Peter Raeney

by The Silver Darlings

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Peter Raeney is the true story of the descent into madness of a farm labourer of that name. In 1814 he stood at the altar of Dronfield church waiting for his bride to be, Mary Jones, the daughter of the local landowner. Sadly, she was marrying someone else, somewhere else. When Peter heard the news, he ran two miles back to his mother's house at Woodseats, which is now in the south-west of Sheffield. Entering the house he smashed a hole in the ceiling, climbed up and hid there, refusing to come out. He was still there 14 years later, when two travellers came looking for the famous "Maniac of Woodseats". Peter was found crouched under the roof, utterly unkempt, and with atrophied muscles from having sat in the same position for so long. When asked the cause of his distress Peter answered, "No greater grief, no mickle pain, than for to love and not be loved again". The travellers published a pamphlet with a drawing of Peter that you can see on the cover. The story was published in Active8 and Dronfield Eye magazines in 2012. As I live on what could easily have been the site of Peter's cottage, I couldn't not write the song.
Andy Whitehouse, 2016.


Peter Raeney
Peter Raeney, lost his heart and his mind
He's standing at the alter of Dronfield church, waiting for his bride
Mary Jones, but she has been untrue
She's gone forever into another man's arms, not even a word to you.

No greater grief, no mickle pain than for to love, and not be loved again,
Peter Raeney

He has run, all down the Sheffield road
Red faced with shame, crying her name, heart breaking with the load
Of shattered dreams. Now he's hiding in the eves
Refusing to speak, refusing to eat, refusing to ever leave

No greater grief, no mickle pain than for to love and not be loved again,
Peter Raeney

And there he's hid for fourteen years
Staring into the darkness, blinded by his tears.
Chained to heartbreak, so tight he cannot move
His body is still breathing but his heart has died for love

No greater grief, no mickle pain than for to love and not be loved again,
Peter Raeney.


released June 22, 2016
Words and music: Andy Whitehouse
Arranged: The band



all rights reserved


The Silver Darlings Sheffield, UK

The Silver Darlings 2011 album “Souls” was regarded as “music to make you feel better” by Americana UK and drew favourable reviews from such as legendary singer/writer Martin Stephenson “beautiful”, Dolly Varden’s Steve Dawson “a unique, engaging voice” and Geoff Berner “cliché free songwriting”. ... more

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