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

 

The Horrific Execution of Poor Peter Patterson

 

Lyrics

The bloody execution of poor Peter Patterson

Stains the pages of the history books of Northumberland

Arrested for high treason beyond all power of reason

To show that the powers are lenient and God can save the King


Peter Patterson was seventy-four years old

When he faced the hang-man’s noose

But even Fate seemed uncertain

As the rope around his neck came loose

And as he picked himself up from the ground

To face Death for a second round

He called out in defiance

And his words rang loud and clear


Though he was beastly treated

He did not plead, he did not beg

He bore his fate with dignity

Crying “Innocent blood is ill to shed!”


For the riots of Morpeth and Hexham

Alone he carried the can

A scapegoat for the ruling class

A martyr to the working man

But he stood proud and did not falter

When the hangman replaced the failing halter

And it proved second time unlucky

When the rope held strong and firm


The savagery metered out on him

Can barely be believed

Half-dead from the biting rope

Cut down in agony

Laid out like meat on a butcher’s slab

The meathooks tore his flesh apart

Disembowelled he smelled his entrails

Being burnt before his eyes


Though he was beastly treated

He did not plead, he did not beg

He bore his fate with dignity

Crying “Innocent blood is ill to shed!”


As his awful wounds pulsed and bled

He looked back on the life he’d led

But before his final breath had fled

The axe came down with fearful dread

Separating his body and his head

Making sure at last that he was dead

But before another tear was shed

Amid the carnage crimson red

Sickly sweet each gory shred

The hungry axe would still be fed

Each limb it sliced like knife through bread

Until at last his soul had fled

Down the corridors of Hell undead

His spirit haunts with untold dread

Crying “Innocent blood is ill to shed!”


Would that those who caused his death been led

To suffer the same fate in his stead

The guilt is surely on each head

For innocent blood is ill to shed


(Gary Miller)


© 2003 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS

 

Notes

One of several songs Gary was commissioned to write for Hexham Riot, 1761.

 
 

Currently Unreleased