Gary Miller Songs

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

 

Drainage Scheme

 

Lyrics

As I float between madness and sanity,
I have a dream you may call vanity;
To improve the lot of poor humanity,
In the name of all things sanitary.

With my plans for irrigation,
I’ll keep up constant agitation;
I won’t relax my determination,
To make Britain a healthier nation.

Out with the shit and in with the pure,
All my time and means I devote to procure
Clean water for both rich and poor,
And turn all the sewage into manure.

I seek no wealth nor personal crown,
I’ll purify the Thames, wash London Town;
My proposal is sound, don’t mock, don’t frown;
I’ll do away with all things brown.

Out with the shit and in with the pure,
All my time and means I devote to procure
Clean water for both rich and poor,
And turn all the sewage into manure.

So when your bowels blast or your bladder screams,
Jump to the task and think of me;
Then raise a glass of clear and clean,
To John Martin and his drainage scheme.

Out with the shit and in with the pure,
All my time and means I devote to procure
Clean water for both rich and poor,
And turn all the sewage into manure,
Turn all the sewage into manure,
Turn all the sewage into manure.



(Gary Miller)


© 2017 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS

 

Notes

This song is part of the 'Mad Martins' project.


'Mad Martins' depicts the extraordinary lives and times of the Martin brothers, William (self-proclaimed “natural philosopher and philosophical conquerer of all nations”), Jonathan (incendiary of York Minster) and John (eminent painter, engraver, town-planner and host), who were born in the late eighteenth century in the South Tyne area of Northumberland.


Other songs from 'Mad Martins' include 'A Painting for Charles', 'A Thin Veneer', 'At the Assizes', 'The Dandy Horse''Four Bare Walls', 'God and Air', 'In Dreamtime', 'In the Navy (Jonathan's Chantey & Hornpipe)', 'The Leaping Swordsman', 'Madhouse Martin', 'Maria's Testimony', 'Medals''My 'Life'', 'The Paint and the Pain', 'Pandemonium', 'Picture the Scriptures', 'Searching for the Waters of Oblivion', '"Shoot the Bishop!"', 'Three Mad Martins (Epitaph)', 'Three Mad Martins (Prophecy)', 'Wicked Old World', 'William, You Were Really Something'.

 
 
 

Background Text

“If only I had been an engineer!… instead of benefitting myself and a few only, I should have added to the comfort and prosperity of mankind in general.” (John Martin)

Over a twenty-year period between 1827 and 1847, John devised and published plans for the improvement of London’s water supply, together with the disposal of sewage, rendering it available as manure.

“In consequence of the strong interest I have always felt in the improvement of the condition of the people, and the sanitary state of the country,… two-thirds of my time, and a very large portion of my pecuniary means, have, since 1827, been devoted to the objects I had at heart,… being so bent upon my object that I was determined never to abandon it; and although I have reaped no other advantage, I have, at least, the satisfaction of knowing that the agitation thus kept up, constantly, solely by myself, has resulted in a vast alteration in the quantity of water supplied by the companies, and in the establishment of a Board of Health, which will, in all probability, eventually carry out most of the objects I have been so long urging.” (John Martin, autobiography, 1849)


In response to the 'Great Stink' of 1858, and taking his inspiration directly from the pioneering work of John Martin, the great Victorian Civil Engineer Joseph Bazelgette ('The King of the Sewers'), was successful in creating a sewer network for Central London, which is still in use today.

 

Releases (on Whippet Records unless otherwise stated)