Gary Miller Songs

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

 

Wooden Dolly

 

Lyrics

I began my life on a collier brig

Strapped to the prow as part of the rig

I coughed and I spluttered in the wake of the spray

Until I was ransomed for a pirate’s pay

Long ago, back in the day


Then they set me to keep a watch on the Tyne

Gazing across the North Sea for a sign

And they came from their shielings, their saviour to greet

With their pen knives to slice me like a piece of raw meet

From my scalp, through my flanks, to my feet


They took a piece of me here, a piece of me there

A piece from the locks of my long flowing hair

And though my heart was made of wood

I loved them all like a mother should

For they were my flesh and my blood


My feet would be wings to carry them forth

To safety when storms came in from the north

My bosom was a pillow on which they could rest

My arms were protection against any test

My lips when kissed would be blessed


But there were some who did not like me

They tortured and raped me, for all to see

They choked me and groped me, tied my hands and feet

And like a piece of dry timber, dragged me through the street

Until my ruin was complete


They took a piece of me here, a piece of me there

A piece from the locks of my long flowing hair

And though my heart was made of wood

I loved them all like a mother should

For they were my flesh and my blood


Now I am gone, there’s naught left of me

Just a memory drifting on the breeze o’er the sea

But my younger sisters now stand in my stead

Proud fishwives burdened but each with a raised head

In bonnets or a fine dress of bright red


They took a piece of me here, a piece of me there

A piece from the locks of my long flowing hair 

Hoping for luck on a voyage to cling

Just a splinter, a sliver, a tiny thing

A handful of fortune to bring


A piece of me here, a piece of me there

A piece from the locks of my long flowing hair

And though my heart was made of wood

I loved them all like a mother should

For they were my flesh and my blood



(Gary Miller)


© 2018 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS

 

Notes

Gary was commissioned by Northern Voices Community Projects to write 'Wooden Dolly' for 'The Wooden Dollies of North Shields', a book published to mark marks the 60th anniversary of the unveiling of the wooden dolly in Northumberland Square, North Shields, Tyne & Wear, England, in 2018. Unfortunately, due to an unexpected major personal crisis at the time, and despite the song having already been completed, Gary was unable to present it in time for the book's publication deadline but it is hoped the song will one day be released in some format.

 

Currently unreleased