Derek Bentley
Peter Afendoulis

C           G         F          C       G      F

The hangman he stands ready, the trap is set to go

     C       Em7      Am               F              G

They place a rope around your neck and why you do not know

    F            G      C              F        G    C

You stand there on the scaffold, all alone and so afraid

        Am       G        F              C     G       C

But the Law must have its vengeance, the piper must be paid.


         F        G    C           F           G      C

Ch:  And you must understand, just what you're dying for

            Am          F          C        G       C

         A victim of society – A scapegoat for the Law


The building was deserted, the people all had left

You climbed upon the rooftop, intent on petty theft

Your parents must have told you boy, that stealing was a crime

But they didn't know the penalty was death before your time


"Surrender now"  the policeman said; "Surrender to the Law"

You let yourself be taken and stood and watched in awe

As Craig your young companion said, "I'll make a fight of it!"

With a rusty old revolver and shells that didn't fit


The bullets started flying, a policeman fell down dead

You crouched there on the roof-top and covered up your head

They captured your companion but too young to hang they say

So they sent you to the Bailey and swore your life away


The hangman he stands ready, the preacher's said "Amen"

And you a lad of 19 years, with a mental age of ten

The hangman pulls the lever and the rope around your throat

Ensures the death of Bentley, the sacrificial goat


© Peter Afendoulis, 1978


Recorded on "There’s only one F in Afendoulis"  Folkland Records FL1018 (1978)

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Last updated 22-Aug-98