daniel couper

daniel couper

 Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
SoloFolkSinger/Songwriter

Traces of blues, rock, and pop mingle with strong folk influences in daniel couper's contemplatively honest and fervently hopeful songs.

Biography

An unapologetic admirer or lamb's ear and mismatched shoes, singer/songwriter daniel couper sings of hope in broken places and love in a violent world. With care-filled harmonies reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel and a dynamic intensity akin to contemporary Irish bards like Glen Hansard and Foy Vance, daniel's songs are bound together not so much by genre or style as by a shared vulnerability and sincerity.

Last year, daniel made his recording debut with the self-produced Bienvenu, a story of grace and tension told with the help of nearly sixty friends, including members of outstanding local acts such as Folk Soul Revival, Beth Snapp Band, Jake Quillin Band, and ETSU's Greyscale. In late August came the follow-up Epilogue EP, which contained five songs based on the works of literature that inspired Bienvenu. Currently, daniel is gathering several local artists, authors, and poets to create a companion book that gives deeper context and life to the tales told in both records. He aims to release the book in summer 2018.

Check out daniel couper if you like:

  • Simon & Garfunkel
  • Jon Foreman (of Switchfoot)
  • Glen Hansard
  • The Oh Hellos
  • Gregory Alan Isakov
  • Foy Vance
  • The Civil Wars
Contact: danielcoupermusic@gmail.com

Lyrics

Be Yourself and Love

Written By: daniel couper

Nothing ventured, nothing gained,
Here at the end of one more empty day;
And tomorrow's always just the same:
One more nothing on my resume.

I can't keep up with never-ending lists of
Stuff to do and folks to see,
Time to use and things to be, oh

Would you hurry up and slow down?
You don't gotta change the world;
You don't gotta be someone,
Just gotta be yourself and love.

My ambition's running wild,
Here at the start of one more sleepless night;
All the things I wish I'd tried,
All these dreams to live before I die.

I can't keep up with my own striving after
Fantasies of epic deeds,
Of great acclaim and living easy.

Would you hurry up and slow down?
You don't gotta change the world;
You don't gotta be someone,
Just gotta be yourself and love.

Simple Thing

Written By: daniel couper

Who am I that I should think
That I deserve any better life than this?
'Cause I've got love to share and hope to sing
And grace enough for every chance I might have missed.

But still I find myself convinced I'm not enough,
That I should fill all the emptiness inside;
But things of earth below and sky above
Have yet to satisfy my fearful pride.

Well, I'm lonely and I'm broken
And I don't know who to be
And I don't know who I am until I'm gone.

Well, living, it’s a simple thing,
But I just can’t seem to get it right,
'Cause my whole world spins far too fast for me
And I’m dizzy as a simple fact of life;

But I don’t have the strength to slow it down,
And I don’t even have the heart to care,
And I never had the patience for it anyhow,
So I race on just as fast as I can bear.

Well, I'm lonely and I'm broken
And I don't know who to be
And I don't know what I’ve lost until I’ve won.

Oh, well, who am I?
Am I hiding in here somewhere?
Am I lost enough to cry for help tonight?
Oh, God, can you find me in here anywhere?
Will you lead me to myself and give me life?

'Cause I’m lonely and I’m broken
And I don’t know what you see,
But when I’m lost I find I’m found here in your love.

Stand

Written By: daniel couper

The road, it goes ever on, they say;
And if you're not careful, it'll sweep you right into the fray,
Where all that you know isn't all that you thought it would be.
You're looking for home; could that really be where this road leads?

The road, it goes ever on, they say;
And if you're not careful, it'll sweep you right into the fray,
But don't give up hope; I'll be standing right here by your side.
No, don't you let go, 'cause this road may yet lead us to life.

Brother, will you stand with me?
Will you lift me when I fall, lift me when I fall?
Brother, I will stand with you, when there is no hope at all;
When all hope is lost, brother I'll stand.

The journey is long and the end isn't near.
We're only beginning;
​Who can tell us what triumphs and tears
We'll find on our way as we wander the caverns inside?
But we'll stand together today,
'Cause this dark may yet lead us to light.

Brother, will you stand with me?
Will you lift me when I fall, lift me when I fall?
Brother, I will stand with you, when there is no hope at all;
When all hope is lost,

Brother, I'll stand with you through everything,
'Til everything is made new.
Brother, I'll stand, I'll stand with you
Through all of this darkness,
'Til the light breaks through.
As brothers we'll stand.

Dance

Written By: daniel couper

Listen closer, darling;
Hear a little harder now--
Past the song that I'm singing,
Past the words in my mouth;

The silence sings a sweeter song
Than anything we've heard before:
A symphony of stars and of sunsets,
The desperate cries of the lonesome and poor.

So let the music wrap you up in its arms;
Let it hold you close and never let you go.
The Mystery of Love sings His strength over you;
Can you hear the silent song of hope?

Come on, baby, would you take my hand?
It may be a rough road, but I want to take that chance.
Sometimes I'm gonna fall, but I'll get right back up again
Because this song is gonna last a lifetime,
So may I have this dance?

Hold on, honey, let's not let ourselves get so excited that
We forget that we're gonna spend our whole lives fighting for a
Whole lot more than what might seem so right in our eyes
And sometimes I might even step on your toes;
But don’t let go, no, no, no;

Come on, baby, won't you take my hand?
It's gonna be a rough road, but we've gotta take that chance.
Sometimes we’re gonna fall, but we’ll get right back up again
Because this song is gonna last a lifetime,
So may I have this dance?

Well, every separation is a promise to return;
There's beauty in the emptiness,
Where the fires of love can burn;
And every bit of letting go is a holding on to hope;
I've gotta know we're spending our lives
For more than learning how to cope.

Come on baby, won't you take my hand?
It's gonna be a rough road, but we've gotta take this chance.
Sometimes we're gonna fall, but we'll get right back up again
Because this song is gonna last a lifetime--
This song is gonna last forever;
May I have this dance?

This song is gonna last forever.

Grey

Written By: daniel couper

Black is white but life is grey;
Day brings light but light brings shame.
I want to hide my tears in the pouring rain,

But I’m afraid to step outside,
'Cause I know I’m just not alright;
If I were a bird I wouldn’t care to fly.

I find life in the death of day,
And I find peace within the fray,
But life and peace too slowly fade away,

'Cause innocence takes forever to find,
And I don’t live my life with forever in mind;
I’m busy searching for a smile to hide behind.

As these stormclouds roll across my lonesome skies,
There’s no hiding, there’s no shelter for me this time;
So hey there, hurricane, it’s now or never, you and I.

Black is white but life is grey;
Death is life but life is pain.
I long to cry these tears in Your pouring rain;

So hey there, hurricane, it's now or never, you and I.

Fall

Written By: daniel couper

I watched the leaves fall today;
Colours drifting by,
Drifting away.

How could death be such a beautiful thing?

I watched the sun fall last night;
Red and orange and purple
Bursting all across the sky.

How could death be such a beautiful thing?

I watched the rain fall into the sea;
Some might say it makes for a dreary day,
But it sure looks like going home to me.

How could death be such a beautiful thing?

'Cause when You gave Your life, You gave me mine;
And every new seed falls to the ground before it can rise;
So I'm not just waiting here till the day that I die
To come alive.

I watched a tear fall from Your cheek.
With arms outstretched and body broken you said,
"Won't you come and follow Me?"

How could death be such a beautiful thing?

I've been watching my world fall.

Vice

Written By: daniel couper

Hello old friend, it's time for goodbye;
Time for goodbye.
Goodbye.

We've had our fun, but I'm headed home;
I'm headed home.

I've been talking of leaving this town for twenty years now,
But as I lay dying here on the ground,
I'm not quite down and out;
I'm not down and out.

Hello again, I'm moving on;
I'm moving on,
Moving on.

Follow if you want, but I've set my course,
'Cause no, i'm not yours anymore.

I've been talking of leaving this town for twenty years now,
But as I lay dying here on the ground,
I know I'm not down and out;
I'm not down and out.

'Cause I've got a home that I'm headed for,
And you can't stand in my way;
And I've got a home that's headed for me,
And you can't stand in its way;
No, you won't stand in its way.

Hello old friend, it's time for goodbye.
Goodbye.
Goodbye.

Wise Old River

Written By: daniel couper

Wise old river, where do you belong?
Where do you call home?
And where are we now?

Wise old river, have you travelled far
With the tears of the lonely and the broken hearts?
Is there hope further on for the battle-scarred?
Is there hope today?

And where are we now?
Where have we been?
When this life we lead comes to an end,
Where will we be?
And where are we now?

Wise old river, will we meet again?
Are we the same as we’ve ever been before?
Will we change just around the bend?
Are we changed today?

Where are we now?
Where have we been?
When this life we lead comes to an end,
Where will we be?
And where are we now?

Wise old river, is it far from here,
Where our tears drown in the ocean that washes
All our fears away,
Where the tide crashes with a love severe,
​Singing strong and slow?
Oh, will we make it home?

And where are we now?
Where have we been?
When this life we lead comes to an end,
Where will we be?
And where are we now?
Where have we been?
When this journey long comes to its end,
Who will we be?
And where are we now?

Questions

Written By: daniel couper

What’s the point?
Is it all just a game?
Happy or sad?
Honour or shame?
Will there ever be an end?
Will the questions never cease?
Oh, God, must I die to find relief?

Is this a blessing or is it a curse?
Is there a better or is it only getting worse?
There’s so much to know, and a lifetime to learn;
But today begins forever.

Where is life in the everyday grind?
Are we body or soul?
Reason or rhyme?
Will the answers come too late?
Will the answers come at all?
Oh, God, is this nature’s fatal flaw?

Is this a blessing or is it a curse?
Is there a better or is it only getting worse?
There’s so much to know, and a lifetime to learn;
But today begins forever.

Where am I?
Is this heaven or hell?
I threw stones at the sky as the skyline fell;
Now I’m standing in the ash of all that I’d presumed to know;
Oh, God, all I have of home is hope.

Is this a blessing or is it a curse?
Is there a better or is it only getting worse?
There’s so much to know, and a lifetime to learn;
But today begins forever.

Today begins forever; today we live forever.
Today begins forever; today is now or never:
It’s the last chance we have left.

Well, it’s not our answers but our questions that define us;
And it’s not what we do,
But who we are that determines our fate.
Will you hold with the questions
​When the tension’s at its tightest?
Will you stand firm in love
Even when you can’t figure out your own way?

It’s not our answers but our questions that arouse us;
And it’s not what we do,
But who we are that's what's truly at stake.
Could it be that the tension
Makes the music that surrounds us?
Could it be that the journey never starts
'Til we don’t know the way?

Would you hurry up and slow down?
You don’t gotta change the world.
You don’t gotta be someone;
Just gotta be yourself and--
Be yourself and
Would you hurry up and breathe deep?
It’s the perfect day to change your world.
You don’t gotta know it all;
Just gotta be yourself and,
Be yourself and love.

Bienvenue (from Les Miserables)

Written By: daniel couper

Welcome back, my friend;
I was afraid that you’d forgotten.
I thought that maybe you had left behind
the most important thing.

Monseigneur, you must be crazy;
Have you forgotten who I am?
I’m the man with numbers for a name
​and only stone within.

Bienvenue, mon ami;
(Welcome, friend)
Votre vie commence aujourd’hui.
(Your life begins today)

Take these candlesticks of silver;
I’m sure they’ll fetch a pretty price.
I’ve been a thief for having kept them for all this time.

Oh my lord, could I be dreaming?
Have you truly set me free?
What should I do with all these questions
rising up inside of me?

Bienvenue, mon ami;
Votre vie commence aujourd’hui.

My good man, this won’t be easy,
But you are not what you have done.
There’s the door, you’ll find it open;
Walk right through and greet the dawn.

Bienvenue, mon ami;
Votre vie commence aujourd’hui.

Desert Father (from the legend of St. Moses the Black)

Written By: daniel couper

Holy Mo, you been moving slow;
Won’t you mosey on home with me?
Holy Mo, you got a long way to go;
Won’t you mosey on home with me?

You were just a young man
And you were looking for, looking for,
You were looking for love
But you didn’t know, no,what you were looking for back then,
You tried to buy your only friends with stolen gold,
But it didn’t make you whole.

You stumbled into grace once
While you were on the run, on the run,
Trying to escape yourself
You were a stranger when we took you in;
That’s when a little bit of hope
Met your heart and called it home
And you couldn’t shake it free.
And now you’ll never shake it free

Holy Mo, you been moving slow;
​Won’t you mosey on home with me?

Return to life as usual didn’t go as planned
And ‘cross the sand you came a-knocking at our door again.
You still didn’t know, no, what you were looking for but now
You set your heart and made a vow
That you knew you couldn’t keep―
That none alone can keep.

Holy Mo, you been moving slow;
Won’t you mosey on home with me?
Holy Mo, you got a long way to go;
Won’t you mosey on home with me?

The sun is rising over distant desert lands
Like the sun that’s rising in your soul.
If grace can fall on all these barren desert sands,
Then patience child, He’ll make you whole;
He’ll bring you home.

You got bit by the love bug and now it’s taking a hold,
And son, you’re well on your way.
Well, it’s gonna be a long road and now it’s taking its toll,
But you’re gonna make it, just you wait.
You been bit by the love bug and it may be the death of you,
But it’s gonna pull you through to life.

Holy Mo, you been moving slow,
You got a long, long way to go, but don’t you give up hope,
Well, why don't you mosey on home with me?​

Beautiful, Sad Smile (from the parable of the prodigal son)

Written By: daniel couper

Well, I packed my bags ‘cause I figured I needed some time;
And I headed off to conquer the world,
​To leave all this behind.
So I've been out here on my own now for a while,
And I've been loving and living in style, but i'm tired.

And Your beautiful, sad smile beckons me home,
And the tears that fill Your eyes are oceans of love;
But what if I just don't care?
'Cause I'm out here breathing in the city air,
'Cause life is mine tonight.
My life is mine tonight.

Well, I've got the world at my fingers like a kite on a line,
And I've been assuring inquirers I'm fine,
But I suppose I've been lying,
'Cause it turned out quite well for a time,
But now I'm thinking this just might be hell in disguise,
'Cause I'm dying inside.

And Your beautiful, sad smile beckons me home,
And the tears that fill Your eyes are oceans of love;
But what if I'm too far gone?
What if I need Your strength to carry on?
Would You bring me home to You?
Oh, bring me home to You.

'Cause Your beautiful, sad smile beckons me home,
And the tears that fill Your eyes are oceans of love;
And I'm sorry I broke Your heart,
And I know I'm not worthy of a brand new start,
But would You take my hand and lead me,
​Lead me into the darkness
So I can see the Light?
My life is Yours tonight.

'Cause Your beautiful, sad smile beckons me home,
And the tears that fill Your eyes are oceans of love;
And I see Your face hidden in the crowd,
And redemption flows in rivers running underground,
And I'm hearing whispers running through this town
That life is Ours tonight.
Yeah, life is Ours tonight.

Velveteen (from The Velveteen Rabbit)

Written By: daniel couper

I told the others dancing is all foolishness,
That sitting still is wise;
Well, truth be told, I’ve never danced a moment in my life,
But how I long to dance tonight.

So here I sit, still, waiting for my wisdom now,
But met alone here in the dark by foolish pride.
You told me once that I was real,
And I believed you at the time,
But tonight I think I’ve never known less of life,

‘Cause now you’re gone, and I’m so lost,
And I’m longing to be seen.
For a time I felt alive, but has it all been just a dream?
Well, am I real or am I velveteen?

The wise one told me being real is such a simple thing,
But it’s as hard as hell.
Well, what’s the use of being loved if it only ends like this?
It’s only worn away the walls of my citadel.

And now you’re gone, and I’m so lost,
And I’ve been longing to be seen.
I played at life to die here in fire and lies;
Oh, let it all be just a dream!
Well, am I real or am I velveteen?

Peace, my child―oh, you restless child―
You are more alive tonight than you might fear.
The road you’ve travelled here has broken your heart
And brought you to life in love through laughter and tears;
So, let your heart keep aching,
Breaking open, pouring love,
Teaching all the world to dance, to weep,
To laugh, to come alive,
Because your heart is beating now;
So, let your heart keep beating.

Epilogue (from Crime and Punishment)

Written By: daniel couper

I was almost great once―
​Almost rose above the law;
I towered over smaller minds,
Rose higher and higher and I
Nearly overtook the sun

And there my waxen wings melted away
And down I fell in shame
I sought my end, that crooked grace to pain,
Oh, but try as I might, still I found
My weakness sentenced me to life.

And now I find I have nothing to my name but me,
And I realize it was grace that brought me back
To all this beautiful banality;
A new dawn rises soft
​Into the winter chill of summer morn,
Waking everything to life once more.

There will be great striving on the road ahead―
More than time allows to tell,
But the story is yours now,
Make it a good one, eh?
It’s the perfect day to change your world;
It’s the only day you have.

Well this story is ours now,
You and I here at the end of us
And the beginning of forever’s song.
This story is ours now,
So, allons-y.

Discography

Epilogue EP (July 2017)

  1. Bienvenue
  2. Desert Father
  3. Beautiful, Sad Smile
  4. Velveteen
  5. Epilogue

Bienvenu (February 2017)

  1. Be Yourself and Love
  2. Simple Thing
  3. Stand
  4. The End
  5. Dance
  6. Sometimes
  7. Grey
  8. Sail
  9. The Journey Is Long (and the End Isn't Near)
  10. Fall
  11. Vice
  12. Wise Old River
  13. Questions