good like body, 
Some canny body
To be with me at noon

But last I married a keel man

And my good days are done

He's an ugly body, a bubbly body

An ill-fed ugly loon
But I have married a keelman

And my good days are done

I thought to marry a Parson

To hear me say my prayers

But I have married a Keelman

And he kicks me down the stairs
I Thought to marry a Dyer

To dye my apron blue

But I have married a Keelman

And sair he makes me rue


He's an ugly body, a bubbly body

An ill-fed ugly loon
But I have married a keelman

And my good days are done

I thought to marry a Joiner

To make me chair and stool
But I have married a Keelman
And he's a perfect fool
I thought to marry a sailor
To bring be sugar and tea
But I have married a Keelman
And that he lets me see

He's an ugly body, a bubbly body

An ill-fed ugly loon
But I have married a keelman

And my good days are done

(Trad. arr. Weihrauch / Miller)
Track Name: Lament
LAMENT

I cannot get to my love; she’s far from me
Steering a new course on life’s stormy sea
Now I stand alone with a tear in my e’e
No boatman will carry her back home to me

For I was heartless, ignorant, blind and obscene
I had more than the whole world but I could not see
Until I threw it away, I chopped down the tree
Of a life we’d created from so precious a seed

Too late for forgiveness, to be sorry, to plead
Her love has expired, her heart has been freed
And deserted me cruelly in the time of my need
To punish me justly for my selfish greed

Oh but now I am moving, at last I am free
From the torment and torture she rained down on me
I will never forget, I will never be free
Of regret and remorse until the day that I d’e

(Lyrics: Gary Miller, adapted from the traditional ‘The Waters Of Tyne’ /
Tune: ‘The Waters of Tyne’ – Traditional)
Track Name: The Colliery
THE COLLIERY

The pit where I worked was built in Eighteen-Ten
And it's claimed the lives of many good men
Like rats in a hole we crawled underground
Digging for coal at the colliery

I had long shifts to work each day
And I worked like a slave for a poor man's pay
We hated our boss because he worked us hard
For a pittance to keep our families

And the curse of God was on our lives
Though we prayed to Him for better times
We learned to cry and we learned to die
Down at the colliery

I had a wife and six bairns to feed
We paid the price of rich men's greed
I sweated and toiled in that unholy black hell
Feeding the fires of Britain's industry

And we searched for joy in our toil
As our lungs filled with dust and soot and soil
We laughed and cried we prayed and died
Down at the colliery

We were servants to masters of the land
They abused our humanity but they used our hands
They could own our lives but not our souls
For we were put on God's earth to go below it for coal

This land was built by men of steel
This land once scarred has now been healed
The pits have gone, time has moved on
From the days when men toiled where the sun never shone

And the curse of God was on our lives
Though we prayed to Him for better times
We learned to cry and we learned to die
Down at the colliery

(Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1987 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Stand Fast, Stand Steady
STAND FAST, STAND STEADY

In the market place in Hexham Town
Stand fast my boys stand steady
With hearts of oak we’ll stand our ground
Stand resolute and ready

5000 strong flock to our cause
Stand fast my boys stand steady
Against the unjust Militia Laws
Stand resolute and ready

Proud banners waving in the sun
To sound of horn and beat of drum
Against the bayonet and the gun
Stand fast my boys stand steady

We love our King but will not yield
Stand fast my boys stand steady
To die for him on foreign field
Stand resolute and ready

Know that the French are not our foe
Stand fast my boys stand steady
To France and death we will not go
Stand resolute and ready

Proud banners waving in the sun
To sound of horn and beat of drum
Against the bayonet and the gun
Stand fast my boys stand steady

In the Moot Hall magistrates debate
Stand fast my boys stand steady
Read the Riot Act; decide our fate
Stand resolute and ready

The redcoats face us in the square
Stand fast my boys stand steady
They mock “come charge us if you dare!”
Stand resolute and ready

Proud banners waving in the sun
To sound of horn and beat of drum
Against the bayonet and the gun
Stand fast my boys stand steady

Our staves and clubs will serve us yet
Stand fast my boys stand steady
Against musket ball and bayonet
Stand resolute and ready

A shot rings out, a redcoat falls
Stand fast my boys stand steady
All hell breaks loose in answering call
Stand resolute and ready

The Hexham Butchers fired their guns
They broke our ranks and smashed our drum
From ball and bayonet we did run
Their response proved swift and deadly

Men, women, children are no more
Stand fast my boys stand steady
Innocent blood is ill to shed
Stand resolute and ready

Now let the rain come pouring down
Stand fast my boys stand steady
To wash the blood from this sad town
Stand resolute and ready

We thought that we would overcome
They blew us all to kingdom come
With our last breath the words were gone
Stand fast my boys stand steady

(Gary Miller)
Track Name: Easington
EASINGTON

We prayed for a new day dawning
On a village shrouded in grey
Where people spent their dole lives
Waiting day by day
Waiting oh so patiently
For good luck to come along
But that was just like finding gold
On the streets of Easington

Little bairns with mucky faces
Playing in the colliery streets
Remind us of our childhood years
So innocent, so sweet
Full of joy and happiness
Before the pain ahead
Before our hopes were shattered
Before our dreams lay dead

But let us not hang our sorrows
On the gates of misery
We'll get the bairns up laughing
And we'll sing
We'll show there is joy in Easington

From the outer villages
To the beaches coaly black
Shadow-folk by dusk and dawn
Stoop to fill a sack
For what had been their livelihood
Came to lay their land to waste
But there were no inner cities rising
By this slag-strewn the coast

But let us not drown our sorrows
On the dregs of misery
We'll get the lasses drinking
And we'll sing
We'll show there is joy in Easington

From the broken windows
Of the houses in the night
You can see the pit-head pulley wheel
Silhouetted by moonlight
Now the land is rolling green
Its coal town days are done
The tide has turned, the tide runs clean
Beneath a brand new sun

But let us not dwell on sorrow
Nor think of misery
We'll get the old folks dancing
And we'll sing
We'll show there is joy in Easington

(Gary Miller)

Copyright © 1992 Gary Miller / Whippet Records
Track Name: Dol-Li-A
Dol-Li-A

It's fresh I come down Sandgate Street
Dol-Li, Dol-Li
My best friends here to meet
Dol-Li-A

Dol-Li, de-dillen-dol, Dol-Li, Dol-Li
Dol-Li, de-dillen-dol, Dol-Li-A

Dolly Coxon' pawned her shirt
Dol-Li, Dol-Li
To ride upon a baggage cart
Dol-Li-A

Dol-Li, de-dillen-dol, Dol-Li, Dol-Li
Dol-Li, de-dillen-dol, Dol-Li-A

The green cuffs have gone away
Dol-Li, Dol-Li
That will be a crying day
Dol-Li-A

Dol-Li, de-dillen-dol, Dol-Li, Dol-Li
Dol-Li, de-dillen-dol, Dol-Li-A

The black cuffs are coming in
Dol-Li, Dol-Li
That will make the lasses sing
Dol-Li-A

Dol-Li, de-dillen-dol, Dol-Li, Dol-Li
Dol-Li, de-dillen-dol, Dol-Li-A

(Trad. arr. Weihrauch / Miller)
Track Name: Where The Violets Grow
WHERE THE VIOLETS GROW

I remember days with you
When I was a boy
And you could do most anything
With such ease and joy
Then came the day your body failed
And your breath came slow
But I remember how you once walked
Where the violets grow

Tortured, humiliated
Hard to bear for a man
Forgotten by the Coal Board
For whom you carried the can
Housebound to an iron lung
Your skeletal frame laid low
No more to walk these sacred lands
Where the violets grow

Your one true precious Violet
Never left your side
Though the pain grew worse with every curse
And all you could do was cry
Until your time was finally come
And at last you could let go
But in my mind you walk for evermore
Where the violets grow

The day that you were laid to rest
Seemed a blesséd relief
After thirty years of a living hell
There’d already been too much grief
Her burden gone she carries on
Her feet like bricks on snow
Until you both tread softly
Where the violets grow

For I see you there together
Where the violets grow

Walk in peace, rest in peace
Where the violets grow

(Gary Miller)
Track Name: Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinny
KEEP YOUR FEET STILL GEORDIE HINNY

Oh Geordie and Bob Johnson
Well they both lay in one bed
In a little lodging house down by the shore
And they hadn't have been an hour asleep
When a kick from Geordie’s foot
Made him waken up to roar instead of snore

So keep your feet still Geordie Hinny
Let’s be happy through the night
For I may not be so happy through the day
So give me that bit comfort
Keep your feet still Geordie lad
And don’t drive my bonnie dreams away

Well I dreamt there was a dancing held
And Mary Clark was there
And I thought we tripped it lightly round the floor
And I pressed her heaving breast to mine
Whilst waltzing round the room
Well that’s more than I’ve dare ever do before

So keep your feet still Geordie Hinny
Let’s be happy through the night
For I may not be so happy through the day
So give me that bit comfort
Keep your feet still Geordie lad
And don’t drive my bonnie dreams away

Well do you know the lad she gans with
They call him Jimmy Green
And I thought he’d try to spoil our bit of fun
Well I dreamt I nailed him heavy
And I blacked the big fool’s eyes
If I’d slept it’s hard to tell what I’d have done

So keep your feet still Geordie Hinny
Let’s be happy through the night
For I may not be so happy through the day
So give me that bit comfort
Keep your feet still Geordie lad
And don’t drive my bonnie dreams away

Well I dreamt I took her home that night
Content we went along
And I kissed her lips a hundred times or more
And I wished the road would never end
So happy like was I
I could walk a thousand miles with Mary there

So keep your feet still Geordie Hinny
Let’s be happy through the night
For I may not be so happy through the day
So give me that bit comfort
Keep your feet still Geordie lad
And don’t drive my bonnie dreams away

Well I dreamt Jim Green had left the town
And left his love to me
And I thought the house was furnished with the best
And I dreamt I just had left the church
With Mary by my side
When your clumsy feet completely spoiled the rest

So keep your feet still Geordie Hinny
Let’s be happy through the night
For I may not be so happy through the day
So give me that bit comfort
Keep your feet still Geordie lad
And don’t drive my bonnie dreams away

(Trad. arr. Weihrauch / Miller)
Track Name: Bookend
BOOKEND

This is where the book ends
This is the final word
On all the things that I have seen and heard

Do you recall the opening pages
Before those youthful hopes and dreams all fled
The manuscript was stained where desperate fingers bled

Now it makes my heart glad
To be able to walk away from it all
I’ve had my pride and now I’ll take my fall

This is where the river flows into a shoreless sea
To meet an endless skyway to be free

This is when the clock stops
That used to tick so fast
Through all those times we knew could never last

I’ve squandered all good company
It’s time now to seek it out
And discover what living’s all about

This is where the cock crows
To herald a new dawn
Amidst this golden field of ripening corn

This is where the river flows into a shoreless sea
To meet an endless skyway to be free

This is where the book ends
Its tale is said and done
New ones are awaiting the road goes on

They say everyone has at least one book in them
If this is mine then let it stand
With its flaws and holes delivered by my hand

This is where the song ends
Maybe others will be sung
With free reign for emotions deep to run

This is where the river flows into a shoreless sea
To meet an endless skyway to be free

(Gary Miller)