Mudcat Café message #2224463 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8178   Message #2224463
Posted By: Rog Peek
29-Dec-07 - 02:25 PM
Thread Name: Songs about capital punishment.
Subject: RE: ADD Lyrics: DEREK BENTLEY (Ewan McColl)
(Ewan McColl)

It's of a great adventure, to you that I will tell,
Of how they hanged a half-grown lad and how it all befell.

It was guns and comics, films of war that made his education.

Young Craig and Derek Bentley, they went out in the night,
With gun and knuckleduster just for to see them right.

They climbed upon the roof so high and then looked all around
And there they saw the men of law all gathered on the ground.

"Look out, we're caught" young Bentley cried, "our robbin' days are done"
"I'll see no prison" Craig replied, "while I've still got my gun".

He stood upon the roof so high and he looked all around
And shouted to them, men of law, all gathered on the ground.

"Stay down and stay alive" he cried, "keep clear of me" he said.
"Come up that stair another step and you'll go down it dead".

He was just a half-grown frightened lad who couldn't read or write,
But standing there with gun in hand he terrorised the night.

The men came up to take him down, he pressed the trigger tight,
He shot the first one dead and then jumped down into the night.

Young Craig he was a killer, for he shot the p'liceman dead,
But he was just too young to hang, the magistrates they said.

At nine o'clock one Wednesday, they took young Bentley out,
And made a noose of hemp and rope and put it round his throat.

It's true as you have often heard, that in this land today,
They hang the little criminals and let the big go free.

On 28th January Derek Bentley was hanged for his part in the murder of Police constable Sidney Miles during an attempted robbery. Derek Bentley whose accomplice Chistopher Craig shot and killed PC Miles was granted a pardon by the court of appeal on 30th July 1998. At the time of the trial, Craig had been under 18 and therefore too young to be hanged.