‘Johnny Cope’ in the Morning

As the witness of  many a man of the Highland regiments would attest, there is nothing like a rendering of ‘Johnny Cope’ by a pipe and drum band to wrest you from your  slumbers.

Shakespeare might have proclaimed that Macbeth does murder sleep but he has been overtaken by the times…for the murder of sleep ‘Johnny Cope’ is your man.

Needless to say, Youtube does not have a full rendering of the initial drumroll which, as Terry Pratchett says of the initial chord in folk dancing, is there to enable people to get away in time…

Mark you, I can run General Cope  a close second.

I caterwaul in the mornings as I go about my business.’Nessun dorma’ has nothing on it.

Not in the bathroom – the toothpaste gets in the way – but once I hit the kitchen the air is rendered hideous by my renderings of whatever musical number has taken my matutinal fancy. If you can imagine a coyote singing, you have the idea.

I am not particularly aware of my repertoire, but recently Leo presented me with a playlist: he had noted what he could recognise over the period of a week and I was quite surprised by the diversity of my unmusical offerings.

Oh! oh! Antonio’ keeps company with ‘Bonnie Strathyre’….

The Black Watch are hymned:

while Mozart is murdered.

‘La Claire Fontaine’

accompanies ‘Le temps de Cerises’

while ‘Le Reve Passe’

competes with ‘Oh du wunderschoner deutscher Rhein’ – and how someone whose conscious knowledge of German stops at ‘Achtung minen!’ can remember this lot is beyond me.

‘My mother bids me bind my hair’

follows ‘It was pleasant and delightful’

and ‘Stormy weather, boys’ here sung by that delightful old gentleman, Bob Roberts, who kept the legend of the Thames barges alive for so many years.

Ireland features…

while ‘dauntless Red Hugh’ was my father’s nickname among those who dared…

And I suppose it is my father I have to thank for putting music in my soul.

He sang from morn till night…unless immersed in study of the form for a five horse accumulator on the flat …everything from opera to folk with a great deal along the byways between….but he had a voice…a lovely tenor.

Though he used to joke that he must have been singing ‘I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls’ – that harbinger of ill luck – when betting on the horses…

The main thing I remember, though, is father coming downstairs, freshly shaven, ready to take mother out for the evening, singing

Given the staid sort of outing that was habitual I asked him why he sang it

‘Hope springs  eternal’ said father.


23 thoughts on “‘Johnny Cope’ in the Morning”

  1. What a great selection of music Helen. Just as well I have earphones at this time of the morning though.I can drool over Nana Mouskouri quietly.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  2. Oh! What a memory line you just tripped! My father was born in Gravesend and I never remember whether that made him a Man of Kent or a Kentishman.(It depends which side of the Medway)
    But he spent (mis-spent?) his apprenticeship youth on the Clyde.Just after the WW I, so as you might expect, some Scottish drollery featured.
    At “social evenings” at our house, after a few Spey Royals he was apt to launch into “Burlington Bertie” and wind up with “I Belong tae Glasgie”
    Me? Oh Anything and everything, from crucified opera to Italian romantic ballads to Maori songs…
    Can I sing? Um, no, but I can gie it a bloody guid try, lass!

    1. Father was in Glasgow post WWI….I wonder if their paths ever crossed at music hall talent nights where the audience arrived provided with ammunition and the management had a hook on a pole to remove the less talented performers before the stage was wrecked…

  3. What a great selection of mellifluous renderings at this time of the morning!
    A varied choice reflecting your broad appreciation of the world, your travels, your intellect and taste.
    Of course I canny hear you sing…
    In many jobs I have taken to singing but usually found the reception not an appreciative one. It appears I am not Matt Munro after all…

  4. Well done Leo for keeping track of your musical wife. I sadly cannot play the tracks on our slow French country WIFI but I know many of them and sang along myself, quietly, a coyote has nothing on me!!!!! I generally hum around the kitchen and I get asked what is that noise!!!!
    Keep well Diane

  5. My husband, who as a boy drove his family mad singing hymns as he went about his day (that he is an atheist makes for an interesting ponder) declares that he didn’t sing for decades and then he met me and I have released his inner voice once more. And some days I wish I hadn’t! I will not be showing him your repertoire out of pure fear that it will trigger more songs from deep inside him! Happy squawking to you! 🐔

  6. Great one to start Saturday! I love to sing. My husband-Can’t carry a musical instrument, let alone a tune. A couple of year ago I took a singing class — what I put my poor hubby through listening to me sing, “It’s a Wonderful World” 50 million times. I think I forever ruined that song for him. Again another day reading your great post put a smile on my face. Hope you southerners have a great weekend. 🙂

  7. I cannot carry a tune in a basket, as they say, but it has never stopped me. When I discovered folk music I became a kind of pariah, which effectively silenced me for many years. When I had no one around, though, I entertained the cats. Now my granddaughter hums incessantly. Other people ask her to stop, but I never have. I understand, and occasionally accompany her with a line of “O Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.”
    Happy mornings to you.

  8. My lifetime songlist is on cassettes. We do not have a player. We do not have the brains or kit to transfer them to CDs. Frustration sets in and I just sing in the car when on my own.
    Dinahmow’s dad was a Kentishman.

    1. Thanks for settling that…I have a friend from Kent and daren’t mention the vexed question for fear of getting it wrong..

      Technology! The curse of the thinking classes…

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