Internationally-acclaimed Songwriter,
Performer and Recording Artist
from County Durham, England

Gary Miller Songs

"As a song poet there are few in the world today to match him"
Green Man Review, USA

 

A Painting for Charles

 

Lyrics

I offer you my deepest thanks, Charles,
For visiting me in my prison cell;
I have fallen on hard times in this bleak house,
But you know my story well.

I present to you my painting, Charles,
Of the vision that induced me
To set fire to that house of sin;
It is a fine imagining of what I did see.

“That’s the sword, I am the Hand;
That’s the Cloud, that God command:
This is the sword I saw, in a vision at noonday;
This is the cloud I saw, on the Minster.”

It is drawn in Indian ink, Charles,
I hope it meets your great expectations:
Though rude, I do not find it crude,
For it charges all my deep vexations.

That’s the head of God the Father, Charles,
Expressing a terrible majesty;
This is the mouth, issuing a divine command;
These are the eyes, burning fiercely.

“That’s the sword, I am the Hand;
That’s the Cloud, that God command:
This is the sword I saw, in a vision at noonday;
This is the cloud I saw, on the Minster.”

“I was nobody and am now more talked about than anybody.
Who is there in the land who is not occupied
with the name and the deeds of Jonathan Martin?
His name was known to nobody; it is now known to everybody.
The King is now speaking about me.”

For I took a novel approach, Charles,
And artfully dodged the Devil’s chimes;
And even as his thralls encroach,
I will strike a blow against their crimes.

“That’s the sword, I am the Hand;
That’s the Cloud, that God command:
This is the sword I saw, in a vision at noonday;
This is the cloud I saw, on the Minster.”

“That’s the sword, I am the Hand;
That’s the Cloud, that God command:
This is the sword I saw, in a vision at noonday;
This is the cloud I saw, on the Minster.”

(Lyrics & Music: Gary Miller - 

with words in quotations by Jonathan Martin)


© 2017 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS

 

Background Text

The author Charles Dickens wrote in one of his journals, in December 1866, that he had visited Jonathan Martin several times, during his incarceration in York City Gaol at the Castle on Baile Hill, prior to his final removal to Bethlem Hospital (Bedlam) in London. He found Jonathan in triumphant mood and lacking any remorse. During their conversations, Jonathan spoke at length and with self-assured passion of his ongoing plans, projects and schemes against the Church of England which he described as “the abomination of abominations”.

“He was certain that all would work together for good – for his own good and for that of his country and of mankind. He was as vain of his exploits as if he had redeemed a race from slavery, or won the most generous of victories.”

On one of these visits, Jonathan Martin presented Charles Dickens with an extraordinary painting he had promised to paint him during a previous visit. Jonathan claimed that it represented the particular vision which had induced him to set fire to the Minster. Beneath the painting he had inscribed a striking four-line description…


“That’s the sword, I am the Hand;
That’s the Cloud, that God command:
This is the sword I saw, in a vision at noonday;
This is the cloud I saw, on the Minster.”

 
 

Releases (on Whippet Records unless otherwise stated)