Mad Martins

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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.


(Lyrics & Music: Gary Miller)

© 2017 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS

 

Recording Credits

Gary Miller - Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Iain Petrie - Electric Guitar, Ukuleles, Glockenspiel, Bass Guitar, Drums, Shaker, Percussion, Atmospheric Sound Effects, Backing Vocals

 

Plan of The Thames Embankment for Sewage Recycling [lithograph],
John Martin, 1834.

Dirty Father Thames [engraving], anon. In: 1848. Punch Magazine, vol. XV.

 

Main Drainage of the Metropolis [engraving]. In: 1859. Illustrated London News.

 

Additional 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.

 

Video Clips

'Drainage Scheme' live at the Premiere of
'Mad Martins: The Story of the Martin Brothers'
The City Theatre, Durham, England, 5th October 2019