Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

The COPPER FAMILY Songbook

copper songbookThe Copper Family Songbook – A Living Tradition – contains the words and music of 65 songs from the Copper Family repertoire, augmented by Bob’s own illustrations, archive photographs and introduction to the background of the songs by Bob Copper. Strictly limited edition, wire-bound so that it lies flat. Matt laminated to make the cover beer-resistant! A beautiful reprint of the original 1995 publication is now available for sale –  £15 plus postage.

Jon Dudley’s Introduction to the collection can be read here: Introduction

Copper Family Songbook : A Living Tradition
Paperback: 128 pages; 2015 edition
Publisher: Coppersongs



VARIOUS ARTISTS Sing, Say and Play – Traditional Songs & Music from Suffolk TSDL375

TSDL375By the time of the release of this 1978 Topic album, the musical evenings in pubs in the district around Woodbridge in East Suffolk had long been diminished due to the popularity of television and the ability for easy travel to new entertainments, but the tradition had gained recognition through the recordings of singers like Jumbo Brightwell, Jimmy Knights and Dick Woolnough, as well as musicians like Fred Pearce, Eely Whent and Albert Smith, and Keith Summers presented some of the best of those performers and songs on this album.

    1. The Blacksmith’s Daughter Jumbo Brightwell
    2. Ratcliff Highway Jimmy Knights
    3. The Barn Dance (Woodland Flowers) Fred Pearce
    4. Cock of the North Fred Pearce
    5. The London Prentice Boy Dick Woolnough
    6. The Next Tune Tonight – Turkey in the Straw Albert Smith/Eely Whent
    7. The Banks of the Nile Jumbo Brightwell
    8. Out With My Gun in the Morning Jimmy Knights
    9. Old Country Waltz Eely Whent
    10. Pigeon on the Gate Fred Pearce
    11. Strolling Down to Hastings Alien Stollery
    12. The Fellow Who Played The Trombone Jimmy Knights
    13. Sailor’s Hornpipe Medley Eely Whent
    14. The Oak and the Ash Jumbo Brightwell
    15. The Jolly Tinker Billy Bolton
    16. Two Step Eely Whent
    17. Yarmouth Hornpipe Fred Pearce
    18. The Parson’s Creed Jumbo Brightwell
    19. Marrowbones Jimmy Knights
    20. Golden Slippers Fred Pearce
    21. The Chinaman’s Song Alien Stollery
    22. Old Brown in the Rose and Crown/Red River Valley/Pigeon on the Gate Albert Smith
    23. Polka Medley: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 The Bells of Love Jingle Bells  Eely Whent

Recorded by Keith Summers

Production by Keith Summers and Tony Engle

First issued by Topic Records 1978

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THE HOUSE BAND Pacific TSDL445

TSDL445After a long European and New Zealand tour in 1985/6, the original line-up of The House Band disbanded, and Chris Parkinson and Ged Foley formed a new group with Brian Brooks and John Skelton. This line-up recorded ‘Pacific’ for Topic in 1987, with the band touring America extensively in the late 1980s and 1990s.

  1. PACIFIC
  2. DIAMANTINA DROVER
  3. JOY AFTER SORROW
  4. IN AT THE DEEP END
  5. OLD MAN RIVER
  6. THE PIT STANDS IDLE
  7. GOING PLACES
  8. FOR THE SAKE OF EXAMPLE
  9. BLAZING RUSE

Produced by The House Band and David Kenny

First issued by Topic Records 1987

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THE HOUSE BAND The House Band TSDL439

TSDL439The House Band’s first album, and the first of three for Topic, this was recorded in January 1985, just before a long European tour for the band that year, and a tour of New Zealand at the end of the year and into 1986.   They played original and traditional compositions in a Celtic/British folk style, with influences from reggae, country, pop, jazz and world music.

1 The Tornado Two-Step – The Cooper – The Woodpecker
2 Here’s The Tender Coming
3 Major Harrison’s Fedora
4 War Party – Lost Night
5 An Erminig Hag An Greskenn – The Anti-Social Worker
6 The Pitman’s Grievance
7 E I Ah Could Hew
8 Green Fields of Canada –The Amalgamation
9 Cawsand Bay
10 The Swallowstail – Lady Charlotte Campbell’s – Gordon Campbell’s “Mess”

First issued by Topic Records 1985

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BOB COPPER BOOKS

Bob Books  2015012134_TTS3N5

We are very proud to have Bob Copper books in stock and for sale from this website.

A Song For Every Season – new CopperSongs reprint of Bob’s award-winning book.

A Man Of No Consequence – Bob Copper’s final book, CopperSongs’ posthumous publication.

The Copper Family Songbook – A beautiful reprint of the original 1995 publication.

Please follow the links for further details.



THE GAUGERS Beware of the Aberdonian TSDL284

TSDL284Formed on New Year’s Day, 1974, The Gaugers comprised Peter Hall, Tom Spiers and Arthur Watson. The Gaugers dispensed a heady distillate of 100 per cent proof North-East spirit. So fundamental was their commitment to the rich yet underexploited wealth of song from Buchan and wider Aberdeenshire, that Arthur Watson, once declared in an interview that “anything from south of Stonehaven would be considered ‘World Music’.

  1. Young Jackie Peter vocal/concertina, Tom fiddle, Arthur whistle
  2. The Cruel Brother Tom vocal/fiddle, Arthur dulcimer, Peter vocal
  3. Monymusk Lads Arthur vocal, Tom fiddle, Peter concertina
  4. The Keys to the Cellar/Go to Berwick, Johnnie Tom fiddle, Arthur whistle/dulcimer, Peter concertina
  5. The Lass o’ the Moorland Hills Peter vocal, Tom fiddle
  6. The Bonny Lass o’ Anglesey Arthur vocal, Tom fiddle, Peter concertina
  7. Sleep Sound in the Morning/Donald Blue Tom fiddle, Peter concertina, Arthur dulcimer/bodhran
  8. The Aberdonian Tom vocal, Peter vocal/baritone concertina, Arthur vocal/whistle
  9. Lochaber No More Tom fiddle, Arthur whistle, Peter concertina
  10. The Minister’s Sheep Peter vocal, Arthur and Tom chorus
  11. Bogie’s Bonnie Belle Tom vocal, Peter concertina, Arthur whistle
  12. The Ewie wi’ the Crookit Horn/The Jolly Shepherd/Polly Stewart Tom fiddle, Arthur whistle, Peter concertina
  13. The Scranky Black Farmer Arthur vocal, Tom fiddle, Peter concertina

Recorded by Tony Engle

First issued by Topic Records 1976

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BOB COPPER ~ A Song For Every Season

a song for..Reprint of Bob Copper’s award-winning A Song For Every Season. First published in 1971 A Song For Every Season – one hundred years in the life of a Sussex farming family – contains the words and music of forty-seven songs from the Copper Family repertoire with Bob’s stories of his family and of rural life in Sussex, month by month, with illustrations, photographs and reflections. It won the Robert Pitman literature prize in the year of its first publication.

“A Song for Every Season” has been out of print for some time, but has now been reprinted. A new Copper Songs paperback edition, with the original cover and contents, it is available for sale –  £15 plus p&p.

A Song For Every Season
Author: Bob Copper
Paperback: 288 pages; 2014 edition
Publisher: Coppersongs



JOHN REA Traditional Music on the Hammer Dulcimer TSDL373

TSDL373John Rea and his five brothers were all taught to play the fiddle by their father, but in 1924 a dulcimer was made for John, and that became his instrument. His father was a big influence on John’s repertoire, and many of the tunes he played had Scottish roots, in common with much of the music played by Antrim traditional musicians.

1 Highlands: Whistle o’er the Lave o’t/The Braes of Tulimet and reel: Scudding Through the Whins
2 Jigs: Bundle and Go/The Jug o’ Punch
3 Reels: The Galway Reel/Dinny O’Brien’s Reel
4 Jigs: The Ladies of France/Jackson’s Trip to Aughrim/Jackson’s Return from Dover
5 Hornpipes: The Belfast Hornpipe/The Rights of Man
6 Reels: The Sailor on the Rope/The Bonny Bunch of Roses
7 Set Dance: The Three Sea Captains
8 Jig and Strathspey: Kitty’s Fancy/Lady Anne Hope
9 Reels: The Boys of Ballycastle/The Five Mile Heat
10 Hornpipes: The Mountain Hornpipe/ The Kingston Hornpipe
11 Jigs: The Kinnegad Slashers/The Tenpenny Bit
12 Hornpipe and Jig: The Plains of Boyle/Jackson’s Slippers
13 Reels: Roaring Mary/Tim Moloney
14 Set Dance and Highland: St. Patrick’s Day/Duncan Davidson

Produced and recorded by Robin Morton, August 1977.

First issued by Topic Records 1979.

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BOB COPPER ~ A Man Of No Consequence

a man of..This is Bob Copper’s final book, which had been completed and edited at the time of his death in 2004. This volume fills in the many gaps left by his previous works. It provides a charming and detailed account of his life as a peacetime soldier in the Lifeguards between the wars, and his wartime service as Coroners Officer in Worthing during WW2. It also covers the early days of the English Folk Revival and subsequent involvement in the folk scene. His postwar career as a publican is related with some hilarious anecdotes.

Not only for Copper Family ‘completists’, this book provides a valuable social history of the life of a Southern English countryman from the 1930s to the present day. An insight into what made this remarkable self-taught hero of the English traditional music scene tick, this is a beautifully-written memoir. Highly recommended! You can purchase the book, for £15 plus postage.

 

A Man of No Consequence
Author: Bob Copper
Paperback: 246 pages; 1st edition (2013)
Publisher: Coppersongs



THE CHEVIOT RANTERS Cheviot Barn Dance TSDL245

TSDL245Cheviot Barn Dance is the third recording of The Cheviot Ranters Country Dance Band on Topic. As with their previous records The Sound of the Cheviots (12TS214) and The Cheviot Hills (12TS222) it is a programme of old time and country dances. Formed in 1955, the Cheviot Ranters were arguably the most distinguished and authentic of the English folk dance bands and grew out of the monthly meetings of the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society.

  1. DASHING WHITE SERGEANT: Original; Rakes of Mallow; Catherine’s Reel
  2. CALL OF THE PIPES: Barren Rocks of Aden; Sweet Maid of Glendaruch; The Earl of Mansfield
  3. NOTTINGHAM SWING: Marquis o’ Lorne; Showman’s Fancy; Beggar Boy
  4. MILITARY TWO STEP: I do like to be beside the seaside; Here we are again; Mademoiselle from Armentieres; Hello, hello, who’s your lady friend
  5. SWEDISH MASQUERADE: Original
  6. LUCKY SEVEN: Davy Davy Knick Knack; Toland Dance; Aiken Drum
  7. LA RUSSE: Original; Good Humour; Come let us dance and sing
  8. KEEL ROW: Original; There’s nae luck aboot the hoose; Castles in the Air
  9. BRIDGE OF ATHLONE: The frost is all over; Pet of the Pipers; Smash the Windows
  10. CIRCLE WALTZ: We parted on the shore; I belong to Glasgow; Oh Oh Antonio; Peggy O’Neill
  11. CHEVIOT RANT: Original; Cloudy Crags; Traditional Air
  12. POLKA: The Brownieside Polka

First issued by Topic Records 1974

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GARY & VERA ASPEY Seeing Double TSDL407

photoGary & Vera Aspey’s 1979 album was their last for Topic, continuing the effective combination of sensitive instrumentation from Vera with well-matched vocals from them both.

1. Seeing Double
2. My Good-Looking Man
3. Miss Tickle Toby
4. The Dowie Dens of Yarrow
5. The Cruise of the Calibar
6. Hounds and Horn Together
7. The Bolinder Boatman
8. The Testimony of Patience Kershaw
9. July Wakes
10. Knocker-Upper Man
11. The Price of Coal
12. The Coal and Albert Berry

Produced by Tony Engle

First issued by Topic 1979.

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VERA ASPEY The Blackbird TSDL356

TSDL356Vera Aspey’s 1977 solo LP garnered lavish praise on release, Maurice Rosenbaum of the Daily Telegraph declaring it one of his albums of the year. A selection of mostly traditional material, with one Gary and Vera Aspey original and an Alfred Noyes poem set to the music of Phil Ochs, this album showcased Vera’s range and talent to stunning effect.

1. The Blackbird
2. Owd Betty Barlow
3. Ladybird
4. The Maypole Inn
5. The Pit Brow Lassies
6. My Johnny Was a Shoemaker
7. Coal Black Faces
8. The Highwayman
9. Shule Agra
10. Aggie Bell
11. The Sprig of Thyme

Produced by Tony Engle.

First issued by Topic Records 1977.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS Owdham Edge – Popular song & verse from Lancashire TSDL204

TSDL204Until Topic Records featured Harry Boardman singing six Lancashire songs on the 1965 LP ‘New Voices’, available recordings of songs with their roots in the North West of England were scarce. The growing demand for such material led to the release of ‘Deep Lancashire’ in 1968 and then, in 1970, ‘Owdham Edge’, featuring Harry Boardman once again, as well as the first recordings by one Mike Harding.

  1. Sam Shuttle and Betty Reedhook sung by Harry Boardman (banjo), acc. Lesley Boardman (mandolin) & Bob Diehl (fiddle)
  2. Owdham Edge sung by John Howarth and The Oldham Tinkers (with banjo, mandolin and guitar)
  3. Our Sarah’s Getten’ A Chap sung by John Howarth and The Oldham Tinkers (with banjo, mandolin and guitar)
  4. The Miners’ Lock-Out sung by Harry Boardman (banjo); acc. Lesley Boardman (tenor banjo) & Mike Harding (Jews Harp)
  5. Street Scene recited by Harvey Kershaw
  6. Pounds, Shillings and Pence sung by Tim and Robin Boardman, leading into Down at our School sung by The Oldham Tinkers (with banjo, mandolin and guitar)
  7. The Little Piecer sung by Dave Brooks (concertina)
  8. Sammy Shuttleworth sung by Mike Harding (concertina), acc. Bernard Wrigley (bass concertina) & John Tenent (tenor horn)
  9. Bowton’s Yard sung by Harry Boardman (banjo) acc. Lesley Boardman (tenor banjo) & Bob Diehl (fiddle)
  10. Toddlin’ Whoam sung by Larry Kearns (guitar)
  11. The Bard’s Reformation sung by Harry Boardman (banjo), acc. Lesley Boardman (tenor banjo) & Bob Diehl (fiddle)
  12. Schoolyard Song sung by Harry Ogden (guitar), acc. Ian Hope (fiddle)
  13. Nobbut a Cockstride Away sung by Mary Kershaw acc. Harvey Kershaw (piano)
  14. Billy Suet’s Song sung by Harry Boardman (concertina)
  15. Canute sung by The Oldham Tinkers (with banjo, tin whistle and guitar)
  16. Our Bill sung by Bernard Wrigley (guitar)

Recorded by Sean Davies

First issued by Topic Records 1970

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PETA WEBB I Have Wandered In Exile TSDL223

TSDL223Peta Webb’s 1973 LP for Topic came after great interest in her work with Oak; this album showcases her individual vocal style, with songs learned from some of the great Irish traditional singers, Brigid Tunney, Winnie Ryan and John Docherty among them.

  1. I have wandered in exile  with Lucy Farr, fiddle
  2. Oxford City
  3. The Moorlough Shore
  4. The Blackbird of Avondale with Lucy Farr, fiddle; Reg Hall, melodeon
  5. Blackwater Side
  6. The Pride of Glencoe with Michael Plunkett, fiddle
  7. I am a poor girl
  8. Moorlough Mary
  9. The Lovely Banks of Lea with Lucy Farr, fiddle

Recorded by Tony Engle

First issued by Topic Records 1973

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CHRIS FOSTER Layers TSDL329

TSDL329Chris Foster was born in Somerset. It is there that he first heard and started singing traditional songs. He trained as an artist at the Norwich, then Chelsea Schools of Art. His professional “break” came in the early 1970s when a music agent spotted him singing at Dingles Folk Club in London. This led to eight years as a professional solo folk singer/guitarist.

He recorded two, highly regarded albums in the late 1970s: “Layers” (1977) and “All Things in Common” (1979), both on Topic Records. Both featured mainly traditional songs with often complex fingerstyle accompaniments on a Fylde acoustic guitar.

  1. The Ranter
  2. The Coast of Peru
  3. Worcester City
  4. Glastonbury Town
  5. Lady Maisry
  6. Jack the Sailor
  7. The Golden Glove
  8. When a Man’s in Love
  9. The Buxom Lass
  10. The Flower of Serving Men
  11. The Banks of Newfoundland

Recorded and produced by Tony Engle

First issued by Topic Records 1977

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CHRIS FOSTER All Things in Common TSDL391

TSDL391The second of Chris Foster’s highly regarded Topic albums. Chris Foster is a master of his trade. Alongside Nic Jones, Dick Gaughan and June Tabor, he established himself in the 1970s as one of the finest interpreters of the traditional ballads of the British Isles with tales of romance, magic, murder, liquor, love, adultery and cross dressing.

‘As one who has witnessed the development of ‘English’ guitar accompaniment to traditional songs, I have always ranked Chris as one of our most exciting interpreters…. My old vinyl copies of his 2 Topic albums remain precious. Chris remains a consummate artist.’   Graham Lobb – The Living Tradition.

  1. Black Fox
  2. Low Down in the Broom
  3. Grey Cock
  4. Pigeon on the Gate
  5. Unicorns
  6. King John and the Abbot of Canterbury
  7. Jump at the Sun
  8. The Working Chap
  9. When This Old Hat Was New
  10. The World Turned Upside Down

Record produced by Tony Engle

First issued by Topic Records 1979

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RINGING STRINGS Fiddle Music of Norway-Shetland TSDL429

TSDL429The selections on this record reflect a certain affinity between Norwegian and Shetland musical traditions: a kind of musical bridge over the North Sea. These are conventional recordings, without gimmicks, intended to deepen the appreciation of this unique fiddle music from Northern Europe. This fiddling style is rich in tone-colours, original sounds and lively rhythms. Listeners with a good will and a sense of exploration will come across many fascinating finds.

1     HAUGELATTEN (The Tune from the Hills) Hauk and Knut Buen
2     SELJORD BRIDAL MARCH Tom Anderson with Hauk and Knut Buen
3     GRAVBAKKEN (The Grave Yard) Vidar Lande
4     FILLE-VERN (Ragged-Vern) – walking dance Vidar Lande
5     SORDALEN (Setesdalgangar) Vidar Lande
6     MAGGIE O’HAM (Foula Shaalds Dance) Tom Anderson and Knut Buen with Debbie Scott and Catriona MacDonald
7     PRESTEGANGAREN (The Parson’s Dance) Hauk Buen
8     FYKERUDEN (Homage to Fykerud) Hauk Buen
9     MARKENSMANDAGEN (The Market-Monday) Hauk Buen
10   KNUT LURASEN I (Hjerki Haukeland) Knut Buen
11   MARGIT HJUKSE (Listening Tune) Knut Buen
12   SIRI RUKAREN (Fiddler’s Wife) Hauk Buen
13   BOKKOEN (Dance tune by Bokko) Hauk Buen
14   UNST BRIDAL MARCH/DA BRIDE’S A BOANNIE TING Tom Anderson and Knut Buen
15   HOMSLIEN (Tune of the Goblins) Vidar Lande
16   SKRUBBEN (The Wolf) Vidar Lande
17   NORAFJELLS (North of the Mountains) Vidar Lande

Recorded in Edinburgh, Jondalen and Oslo

First issued by Topic Records 1983

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JOHN REILLY The Bonny Green Tree TSDL359

thebonnygreentree_12t359A man who did not read or write but who was one of the most learned men to grace the roads of Ireland. John Reilly now lies with his mother in an un-marked grave in the cemetery of Ballaghadereen. But he has here a memorial more fitting than stone. The songs he loved and which were part of the very fabric of his existence still live on.

1. Adieu Unto All True Lovers
2. The Raggle Taggle Gypsy
3. The Well Below the Valley
4. Tippin’ lt Up to Nancy
5. Lord Baker
6. Old Caravee
7. The Bonny Green Tree
8. Once There Lived a Captain
9. Peter Heany
10. What Put the Blood?
11. Rozzin Box
12. The Braes of Strawblane
13. One Morning I Rambled from Glasgow
14. The Pride of Cloonkeen

Produced by Tom Munnelly, Roly Brown and Tony Engle.

First issued by Topic Records 1978.

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