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Copper Family

DigiTrad:
ADMIRAL BENBOW (2)
BIRDS IN THE SPRING
BOLD GENERAL WOLFE (3)
CHARMING MOLLY
COME ALL YOU BOLD BRITONS
COME WRITE ME DOWN
CUPID'S GARDEN
DAME DURDEN
DRAWING NEARER TO THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY
DRIVE SORROWS AWAY
FOX WENT OUT (Den-O)
GOOD ALE
HARD TIMES OF OLD ENGLAND
HONEST LABOURER
INNOCENT HARE
LARK IN THE MORNING
MONTH OF MAY
OH MY LOVE IS GONE (Sussex)
OLD ADAM
OLD THRESHING SONG
PRETTY BABES IN THE WOOD
ROSE IN JUNE (2)
SHEEP-SHEARING SONG
SHEPHERD OF THE DOWNS
SPENCER THE ROVER
SPRING GLEE
STORMY WINDS
SWEET NANCY
THE BRISK AND LIVELY LAD
THE FORSAKEN MERMAID
THE MOLECATCHER
THE OLD SONGS
THE SEASONS ROUND
THRESHING SONG
TWANKY DILLO
TWO YOUNG BRETHREN
WARLIKE SEAMEN
WHEN JONES'S ALE WAS NEW (3)
WOP-SHE-AD-IT
YOU GENTLEMEN OF HIGH REKNOWN


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Bill D 08 Feb 98 - 12:18 AM
Charlie Baum 08 Feb 98 - 03:47 AM
KC King 08 Feb 98 - 07:12 AM
Bill D 08 Feb 98 - 11:15 AM
Bruce O. 08 Feb 98 - 12:47 PM
Art Thieme 08 Feb 98 - 12:54 PM
Martin Ryan 08 Feb 98 - 06:39 PM
Barry Finn 08 Feb 98 - 07:32 PM
Charlie Baum 08 Feb 98 - 10:54 PM
Paul Stamle 10 Feb 98 - 01:37 AM
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Subject: Copper Family
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Feb 98 - 12:18 AM

I just got home (here in the Wash. DC area) from a concert by the singing Copper Family of England...and it is one of those events that I want to shout about to the world...and here is this forum!! I have heard them on records and tapes for years, but they are so wonderful in person. If they come anywhere near you on this tour, take the opportunity to go! Bob Copper is 82 now, and though he seems to be healthy and in great voice, one never knows. The really nice thing is that in the large folkie community here, there a lot of us that knew their songs, and they were so happy to find people actually singing some of them. Now I get to head off to bed with the voice of Bob Copper leading 150 people in "Oh, Good Ale" running thru my head. I do love this stuff!!!


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Subject: RE: Copper Family
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 08 Feb 98 - 03:47 AM

I still haven't gotten to sleep, and it's much later! I heard them too. Besides the wonderful songs, which you could probably hear on a recording, there is the wonderful sense of humor and the family history that goes into the introductions.

They mentioned that they were doing a gig in Missouri, and then would be at the Folk Allilance Conference in Memphis, Tenn.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Copper Family
From: KC King
Date: 08 Feb 98 - 07:12 AM

To join in the chorus, I'd add that a part of their absolute magic is the easy, relaxed tempo in which they presented their songs. Not hurried and with plenty of time to find a harmonious bit. Wonderful, honest singing without being over-theatrical at any point. Wow!

The only down side was that they, including Bob at 82, must have gone through 3 or more pints each on stage just as if they were sitting round in their local while the audience was dry. And we call that civilized? Do we or do we not need a better grade of folk venues and taverns?


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Subject: RE: Copper Family
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Feb 98 - 11:15 AM

Ah, K.C., you & I both remember when half the audience used to bring their own potables to concerts in that hallowed hall! I 'almost' did last night...I wonder what has changed? We can even buy decent beers & ales these days without driving for an hour to find something besides Bud Lite or Iron City...perhaps we also need a better, (and more resolved) grade of audience!


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Subject: RE: Copper Family
From: Bruce O.
Date: 08 Feb 98 - 12:47 PM

Somehow I missed note of the Copper family's concert. Here's the original of one of their songs, "The Merry Haymakers". Newly collected as a traditional song as recently as 1972. Indent even numbered lines below.]

The Country peoples Felicity.
Or, A brief Description of Pleasure.

Shewing the ready way of sweet content,
By them that ply their work with merriment,
They eat, they drink, they work, and sport at pleasure
They pipe and dance, when time and place give leasur,

To a dainty new tune, called The Hay-Makers Mask.

Down in a meadow
the river running clear,
All in the month of July,
the prime of the year,
Where many a pretty little fish,
within the Brook did play,
And many a Lad, and Many a lass,
abroad were making hay.

In came the Sithes-men,
to mow the Meddow down,
With their Bags aand Bottles,
and Ale that was so Brown,
The labouring men with courage bold,
to each other did reply,
Let's work, and blow, and stifly mow
the Grass cuts very dry.

Then nimble Tib and Thomas
with pitchfork and with Rake,
Came in the merry Meddow green,
the Hay in Cocks to make.
Where each one ply'd their labour,
and did no whit repine,
The gentle wind blew fair and cool,
the Sun did cleerly shine.

Mary, Bess and Nanny,
in Scarlet Petticoats,
Kept singing at their labors,
with sweet and pleasant noats,
Sweet jug, jug, jug, jug, jug, jug, jug,
the Nightingale did sing,
Whose noble voice, made all rejoyce;
as they were Hay-making.

Then Robin, Ned, and Richard,
being in a merry vain,
To further the Hay-making,
run nimbly over the Plain,
And came into the Meddow,
with courage and delight,
And ply'd their business stoutly,
whilst Phoebus shined bright.

Rowland and sweet William,
and John upon that day,
Brought pretty Kate and Bridget,
to help them make the Hay.
Fair Margaret, Sue and Francis,
they stayd not long behind,
But for to todd and turn the Hay,
they were every one inclin'd.

Now when those Lads and Lasses
were all together that day,
In that same gallant Meddow,
a making of the Hay:
They ply'd their work so closely,
and labored so compleat,
Until the pretty Maidens brown,
did drop a pace with sweat.

The young-men in like manner,
drew forth Handherchiefs then,
To wipe the Maidens faces,
like loving hearted men.
No hurt was done amongst them,
but now and then a kisse,
The young-men gave their sweet-hearts
you know no harm's in this.

At last bright Phoebus,
the Sun was going down
A merry disposed Piper,
approached from the Town.
And with his Pipe and Tabor,
he did so trimly play.
So that they all laid down their Tools,
and left off making Hay.

The each took his Sweet heart,
their fortunes to advance,
John with Nell, and Nan with Will,
and Tib with Tom did dance,
No rare nor braver pastime
could be under the Sun,
Then from the morn to evening
was in the Meddow done.

Now thus much for the Countrey folks
I dare be bold to say,
Which in the merry Meddow,
that time were making Hay;
No ill act was committed,
nor no ill businesse wrought,
Would every one in London were,
as pure in Deed and Thought:

Some of you London Lasses,
flants up and doown in jags,
With Copper Lace, and painted face;
silk Scarfs, and gay black Bags:
In my mind are not so wholsom,
so handsome nor so fair:
As are the Countrey Damsels plain
that nere such toyes did wear.

FINIS L[aurence]. P[rice].

[Entered in the Stationers' Register Marhc 12, 1656] In a manuscript in the Bodlein Library are 3 verses, the 1st two bing the first two above, and the last being:

'Salt sessons all things! quoth Salomon the wise;
And she that has a fatt [c-t] would make a [p-k] rise;
But she that hath a leane one
and never a jot of hair,-
The divell take her napping,
As Moss did his mare.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Feb 98 - 12:54 PM

Howdy again: 60s, 70s, 80s---The only places to play these songs was in bars & some coffee houses. The brew flowed free then. Now those same folks have grown up,got computer jobs, got married with children and get to bed early. That means more wholesome places to listen. Here that means the Fox Valley Folk Festival in the hi-tech corridor west of Chicago on an island in the middle of the Fox River--Geneva, Il. I'm even further out now--in Peru, Il. Medically there's "No More Booze" any longer--a good song that! Also, Larry Penn wrote a wonderful one recently called "The Whiskey's Gone"(Left Me Here To Sing This Song). Must start a new thread on songs about NOT drinking. Yep, ulcers can do that!But I still sneak one once in a while. Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Copper Family
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 08 Feb 98 - 06:39 PM

Has any of the Copper repertoire been put on CD? Particularly the early stuff? I have a vague memory of problems with the rights.

Also can I start a hare and ask for thoughts on the difference between their all-male and later, mixed lineups?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Copper Family
From: Barry Finn
Date: 08 Feb 98 - 07:32 PM

I saw them many yrs back ( all male ) they were great, heard them maybe 2 yrs back, (multi generational-multi sex) they were great. never been better. They tryed to set up the stage kitchen party or pub house style (I think to refelect the natural environment they sing in), the only thing they could've done to emprove it would've been to ask us to sit at the same table & share a pint. Yrs back a bunch of us used to gather at a bar in Brookline Village, Mass, & if enough singers/musicians happened in, a session that everyone else could join in on, would get rolling, pub style, that's what seeing the Copper Family, this last go round reminded me of. Barry


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Subject: RE: Copper Family
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 08 Feb 98 - 10:54 PM

At the concert Saturday night, the Coppers had available a CD featuring, I believe, the current group: Bob (aged 82), his daughter Jill and son and son-in-law Jon and John. (Or is it John and Jon?)

They made mention that the NEXT generation of Coppers has taken up the singing tradition as well: 6 of Bob's grandchildren, aged 19 to 31 (or so), who sang at the National Folk Festival in England and on the BBC.

One of the grandchildren is going to music school, but we were re-assured that "it wouldn't get in the way of the music." :-)


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Subject: RE: Copper Family
From: Paul Stamle
Date: 10 Feb 98 - 01:37 AM

I was at the Missouri concert, and it was as grand as the Washington one, from the sound of it. The storytelling was, to my ear, as fine as the singing -- and that means magnificent. The history they went through...referring to an ancestor having been in the right place to look out over the cliffs and see the ships going to meet the Spanish Armada. And while one would never call the performance "theatrical", there's no question that Bob and Jo(h)n, who did most of the talking, know exactly how much pause to put into a story before the punchline.

It was also fascinating to see how Bob Copper dealt with a politically delicate question: the verse in "Oh, Good Ale" that goes:

"And if my wife should me despise 'Tis then I'd give her two (black eyes)"

He dropped dead silent for the words in parentheses (which an audience member filled in), looked up in the sky with an apologetic gesture and said something like, "Sorry, God, it's in the song", then proceeded to the next line. A masterful way of distancing himself from something that's now unacceptable while putting it into proper context. That's a very hard tightrope to walk when you sing songs from another time, and he did it perfectly.

This goes on my list of concerts that I'll remember all my life. You folks who are going to Folk Alliance -- don't let *anything* stop you from seeing these people!

Peace. Paul


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