> The Copper Family > Songs > Brisk and Bonny Lad

The Country Lass / Brisk and Bonny Lad

[ Roud 606 ; Master title: The Country Lass ; Ballad Index K244 ; Bodleian Roud 606 ; GlosTrad Roud 606 ; Wiltshire 117 ; trad.]

Brisk and Bonny Lad is a song from the repertoire of the Copper Family. Bob and Jim Copper sang it in a BBC recording (BBC 16062) made by Brian George at the Central Club, Peacehaven, on 1 March 1951. This recording was included in 1955 (with the title The Contented Country Lad) on the anthology The Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive Music - Volume III: England and in 2001 on the Copper Family’s Topic anthology Come Write Me Down.

John Copper sang Brisk and Bonny Lad in a recording made in November 1957 for the BBC LP 26349.

Bob and John Copper recorded Brisk and Bonny Lad in 1971 for the Copper Family’s four-album box on the Leader label, A Song for Every Season.

Bob, Jill and John Copper and Jon Dudley sang Brisk and Bonny Lad in 1995 on their CD Coppersongs 2.

Jeff Wesley of Northamptonshire sang Brisk and Bonny Lad, in a recording made by John Howson in possibly 1988, as the title track of his Veteran cassette Brisk and Bonny Lad (VT 116). This track was also included in 1993 on the Veteran anthology CD of traditional folk music, songs and dances from England, Stepping It Out.


The Copper Family sings Brisk and Bonny Lad

I am a brisk and bonny lad and free from care and strife
And sweetly as the hours pass I love a country life.
At wake or fair I’m often there ’midst pleasure to be seen,
Though poor I am contented and as happy as a Queen.

I rise up in the morning my labour to pursue
And with my yoke and milking pails I trudge the morning dew.
My cows I milk and then I taste how sweet the nature yields,
The lark she sings to welcome me across the flowery fields.

And in the time of harvest how cheerfully we go,
Some with hooks and some with crooks and some with scythes to mow.
And when our corn is free from harm we have not far to roam,
We’ll all away to celebrate the welcome Harvest Home.


I copied the lyrics from the then Copper Family’s website; by now they seem to have been removed there.