Janice Miller

What a voice.

I hadn't imagined this power when I wrote the song 30+ years ago.
Thank you very much Janice, it's a privilege working with you.


We're hoping it sounds 'Old Country' with the emotional simplicity of a navvie's wife left behind.

Here's the finished song.


     Loco Whistle    Janice Miller vocals.


About the song.

Back in the 70's I read a book entitled "The Railway Navvies" by Terry Coleman, then editor of The Guardian. My interest was captured by the way Jim described the unique culture and life style of Railway (and Canal) navigators, and the deprivations, indescribably hard work and the persistent dangers they lived through.
Navigators were drawn from a wide range of people and societies and frequently from farm labourers, who veiwed the greater wages as a way of improving their lives, but nothing comes without a price and with eyes on the prize, they seldom saw that soon that section of railway track close to home would be complete and they would have to move on to the next section.
It wouldn't be long before they found themselves isolated from home and villages, and dependant on the company store and I am sure you know about that trap.
Barrels of beer were often placed at the entrance to tunnels they were mining and at the start of tough cuttings and embankments; not just to reduce the fear from tunnel collapse and complaints, but often the local water was polluted from their own ghetto like shanty towns which were thrown up at each new section.
It's a book worth reading.
Sometimes wives would follow their husbands and settle in with them at each new settlement, but often, where there were children in the family, and if the farmer allowed a tied cottager to stay on, the wife stayed behind.
Sometimes the husband never came home, because he had spent the money he had promised her.

Janice's song describes the feelings of one such wife as best I could imagine with the considerable compassion that she can bring to her singing.