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

 

Miss Nightingale's Man

 

Lyrics

On a steam transport out of Malta

En route for the cold Crimea

A drummer-boy of the 68th

Who’d known neither love nor fear

When we arrived in Varna Before I could bang my drum

I was ordered aboard a hospital ship

For I had been overcome

By a sickness that proved worse than the guns

To which many would now succumb


We reached Scutari Hospital

Such a frightful sight I declare

Four miles of beds full of filth, blood and shit

With rats and lice everywhere

But then I beheld a vision

That made my young heart sing

A raven-haired angel took my hand

And took me under her wing

A nightingale flew down from heaven

And took me under her wing


From drummer-boy to errand boy

I followed in her wake

Twenty hours with a lamp in her hand

Not one did she forsake

For they were all her darlings

Each and every one

And I bless the day that I became

Miss Nightingale’s Man

I became Miss Nightingale’s Man


There were fusiliers and carabiniers

Dragoons and ‘Cherry Bums’

Highlanders, Guards, Green Howards and Buffs

And many other mother’s sons

From Alma and Sevastapol

Balaclava and Inkermann

From frostbite and horrific wounds

There suffered many a man

But cholera was the worst of all

King Cholera ruled over all


Now in that awful nightmare

The Nightingale took stock

And as one born to lead by example

Inspired us ‘round the clock

We fed them on fresh vegetables

Wrapped each in a clean linen sheet

And despite the enormous task she faced

She would not accept retreat

She rose to every challenge and stole

And stole victory from defeat


From drummer-boy to errand boy

I watched the death-rate fall

As with a fierce devotion

The Nightingale gave all

For they were all her darlings

Each and every one

And I bless the day that I became

Miss Nightingale’s Man

I became Miss Nightingale’s Man


Blessed are the merciful

Whose strength is to endure

Who selflessly care for the meek

Through motives good and pure

Many have come to thank her

For keeping them alive

After the surgeon had pronounced

“This one will not survive”

Whilst for a better system

She never ceased to campaign or strive


She became my patron

And she became my friend

She paid for my education

When the conflict came to an end

And despite all the words said against her

By those who were not there

Let them rot with gout in their own self-doubt

From the comfort of a soft armchair

For I saw it all through my own eyes

As Miss Nightingale’s Man

I was Miss Nightingale’s Man


From drummer-boy to errand boy

I followed in her wake

Twenty hours with a lamp in her hand

Not one did she forsake

For they were all her darlings

Each and every one

And until the day I die, I am

I am Miss Nightingale’s Man

I am Miss Nightingale’s Man


One thing I will always be

Miss Nightingale’s Man

Miss Nightingale’s Man


(Gary Miller)


© 2018 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS

Notes

The true story of drummer-boy Robert Robinson who became Florence Nightingale's errand boy, and later protege, during the Crimean War. The song was written as part of Gary's 'From Coalfield to Battlefield' project, which developed directly through 'When the Bugle Calls', a DLI Collection touring exhibition by the DLI Research and Study Centre. Also as part of these respective linked projects, Gary's creative partner, artist, designer and illustrator Helen Temperley has produced an illustration to accompany the song (image coming soon).

 

Releases (on Whippet Records unless otherwise stated)

IMAGE 

COMING

SOON


Original Studio Version

Gary Miller

From Coalfield to Battlefield

(Songs & Music of The DLI)

CD (WPTCD27)

To be released 2018

 

Video clips

Gary performing 'Miss Nightingale's Man' at Gary Miller Songs / Whippet Records HQ, Ferryhill, County Durham, England, on 11th November 2018.