Mad Martins

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Facing-Both-Ways

 

Lyrics

And I have dwelt
In remote caverns of the Past,
sketching the wild Imagination,
my dreams rioting
in scenes of absolute terror.

I have sung the songs of other days,
alone and guideless,
searching for creation
In the one thousand windings of a vast Metropolis.

I have gazed in wonder at the power of earthquakes,
electrified cities in thunder and lightning.
I have crafted a canvas on the face of the Universe,
sought invention on Hampstead Heath.

He carved a niche in History,
painted Mystery,
played with Chemistry,
Facing-Both-Ways,
Facing-Both-Ways.

I have thirsted for knowledge, drunk in libraries,
read the scriptures, the stars and the sea.
I have sunk in the ruins of underground cities
and worshipped biblical kings.

He carved a niche in History,
painted Mystery,
played with Chemistry,
Facing-Both-Ways,
Facing-Both-Ways.


(Words: Keith Armstrong / Tune: 'Come To The Kye With Me’ - Trad arr: Ann Sessoms)

© 2017 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS

 

Keith Armstrong - Recitation
Ann Sessoms - Northumbrian Pipes

John Martin [oil painting], Henry Warren, 1839. National Protrait Gallery. 

 

Additional Text

Although John was sometimes called ‘Mad Martin’, this soubriquet is perhaps undeserved and arguably applies more to his brothers William and Jonathan, despite a number of descriptions of him to the contrary, such as the following…

“… a handsome man, short of stature, but graceful and attractive in person… with indications, both in his manner and countenance, of that mental instability which is nearly allied to insanity… it would not be hard to fancy that John possessed the genius that to madness nearly is allied.” (S.C. Hall)

“Some call me a madman, and some say the same of my brother, John.” (William Martin)