Another of Bellamy’s settings of a Kipling poem of which Jon says, “A hell of a song this. Kipling lived in Rottingdean for many years and would almost certainly have come across the Copper family. Although this poem was written once he had moved to Batemans, it may be that the character of Hob could have been influenced by characters like James ‘Brasser’ Copper. As is sometimes the case with Kipling the sentiment does verge on patronising, but overall I think it comes down on the side of respect, deference and reverence for the old farming families of England.” I realise that Kipling can be controversial and not everyone approved of Bellamy’s bringing him into the folk fold, but I’d also say that Kipling nails his colours to the mast of this poem with the verse…
Georgii Quinti Anno Sexto, I, who own the River-field, / Am fortified with title-deeds, attested, signed and sealed, / Guaranteeing me, my assigns, my executors and heirs / All sorts of powers and profits which are neither mine nor theirs.
The details of the passing ownership, so gleefully documented are an irrelevance as Hob, an ever-present force in tune with the arcane laws of nature, is the only one fit to be called master. Those more sage than I might have more to say on the Kipling conundrum, but as a poem and then as a song, this is brilliant and it fills me with joy! You can of course Mudcat away here.
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