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Charming Molly

[ Roud 1213 ; Ballad Index CoSea242 ; trad.]

Charming Molly is a song from the Copper Family's repertoire, printed in The Copper Family Song Book. They sang it on the A Song for Every Season 4 LP box set, Bob Copper sang it on the CD Coppersongs 2: The Living Tradition of the Copper Family, and the Young Coppers on their CD Passing Out,

Peter Bellamy sang Charming Molly on June 22, 1971 live at the Folk Studio, Norwich. This concert was issued on his LP with Louis Killen, Won't You Go My Way?. He announced the song with these words:

This next song is one that I've heard from one singer and one singer only. But I expect many of you have heard it from this one singer because he sang it at the Norwich Folk Festival this year. The man is Bob Copper. It is an extraordinary song, could only have come from the Copper Family. Listen to the words of it and you see what I mean. A beautiful, whimsical, strange thing called Charming Molly.

Sally Killen sang Charming Molly unaccompanied in 1975 on her and Louis Killen's LP Bright Shining Morning. Louis Killen commented in the album's sleeve notes:

Sally learned this from Bob Copper's book, A Song for Every Season (Heineman, London, 1971). She thinks of this song as being, not just a praise of one woman, but glorifying the grace and beauty of all womankind.

Jon Boden sang Charming Molly as the May 16, 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.

Lyrics

Bob Copper sings Charming Molly

Charming Molly, fair, brisk and gay like nightingales in May
All round her eyelids young Cupids play,
She has eyes so bright they shine
Black as any berry, cheeks like any cherry.
Charming Molly with sparkling eyes.

See how the swain do admire and desire a pretty little girl,
To hold her hand it burns like sparkling fire,
In her face these things are seen,
Violets, roses, lilies and daffadown-dillies.
Charming Molly she is all divine.

Surely there's no one loves a pretty woman if she be not common
Surely such beauty most men admire,
Surely there's no one can them despise
Because they are so pretty and they talk so witty,
Charming Molly with sparkling eyes.

Peter Bellamy sings Charming Molly

Charming Molly, fair and brisk and gay like nightingales in May,
All round her eyelids young Cupids play.
She has eyes so bright they shine
As black as any berry, lips like any cherry.
Charming Molly with the sparkling eye.

See how the swains do admire and desire a pretty little woman,
To hold her hand it feels like sparkling fire.
In her face these things are seen,
Violets, roses, lilies, daffadown-dillies.
Charming Molly she is all divine.

Surely there's no one loves a pretty woman if she be not common, oh.
Surely there's no one can them despise
Surely there is no one can them despise
Because they look so pretty and they talk so witty,
Charming Molly with the sparkling eyes.