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Copper John

from Americana by LILLI LEWIS @folkrockdiva

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Lilli Lewis' third recording with iconic indie producer Mark Bingham "Americana" on compact disc in a 6 panel digipack with lyrics

    Includes unlimited streaming of Americana via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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The people on the other side of the pronouns in this song were the folks who prostelized to me when I ran away from home to figure out how to sing my songs. We were all homeless, but I was the baby girl, fertile and green… My cup was not yet full and my mind was not yet broken, so the elders would speak in parables to make my path feel more like a quest than a promise. This pattern started in Boston, but followed me wherever I moved, even in New Orleans, though I moved here long after I had a home. I met Copper John lived around Little Five Points in Atlanta when my keyboard wasn’t functioning on a night of what I considered an “important gig,” in the way that young musicians do. He saw that spirit had had about enough of me, so he made me sit down with him on the ground against the wall outside a venue that was then known as The 5 Spot, and he spoke to me in grounding tones, though I couldn’t understand much of what he said. He then let me read one of his notebooks, of which he carried many, while he made me a copper bracelet that he said I would need for my journey. I carried this lyric around for years, but it wasn’t until I knew to name it after him that the song would let me sing it.


In the city of unseen prophets
Just over the hill
There's an army of vagabond watchmen
At the citadel

In secret they walk among us
Hidden in plain view
But if they happen see something in us
They might reveal a thing or two

She told me I was trying to live easy
But I was living a lie
He told me I was lost in a forest
Where all the trees were dying

And the yellow eyed peaceful warrior
They call Copper John
Made an offering patient armor
To help me carry on

In the city of unseen prophets
No one’s ever alone
On the wind is a whispered wisdom
That rattles in your bones

If you're waiting for sunrise
And you meet at the dawn
Take your fill of the loving and
Pass it on

You know life is a suicide mission
It's just a question of why
Do it quick, do it slow, do it dirty
or don't even try

He's determined to figure out something
Touch the point of the fall
So he asks all the mystic masters
Why come back at all

He said you’re gonna need a peaceful lady
While you wait out the end
You got too much poison in your body
But she can build you again

You're a sea creature in stale waters
With the power in your blood
To make the angels sing about heaven
Here on earth as above

But let me tell you something honey
We all need to know
You can sing all you want of a brighter tomorrow
But now is all you've got so

If you're waiting for sunrise
And you meet at the dawn
Take your fill of the loving and
Pass it on


from Americana, released October 29, 2021
Richard Comeaux - Pedal Steel
Wade Hymel - Acoustic Guitar, Drums, Backing Vocals
Lilli Lewis - Piano
Bryan Webre - Electric Guitar, Bass


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LILLI LEWIS @folkrockdiva New Orleans, Louisiana

Lilli Lewis bears a progressive, provocative, and conscientious presence paired with a love for music that began before she composed her first song on the piano at age three, Lewis is a modern day Renaissance woman, who, when in full gear, conjures the likes of Big Mama Thornton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Odetta, and Janis Joplin. ... more

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