Mad Martins

Click here to edit subtitle





Again the devil thought to shut me in,
But with a sandy stone, I cut my iron chain;
With locks and bolts and bars of every kind
Fain would the devil had me all my life confined.

But by the help of God, by faith and prayer,
The devil loosed his hold, and I did break his snare.
Through the lofty garret I thrust and tore my way,
Through dust and laths and tiles into the open day.

But yet more dangers still beset me round,
Till, by God’s help, I landed on the ground.
Then, with a thankful heart, I praised the God I’d found,
And cried, “Sleep on, ye sleepers, sleep both safe and sound,
Till I escape from your enchanted ground.

These three long years now almost gone and past,
My God has saved me from your hands at last;
Therefore to Him will I give all the praise,
And thank and bless His Holy Name always.

“Having got safely away, I took into the cornfields;
the voice of the nightingale seeming to reprove me.
I was rejoicing that the God in whom I trusted,
had brought me out of the house of bondage,
and set both soul and body at liberty.
I cannot describe my sensations,
on again finding myself at large in the world,
and in hopes of seeing my dear friends again
and finding my dream fulfilled,
to convince myself and others,
that it was indeed the Lord’s work;
and that I would be no more left
in the power of mine enemies,
who hunted my soul
like a partridge on the mountains.”

(Lyrics & Words: Jonathan Martin / Music: Gary Miller)

© 2017 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS


Recording Credits

Gary Miller - Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Iain Petrie - Acoustic Guitar, Harpsichord, Organ, Bass Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Mick Tyas - Backing Vocals
The Lick Spittals - Horns

Background - Jonathan Martin's Providential Escape from the Asylum House [engraving], William Martin.
In: The Life of Jonathan Martin, Tanner, by Himself, 2nd Edition,
Jonathan Martin, 1826.


Additional Text

A year after his first failed attempt to escape from Gateshead Asylum, he escaped again, in June 1821, this time successfully. Eventually, on a dark night, Jonathan reached Codlaw Hall, an isolated house eighteen miles from the asylum, near Hexham, which was the home of one Edward Kell, a distant relation on his mother’s side. Taking a hammer and chisel, Kell released Jonathan from “the degrading emblem of slavery”.



Amercian film production company Doorstop Productions is currently producing an animated film/promo video of 'Four Bare Walls/Escape', featuring this song and the previous song in the Mad Martins sequence, 'Four Bare Walls', (the pair form a segue), incorporating original artwork and backgrounds by Helen. The film is due to be completed in 2022.

Video Clips

'Four Bare Walls / Escape' live at the Premiere of
'Mad Martins: The Story of the Martin Brothers'
The City Theatre, Durham, England, 5th October 2019