The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55546   Message #864597
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
11-Jan-03 - 02:53 PM
Thread Name: Lyr ADD: January Man (Dave Goulder)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE JANUARY MAN (Dave Goulder)
"...grins at each newcomer" is what Dave sang when he came to sing to us in Harlow, and what he put in his book of songs I bought off him.

Here's what he writes with the song there:

I sing this as an unaccompanied folk song using rubato for "colour", though mine is only one interpretation. I've also hear it done as a 6/8 jig and as a slow chant. There are many versions going around and in most of them the words seem to have undergone the "folk process": changing slightly as they pas from singer to singer. The words here are what I finished up with in 1966.

And here are those words (and his punctuation - note the full stops rather than commas at the end of most lines - it makes a difference):

The January man he walks abroad in woollen coat and boots of leather.
The February man still wipes the snow from off his hair and blows his hands.
The man of March he sees the spring and wonders what the year will bring,
And hopes for better weather.

Through April rain the man goes down to watch the birds come in to share the summer.
The man of May stands very still watching the children dance away the day.
In June the man inside the man is young and wants to lend a hand,
And grins at each new color

And in July the man in cotton shirt he sits and thinks on being idle.
The August man in thousands takes the road to watch the sea and find the sun.
September man is standing near to saddle-up and lead the year,
And autumn is his bridle

And the man of new October takes the reins, and early frost is on his shoulder.
The poor November man sees fire and wind and mist and rain and winter air.
December man looks through the snow to let eleven brothers know,
They're all a little older

And the January man comes round again in woollen coat and boots of leather,
To take another turn and walk along the icy road he knows so well.
The January man is here for starting each and every year,
Along the way forever