Eighty-two-year-old Muriel Copp says if she could have gotten down near the stage at the Transfer Beach Amphitheatre to dance while Kendall Patrick was playing during Ladysmith Days, she would have.
But instead of dancing, she presented the Ladysmith-born, Nanaimo-based singer-songwriter with a bouquet of flowers just before her set last Sunday evening.
Copp, who lives in Ladysmith, tries to go to all of Patrick’s shows. She says she can’t think of a favourite song because she likes everything Patrick does.
“I like all her music because I feel it,” she said. “I don’t sing along. On Sunday, I saw all the young kids dancing, and I wanted to dance too. I said to Kendall, ‘would you be embarrassed if I danced?’ and she said no, she would have danced with me.
“What I noticed was there was such a bridge between generations. All the seniors were all tapping their toes, and the younger ones were doing their thing … she’s touching all of us. I don’t sing along, but I listen. If we could’ve got down there, we would’ve danced because it got through to us.”
Copp was a housekeeper in the hospital and was there the day Patrick was born.
“I said to [her father] Jimmy ‘when I heard that first cry, I knew she was a star,” she said. “I like her singing. She’s a wonderful girl, beautiful and talented, and she’s going to go a long way, I know. She has a beautiful singing voice, and she writes all her own songs.”
Copp says she gave Patrick the bouquet of flowers because “that’s what you do.”
“It was a little bouquet but big thought,” she said. “I wanted to give her that. I wanted her to know how important she is.
“She’s special. Her looks are special, her voice is special, her talent; she’s very kind and loving. She’ll always give you a hug.”
When Patrick heard the announcement that one of her biggest fans wanted to give her a gift right before she started her set, she actually thought it was going to be Amy, who always goes to all her shows, and she was surprised when Copp started walking toward her carrying flowers.
“I was surprised, but I knew she really likes my music,” she said.
Patrick, 25, really appreciates having fans who span the generations.
“That was really, really sweet,” she said. “I’ve got some fans who are from all different age ranges, and I find that really cool that my music touches people of all ages. I really don’t know who’s going to like my music. It’s a gift to have that kind of response. All I can hope for is that it is helpful or enjoyable to other people … to have that reflected back to me reaffirms that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and it’s especially cool that it crosses boundaries of age and generations.”
Patrick says she knows Copp tries to come to as many shows as she can, and Patrick’s father will drive her.
“It kind of feels like — I wonder if ‘grace’ is the right word,” said Patrick. “I get in periods of doubt so often, and I think it’s going to take forever to make something of my music … it just feels like a gift of grace or something when someone is showing their appreciation of what I do.
“It’s not about me; it’s about who I’m able to help or give enjoyment to. It gets me out of my head and alleviates all the pressure … It’s kind of a like a spiritual journey in that sense. It is a lot like service to others. It starts with me writing about myself and then transcends to other people’s lives, and that makes it more worthwhile and enjoyable to me when it helps other people.”