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

 

Picture the Scriptures

 

Lyrics

How will history paint me, John Martin?
What did I accomplish, what did I achieve?
I did it my way, I broke the rules;
Time will judge my worth and deeds.

I was drawn to art from an early age,
When dark was fear and God was rage:
I drew with whatever came to hand,
On brick, on wood, on dirt, on sand.

Picture the Scriptures and Milton scenes,
Visions from God assaulting my dreams;
To tunes of thunder my paintbrush screams,
And a cast of thousands sings.

My father took his part to place
My bonnie hands with Boniface:
Seven days a week, my swift hands sped;
Through enamel veins, my paintbrush bled.

New Romantic, Old Testament;
A combination Heaven sent:
Epic grandeur, Biblical scale,
Nature’s vastness, floods and flame.

Picture the Scriptures and Milton scenes,
Visions from God assaulting my dreams;
To tunes of thunder my paintbrush screams,
And a cast of thousands sings.

With the people’s welfare in my heart,
Calling me beyond my art;
In Invention’s depths, my toes to dip:
Railway, harbour, lighthouse, ship.

Historical landscape painter bold,
To Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold:
Arise, Sir John, lead your right royal dance,
Through Belgium, Russia, Prussia and France.

So many obstacles in my path,
To ‘The Last Day of Judgement’ and ‘The Great Day of His Wrath’;
But ‘The Plains of Heaven’ are calling me,
With peace and beauty, wild and free.

Picture the Scriptures and Milton scenes,
Visions from God assaulting my dreams;
To tunes of thunder my paintbrush screams,
And a cast of thousands sings.

How will history paint me, John Martin?
What did I accomplish, what did I achieve?

(Gary Miller)


© 2017 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS

Background Text

John Martin (1789-1854) was born on July 19th 1789, in a one-roomed farm cottage at East Land Ends, Haydon Bridge, Northumberland, thirteenth and youngest child of Fenwick and Isabella. Although the family was living in poverty, John became the first Martin to attend school. The progressive Haydon Bridge Grammar school provided him with free schooling, and his parents with a cheap form of childcare. He showed an early talent for drawing, utilising the schoolroom walls, the doors of the villagers, and the sandbanks of the River Tyne.  


John moved with his family to Newcastle in 1803, where he became an apprentice heraldic painter to a coach builder at the age of 14. In 1804, whilst in Newcastle, John’s father, Fenwick, told him, “Come with me John, I have found a gentleman who can teach you everything, a celebrated Frenchman”. This was a turning point in John’s career, as he became the pupil of Boniface Musso, the father of the celebrated enamel painter, Charles Muss. In 1806 he travelled to London to work for Charles Muss in the china painting industry.


He married in London at the age of nineteen, before having a picture accepted at the Royal Academy and later becoming "Historical Landscape Painter to the Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold”, as well as a noted book illustrator. Like his elder brother William, John was an ‘all-rounder’, devising sewage schemes for London and the Thames and proposals for railway systems, a lighthouse, a floating harbour, and an 'Elastic Iron Ship'. He is most famous, however, as a New Romantic painter and mezzotint engraver, celebrated for his epic and melodramatic scenes of cataclysmic Biblical events crowded with tiny figures placed in vast architectural settings.

 
 

Releases (on Whippet Records unless otherwise stated)