Gary Miller Songs

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

The Butcher Baronet


'The Butcher Baronet' is Gary's 'Folk-Rock Opera' about the mysterious 17th Century historical figure John Duck ("Durham's Dick Wittington").

The project initially began as a collaboration between Gary Miller, Helen Temperley and film company Lone Pine Pictures but quickly expanded into something much bigger than any of them could have imagined.


Gary and Helen met with Paul Stainthorpe, Founder and Director of Lone Pine Pictures, appropriately at the John Duck public house in Durham City in November 2018 to discuss an unknown project that Paul was due to propose. This turned out to be his plan for Lone Pine Pictures to develop and produce 'The Butcher Baronet', a documentary film about the tale of John Duck. Paul's proposal to Gary and Helen was for them to respectively create new songs & pieces of music alongside a series of illustrations specially for the project, which would be an exciting cross-arts collaboration of film, music and art.

Gary and Helen were amazed at the coincidence and serendipity involved in Paul's announcement, as they had only just been in the process of developing their own work and fledgling project about Sir John Duck, independently of Paul, themselves!...

Just prior to the above meeting at the John Duck, Helen had delivered a couple of art workshops with the Monday Art Group in Lanchester, County Durham, focussing on the story of John Duck. These workshops provided a strong impetus and inspired Helen to create an initial piece, 'John's Jacobus (A Tale of Durham's Dick Wittington)' [right]. They also inspired Gary to come up with a couple of songs - 'The Butcher Baronet' and 'John's Jacobus (Inscription)'.

Meanwhile, shortly afterwards, and in the space of only three days, Gary went on to write a further 6 songs and pieces of music about John Duck. A handful more quickly followed.

It was after this that Gary, Helen and Paul met up and shared their independent developments up to this point. It seemed like a collaboration was somehow meant to happen! Everyone went away from the meeting feeling very excited and enthused.

While Paul began work on his film, Gary, within a matter of weeks, had created a full song-suite encompassing the entire story of the legendary Sir John Duck, expanding the initial project idea into a fully-realised 'Folk-Rock Opera' through a collection of around 30 songs and pieces of music, including the use of several Northumbrian tunes dating from the 17th Century during the time of John Duck.

Gary and Helen will be collaborating with a variety of musicians and other creative artists to bring this project to fruition with a 2-hour performance and a double CD album and book.

The songs and tunes written by Gary for the project to date include the following (listed in project chronological order): - 

'Duck's Overture'

'The Butcher Baronet'


'City of Dreams'

'Go Away!'

'My Butcher Boy'

'Merrily Danced The Butcher's Wife'

'Flesh and Bone'

'Cast Out'

'Ca' Hawkie'

'Shiny Thing'

'John's Jacobus (Inscription)'

'Golden Journey: Through Air / Over Water / To Earth / On Fire'

'The Beer Token'

'Old Duck's Main'

'Old Duck's Rant'

'Now I Dream'

'Fortune Weaver'

'Elementary (Turn, Turn Again)'

'Hold on'

'Top of the Hill'

'Cloak and Hood'

'Rolling On (A Hymn for John and Ann)'

'Behind the Wall'

'We Don't Talk About Him 'Round Here'

'Here's to You, John Duck!'

Illustration by Helen Temperley © 2020


Illustration by Helen Temperley © 2019


Illustration by Helen Temperley © 2019


Helen's initial illustration 'The Butcher Baronet' © 2018


'Sir John Duck's Rise to Fortune'17th Century British School


Engraving based on 'Sir John Duck's Rise to Fortune'


Lone Pine Pictures' promo poster and DVD cover artwork for
'The Butcher Baronet' documentary film, based on Helen's original artwork

Following the success of their debut project 'The Little Count' in 2018, 'The Butcher Baronet' is Lone Pine Pictures' second film documentary (the second of what is ultimately planned to be a trilogy of documentaries about notable historical Durham figures). 

Helen has contributed artwork to the project whilst Lone Pine Pictures commissioned Gary to contribute some songs, including eponymous theme song 'The Butcher Baronet', to be featured as part of the film's soundtrack. In addition, Helen and Gary filmed sequences at 'The John Duck' Public House, Claypath, Durham City (Helen talking about her artwork and Gary performing a couple of songs) on 12th June 2019.

Filming of 'The Butcher Baronet' was completed in July 2019, whilst Gary recorded two songs for the soundtrack at Iain Petrie's Awake! Music (with Iain producing and adding additional instrumentation) during an exciting single-day's session on 4th August 2019.

A Teaser Trailer was officially released on 14th August 2019, featuring Gary's song 'The Butcher Baronet' as the soundtrack to the Trailer.

You can watch the Trailer below (look out for a brief clip of Gary!).

Editing of the film continued throughout August and September 2019, leading up to the launch event, a sell-out Premiere at the Gala Theatre & Cinema, Durham City on 28th October 2019.

This continues the ongoing cross-collaboration between Gary, Helen and Paul, featuring a wide range of artforms, with more exciting and interesting projects still to come...

[Watch this space for further developments as and when they happen!]


'The Butcher Baronet' - Official Trailer


Paul had previously approached Gary earlier in 2018, seeking permission to use the already-existing song 'Ballad of the Little Count' (taken from The Whisky Priests album 'Bleeding Sketches') to use as the theme song for his company's debut project, 'The Little Count', a fascinating documentary based on the story of the incredible historical figure Józef Boruwłaski. Gary gave his blessing for the song to be used and it fitted the documentary perfectly.

The highly-acclaimed film was well-received at its sell-out Premiere launch night at the Gala Theatre & Cinema, Durham City on 30th October 2018 and has subsequently been released on DVD, available here

Extracts from the documentary, including the song 'Ballad of the Little Count', are now on permanent display at Durham City Town Hall.

In 2019, 'The Little Count' won 'Best Documentary' at the Romford Film Festival. Check out the following clip of Lone Pine Pictures' Paul Stainthorpe, Richard Lavernick and Steven Landles from a Q&A session at the festival...


Currently available to order

Digital Download of
Gary's theme song
'The Butcher Baronet
[Soundtrack Version]'

Art Print of
Helen's illustration
'Sir John Duck: The Butcher Baronet'
(includes FREE Digital Download of Gary's song 'The Butcher Baronet')

A3 size Art Print:

A4 size Art Print:

DVD of
Lone Pine Pictures' documentary
'The Bucther Baronet'

DVD of
Lone Pine Pictures' documentary
'The Little Count'


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