#01917
Copper And Silver (MacEdward Leach)

When I was a youngster and started to roam,
My mother said, now, boy, before you leave home,
My advice I will give you on the best thing to do,
Is save just a copper each week from the few.

For your coppers may grow unto silver,
Your silver will grow unto gold;
It's this you will find very useful,
To help you, my boy, when you're old.

And when you have travelled
and seen all through life,
Don't never be bashful in taking a wife;
For a wife is a comfort to a man, I must say,
And all will go well if you work the right way.

And the dear one you'll marry don't never neglect,
For she will look on you always with respect;
Your trials and troubles you'll share with your wife,
And all will go well on your journey through life.

For when you have money
your friends will come 'round,
And when you haven't any they're hard to be found;
Keep your head above water, my boy, if you can,
And all will go well if you follow my plan.

For your coppers may grow unto silver,
Your silver will grow unto gold;
It's this you will find very useful,
To help you, my boy, when you're old.

####.... Jim Smith ©1928 ....####

Collected in 1951 from Francis (Frank) Knox [1918-?] of St Shott's, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Excerpts from an image on the record sleeve of a British recording at 45cat:

Sung at Christmas during the 1920s in every Birmingham pub, cinema, theatre and dance hall, bookmaker Jim Smith's song helped thousands of needy kids by raising thousands of pounds for the Birmingham Mall Christmas Tree Fund. But it faded away with World War II and the composer's death.

In 1988, 60 years after being composed, a fluke rediscovered it. Research by Harry Hawkes of The Birmingham Post & Mail led to Jim Smith's family, including his 91-year-old widow, still living near the city. Through them Hawkes located the original sheet music and, with the Christmas Tree Fund celebrating its centenary year, it was decided to revive and record the song.

Midland comedian and singer Malcolm Stent provided the vocal, Gordon Giltrap the arrangement and instrumental backing, and a choir of local children from Grestone Junior School, Handsworth Wood, sang the chorus. The record was made with the following note:

Every penny from the sale of this record and royalties from its playing will be donated to the Birmingham Mall Christmas Tree Fund.


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