Sunday, March 31, 2013

Summer Is Coming.

Today's research snippet. 

The sun is actually shining today and the last of the recent snow has melted out of the garden. Here in the English Midlands it is still very cold, but the hour has altered and tomorrow is April 1st. With this i
n mind I give you a very famous song that celebrates the season.
Somer is y-comen in (Summer has arrived) dates to circa 1260 and is a joyfyl celebration of that season. It's sung in the round and can be sung, according to the manuscript instructions by 4,3, or even 2 singers. The second singer begins when the first singer has sung the first line and so on. There is a debate as to whether the line about the stag is that he 'farts' or alternatively 'cavorts'. The latter would seem the more likely in the context of the song, but the original early Middle English could mean either. So your choice is does the stag leap for the joy of the summer season, or break wind because he's eating all that delicious lush grass!
Anyway, a delightful song to welcome in the warmer (I so hope so!) seasons.

Somer is y-comen in

Sing cuckóu, nou! Sing cuckóu!
Sing cuckóu! Sing cuckóu nou!

Somer is y-comen in,
Loudë sing, cuckóu!
Growëth sed and blowëth med
And springth the wodë nou
Sing cuckóu!

Ewë bletëth after lamb,
Lowth after cálve cóu;
Bullock stertëth, bukkë vertëth,
Merye sing, cuckóu

Cuckóu, cuckóu,
Wél singést thou, 
Ne swik thou never nou!

cuckoo now!
Summer has arrived
Sing loudly 
Seed grows, the meadow blossoms
The woods come into leaf now

The ewe bleats for the lamb
The cow lows for the calf
The bullock leaps, the stag cavorts (or farts)
Merrily sing 

Well sing you cuckoo
Do not ever stop.

1 comment:

LadyB said...

I've been listening to a recording of this by the Hilliard Ensemble for the past few weeks now while at work, desperately hoping somer will y-com in soon!