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Cuckoos

DigiTrad:
CUCKOO SHE'S A PRETTY BIRD
CUCKOO'S A BONNY BIRD
CUCKOOS NEST
CUCKOO'S NEST
THE CUCKOO
THE CUCKOO (4)
THE CUCKOO IS A FUNNY BIRD
THE CUCKOO'S NEST
THE CUCKOO's NEST (2)
THE CUCKOO'S NEST (3)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Cuckoo (Hans Theessink) (8)
Lyr Req: Cuckoo Waltz (35)
The Cuckoo Bird question (35)
When was Cuckoo's Nest first published? (18)
Tune Add: Come all you pretty maidens, wherever yo (8)
Lyr Req: Cuckoo's Nest (3)
version of 'the cuckoo' (5)
Lyr Req: Cuckoo's nest - climb a tree (21)
cuckoos all awry? (13)
Lyr Req: Cuckoo's nest (7)
Chord Req: The Cuckoo Is A Pretty Bird (4)
Tune Req: The Cuckoo Bird (Merle Watson) (1)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Cuckoo


Philippa 13 May 99 - 06:00 PM
Mark Roffe 14 May 99 - 12:44 AM
katlaughing 14 May 99 - 01:01 AM
Mark Roffe 14 May 99 - 01:11 AM
katlaughing 14 May 99 - 01:41 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 14 May 99 - 12:48 PM
Philippa 14 May 99 - 01:17 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 14 May 99 - 03:20 PM
LEJ 14 May 99 - 03:37 PM
tomtom 14 May 99 - 04:27 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 14 May 99 - 04:36 PM
Sandy Paton 14 May 99 - 04:53 PM
LEJ 14 May 99 - 05:53 PM
Philippa 15 May 99 - 05:23 AM
Philippa 16 Jun 99 - 05:50 PM
alison 17 Jun 99 - 02:51 AM
Ian 17 Jun 99 - 06:12 AM
Alice 17 Jun 99 - 10:33 AM
alison 17 Jun 99 - 09:24 PM
Philippa 18 Jun 99 - 07:37 AM
Steve Parkes 18 Jun 99 - 10:51 AM
Penny S 18 Jun 99 - 11:34 AM
MAG (inactive) 19 Jun 99 - 03:53 PM
The Burren Ranger. Ireland. 20 Jun 99 - 06:01 AM
rich r 23 Jun 99 - 12:26 AM
Felipa 29 Apr 03 - 11:58 PM
GUEST,Q 30 Apr 03 - 12:44 AM
Gurney 30 Apr 03 - 02:17 AM
GUEST,Philippa 30 Apr 03 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,Philippa 30 Apr 03 - 11:17 AM
clueless don 30 Apr 03 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 30 Apr 03 - 06:11 PM
Joe_F 30 Apr 03 - 08:04 PM
Uncle_DaveO 30 Apr 03 - 08:11 PM
Gurney 01 May 03 - 02:36 AM
The Shambles 01 May 03 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,JTT 19 Jun 03 - 06:05 AM
Dave Bryant 19 Jun 03 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,Q 19 Jun 03 - 01:09 PM
GUEST 19 Jun 03 - 06:45 PM
GUEST,JTT 20 Jun 03 - 03:03 PM
MMario 20 Jun 03 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Philippa 06 Apr 15 - 10:24 PM
GUEST,Philippa 06 Apr 15 - 10:38 PM
GUEST,Philippa 06 Apr 15 - 10:44 PM
GUEST,Philippa 06 Apr 15 - 10:55 PM
maeve 07 Apr 15 - 07:49 AM
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Subject: Cuckoos
From: Philippa
Date: 13 May 99 - 06:00 PM

You may be disappointed to read that I mean birds, not people. I heard the first cuckoos of this year in late April. they may have started a bit later last year, but were calling persistently throughout the merry month of May. This is in the Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Oh the cuckoo is a pretty bird
She wobbles as she flies
And she never hollers 'cuckoo'
Till the fourth day of July

So -- what is the cuckoo's geographic range of territory in N America and when is the cuckoo's calling season on the other side of the Atlantic. Is there any truth and/or significance to the date given in the song (I know about 1776 and all that, but...) ?


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: Mark Roffe
Date: 14 May 99 - 12:44 AM

Ginny tells me that the Black-billed cuckoo has quite a widespread range E. of the Rockies. It may sing at night, unlike most birds.
The Yellow-billed cuckoo has localized ranges in river valleys in the Southwestern US; spotty in CA.
Both species winter in S. America, as far south as Argentina, and both species breed in the USA. They come back from S. America March or April through September. They have the same song summer and winter, but they'd first be heard in the USA around March or April. So she's not sure where they'd be first heard in early July, but their summer range extends all the way from Mexico to Southern Canada, so maybe that's where the song is set?
The USA only has two of the 132 world species of cuckoo!

Mark


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 May 99 - 01:01 AM

Never heard of any in the Rocky Mountains, except my sister's clock:-)


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: Mark Roffe
Date: 14 May 99 - 01:11 AM

And you yerself, kucookat.


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 May 99 - 01:41 AM

Mark, LMAO!!! Does this mean I hafta change my name? I like it! But....I STILL laugh a lot when on here!

katcuckooing


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 14 May 99 - 12:48 PM

:-( No cuckoos in New England, as far as I know, so when I teach my various "cuckoo" songs I have to explain everything. Our early spring bird song is the big fat robin!


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: Philippa
Date: 14 May 99 - 01:17 PM

Animaterra, Do you even teach them, "Am I the one that she loves best/Or am I just a cuckkoo in another man's nest?"? (shanty - chicken on a Raft)
any more ideas re the Fourth of July, can't just be poetic license for the sake of rhyme?


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 14 May 99 - 03:20 PM

Ah, Phillipa, our land of the free and home of the brave has certain restrictions on what is appropriate for delicate young minds. They can fry their brains at home with tv and video games, but at school we're limited to "Sumer is i-cumin in" and the first verse of "The cuckoo is a pretty bird", as well as the Cuckoo in Deep Woods from the Carnival of the animals! Oh, and the Elizabethan round "As I Mee Walk'ed".
since no cuckoo cucks around here near the 4th of July I can't help you with any significance!
Allison


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: LEJ
Date: 14 May 99 - 03:37 PM

Ah," summer is icumen in, lhude sing Cuckoo!" And how did the rest go?


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: tomtom
Date: 14 May 99 - 04:27 PM

If you want to read Greil Marcus go on and on and on and on about that song (making very strange connections all over the place), check out his book Invisible Republic.


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 14 May 99 - 04:36 PM

Gosh, Leej, I found it in the DT after typing "icumen" - great little system- ya otta try it some time! *grin grin NOI, etc!*


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 14 May 99 - 04:53 PM

I always preferred the Ezra Pound parody: "winter is a-comin' in, loud sing god damn!"

Grumpy


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: LEJ
Date: 14 May 99 - 05:53 PM

Anima- OUCH that smarts...


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: Philippa
Date: 15 May 99 - 05:23 AM

for LEJ, in partly modernised English: Summer is a comin' in
Loudly sing cuckoo
Groweth seed and bloweth mead and springeth wood anew.
Sing cuckoo, sing cuckoo well sings the cuckoo...
Oh cease thee never now

a madrigal, a round/anyway it is in the DT as "Sumer is icumen in, but I typed what's in my head rather than look it

and the Fourth day of July significance??


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Subject: Lyr Add: CUCKOO and TO THE CUCKOO / DO 'N CHUTHAIG
From: Philippa
Date: 16 Jun 99 - 05:50 PM

The cuckoos have gone quiet. I'm still trying to find out the reason for the American line about the bird who "never hollers cuckoo Till the fourth day of July", but in the meantime here are two lyrics which have the bird singing in May as they do here in Skye at any rate. 1)You'll see the resemblance to a Simon and Garfunkel song 2) in Scottish Gaelic with translation, from a photocopy which gives no information on what publication it was taken from
Cuckoo songs
1) CUCKOO (from Gibson Young, ed."Community Song Book" London, J Curwen & Sons, no date but pre-decimalisation of UK currency)

Cuckoo, Cuckoo, Pray what do you do?
In April I open my bill,
In May I sing night and day,
In June I change my tune,
In July Away I fly.
In August Away I must

Cuckoo, Cuckoo, Pray where do you go?
Up high Into the sky,
Far away Over the sea
To Spain I fly again;
Day and night I take my flight.
Cuckoo.
Goodbye to...

2) Do'n Chuthaig (to the cuckoo)

Fàilt' orm fèin, a chuthag ghorm,
Le d'òran ceòlmhor, milis;
'S e seirm do bheoil 's a' Cheitein òg
A thogadh bròn o m' chridhe.

'S ro-bhinnn leam t'fhuaim 's a' mhadainn Cheit',
'S tu air barr gèig' 's an innis,
No 'm feasgar ciùin aig bun nan stuc
'N uair bhiodh an druchd a' sileadh.

Hail to you, Oh blue cuckoo,
With song so sweet and tuneful,
The tune you sing in early May
Drives sorrow from my spirit.

How sweet your chant in May time's morn,
At tree top on the island,
Or calm of eve at foot of hill,
when dew is gently falling.


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Subject: Tune Add: CUCKOO and TO THE CUCKOO /DO 'N CHUTHAIG
From: alison
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 02:51 AM

Hi,

Thanks to Philippa for the GIFs here are the tunes. The first one has an echo (like the cuckoo), so I played it through twice the first time without the echo, so you can hear the tune, the second time with the echo.

slainte

alison

Cuckoo

MIDI file: CUCKOO.MID

Timebase: 480

Name: Cuckoo
TimeSig: 6/8 24 4
Tempo: 100 (600000 microsec/crotchet)
Key: G
Start
1200 1 74 098 0238 0 74 098 0002 1 71 092 1200 1 74 088 0001 0 71 092 0237 0 74 088 0002 1 71 098 1193 0 71 098 0007 1 74 092 0240 1 72 104 0003 0 74 092 0235 0 72 104 0002 1 72 090 0238 0 72 090 0002 1 71 091 0238 0 71 091 0002 1 69 098 0707 0 69 098 1213 1 62 086 0238 0 62 086 0002 1 67 098 0720 1 64 084 0029 0 67 098 0690 0 64 084 0001 1 66 078 0238 0 66 078 0002 1 66 079 0238 0 66 079 0002 1 64 088 0238 0 64 088 0002 1 62 092 0718 0 62 092 0002 1 67 098 0718 0 67 098 0002 1 64 091 0718 0 64 091 0002 1 66 087 0478 0 66 087 0002 1 64 086 0238 0 64 086 0002 1 62 083 0474 0 62 083 0006 1 62 083 0238 0 62 083 0002 1 71 099 1198 0 71 099 0002 1 73 089 0238 0 73 089 0002 1 74 094 0478 0 74 094 0002 1 73 077 0238 0 73 077 0002 1 71 090 0737 0 71 090 1423 1 72 095 0478 0 72 095 0002 1 71 084 0238 0 71 084 0002 1 69 092 0478 0 69 092 0002 1 72 107 0238 0 72 107 0002 1 71 096 0478 0 71 096 0002 1 67 086 0238 0 67 086 0002 1 64 093 0709 0 64 093 1211 1 64 076 0238 0 64 076 0002 1 72 096 0718 0 72 096 0002 1 69 094 0718 0 69 094 1202 1 72 087 0238 0 72 087 0002 1 71 102 1200 1 67 083 0006 0 71 102 0232 0 67 083 0002 1 64 088 1440 0 64 088 1200 1 74 088 0238 0 74 088 0002 1 71 094 1198 0 71 094 0002 1 74 086 0238 0 74 086 0002 1 71 103 1180 0 71 103 0020 1 74 088 0240 1 72 091 0016 0 74 088 0222 0 72 091 0002 1 72 096 0240 1 71 084 0012 0 72 096 0226 0 71 084 0002 1 69 098 0707 0 69 098 0013 1 84 090 0478 0 84 090 0002 1 83 083 0238 0 83 083 0002 1 81 121 0474 0 81 121 0006 1 62 094 0238 0 62 094 0002 1 67 103 0700 0 67 103 0020 1 64 096 0717 0 64 096 0003 1 66 095 0238 0 66 095 0002 1 66 087 0238 0 66 087 0002 1 64 086 0238 0 64 086 0002 1 62 087 0478 0 62 087 0002 1 62 088 0238 0 62 088 0002 1 67 102 0473 0 67 102 0007 1 67 072 0240 1 64 092 0003 0 67 072 0475 0 64 092 0002 1 64 086 0238 0 64 086 0002 1 66 086 0238 0 66 086 0002 1 66 082 0238 0 66 082 0002 1 64 095 0238 0 64 095 0002 1 62 096 0449 0 62 096 0031 1 62 092 0238 0 62 092 0002 1 71 107 1198 0 71 107 0002 1 73 092 0238 0 73 092 0002 1 74 082 0478 0 74 082 0002 1 73 086 0238 0 73 086 0002 1 71 100 0670 0 71 100 0050 1 86 088 0478 0 86 088 0002 1 85 075 0238 0 85 075 0002 1 83 098 0478 0 83 098 0242 1 72 104 0478 0 72 104 0002 1 71 094 0238 0 71 094 0002 1 69 096 0478 0 69 096 0002 1 72 086 0238 0 72 086 0002 1 71 096 0478 0 71 096 0002 1 67 088 0238 0 67 088 0002 1 64 083 0478 0 64 083 0242 1 83 100 0478 0 83 100 0002 1 79 088 0238 0 79 088 0002 1 76 100 0238 0 76 100 0242 1 64 085 0238 0 64 085 0002 1 72 096 0718 0 72 096 0002 1 69 088 0478 0 69 088 0242 1 84 092 0718 0 84 092 0002 1 81 100 0480 1 72 094 0013 0 81 100 0227 1 71 111 0041 0 72 094 1159 0 71 111 0000 1 67 096 0238 0 67 096 0002 1 64 083 1401 0 64 083
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Cuckoo
M:6/8
Q:1/4=100
K:G
d6|B5d|B5d|ccBA3|-A5D|G3E3|FFED3|G3E3|F2ED2D|
B5^c|d2^cB3|-B6|c6|-c2BA2c|B2GE3|-E5E|c3A3|
-A5c|B5G|E6|-E5d|B5d|B5d|ccBA3|c'2ba2D|G3E3|
FFED2D|G2GE2E|FFED2D|B5^c|d2^cB3|d'2^C'b3|
c2BA2c|B2GE3|b2ge2E|c3A3|c'3a2c|B5G|E6||

TO THE CUCKOO / DO 'N CHUTHAIG

MIDI file: TOTHEC~1.MID

Timebase: 480

Name: To the Cuckoo
TimeSig: 4/4 24 8
Tempo: 075 (789474 microsec/crotchet)
Key: Bb
Start
0000 1 62 083 0478 0 62 083 0002 1 65 103 0478 0 65 103 0002 1 70 103 0718 0 70 103 0002 1 69 094 0238 0 69 094 0002 1 67 096 0238 0 67 096 0002 1 70 097 0718 0 70 097 0002 1 65 094 0718 0 65 094 0002 1 63 079 0238 0 63 079 0002 1 62 098 0478 0 62 098 0002 1 65 094 0478 0 65 094 0002 1 70 097 0718 0 70 097 0002 1 72 103 0238 0 72 103 0002 1 74 093 0238 0 74 093 0002 1 72 093 1198 0 72 093 0002 1 63 088 0478 0 63 088 0002 1 62 094 0478 0 62 094 0002 1 65 096 0478 0 65 096 0002 1 70 097 0718 0 70 097 0002 1 69 092 0238 0 69 092 0002 1 67 094 0238 0 67 094 0002 1 70 095 0718 0 70 095 0002 1 65 091 0718 0 65 091 0002 1 70 097 0238 0 70 097 0002 1 69 102 0478 0 69 102 0002 1 70 093 0478 0 70 093 0002 1 72 102 0692 0 72 102 0028 1 74 098 0240 1 72 095 0050 0 74 098 0188 0 72 095 0002 1 70 092 1198 0 70 092 0242 1 70 086 0238 0 70 086 0002 1 69 115 0478 0 69 115 0002 1 70 090 0478 0 70 090 0002 1 72 103 0709 0 72 103 0011 1 67 102 0238 0 67 102 0002 1 69 111 0470 0 69 111 0010 1 70 097 0478 0 70 097 0002 1 65 095 0718 0 65 095 0002 1 70 097 0238 0 70 097 0002 1 72 103 0478 0 72 103 0002 1 74 100 0478 0 74 100 0002 1 75 097 0718 0 75 097 0002 1 74 103 0238 0 74 103 0002 1 74 094 0238 0 74 094 0002 1 72 103 1198 0 72 103 0242 1 72 082 0238 0 72 082 0002 1 74 100 0478 0 74 100 0002 1 72 102 0478 0 72 102 0002 1 70 100 0718 0 70 100 0002 1 62 092 0238 0 62 092 0002 1 63 100 0478 0 63 100 0002 1 67 103 0478 0 67 103 0002 1 65 100 0718 0 65 100 0002 1 63 104 0238 0 63 104 0002 1 62 092 0478 0 62 092 0002 1 65 103 0478 0 65 103 0002 1 70 092 0718 0 70 092 0002 1 69 103 0238 0 69 103 0002 1 72 107 0478 0 72 107 0002 1 70 100
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:To the Cuckoo
M:4/4
Q:1/4=75
K:Bb
D2F2B3A|GB3F3E|D2F2B3c|dc5E2|D2F2B3A|GB3F3B|
A2B2c3d|cB6B|A2B2c3G|A2B2F3B|c2d2e3d|dc6c|
d2c2B3D|E2G2F3E|D2F2B3A|c2B6||


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: Ian
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 06:12 AM

As a child, I was taught

The cuckoo comes in April
She sings her song in May
In June she starts to stutter
And July she flies away

As far as songs and tunes about cuckoos are concerned, the ones I like best are "The Cuckoo's Nest" and a lovely tune called "The first of May and the last of June".


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CUCKOO
From: Alice
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 10:33 AM

This is the way I sing "The Cuckoo", with no 4th of July in it.

Oh, the cuckoo is a pretty bird,
She warbles as she flies,
She brings us glad tidings,
And she tells us no lies.

And I see, and I see,
Yes I see, and I see,
That the cuckoo is a pretty bird
She warbles as she flies.
She brings us glad tiding,
She tells us no lies.

I went walkin o'er the mountain,
My true love for to see,
There I saw him with another,
They were kissin so sweet.

And I see ...

Oh, meeting is a pleasure,
And parting is a grief
A false hearted lover
Is worse than a thief.

And I see...

A thief, he can rob you
And take all you have
But a false hearted lover
Will send you to your grave.

And I see...

We don't have cuckoo birds here in Montana. I adapted the version I sing from a tape of anonymous Appalachian singers that a college room mate from Ohio had in 1973.

alice in montana


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: THE CUCKOO (from Cecil Sharp)
From: alison
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 09:24 PM

Hi,

Here's another lovely minor Cuckoo tune, taken from the Cecil Sharp 100 english folksongs book.

the words are similar to the one Alice posted.

Oh, the cuckoo is a pretty bird,
She singeth as she flies,
She bringeth glad tidings,
And she telleth no lies.
She sucketh white flowers
to keep her voice clear
And the more she singeth cuckoo
The Summer draws near.

MIDI file: CUCKOO1.MID

Timebase: 480

Name: THE CUCKOO
TimeSig: 3/4 24 8
Tempo: 075 (789474 microsec/crotchet)
Key: G
Start
0960 1 64 091 0358 0 64 091 0002 1 62 103 0118 0 62 103 0002 1 64 102 0478 0 64 102 0002 1 76 102 0478 0 76 102 0002 1 74 081 0336 0 74 081 0015 1 71 117 0129 1 69 075 0035 0 71 117 0297 1 66 099 0004 0 69 075 0136 0 66 099 0008 1 62 089 0465 1 64 107 0004 0 62 089 0322 1 66 078 0041 0 64 107 0076 1 67 105 0029 0 66 078 0471 0 67 105 0032 1 71 095 0478 0 71 095 0002 1 69 104 0357 1 67 083 0004 0 69 104 0119 1 64 108 0041 0 67 083 0917 0 64 108 0002 1 64 120 0351 1 62 088 0004 0 64 120 0125 1 64 114 0041 0 62 088 0437 0 64 114 0002 1 76 103 0478 0 76 103 0002 1 74 078 0332 1 71 081 0023 0 74 078 0125 1 69 090 0035 0 71 081 0291 1 66 100 0023 0 69 090 0129 0 66 100 0002 1 62 105 0478 0 62 105 0002 1 64 094 0349 0 64 094 0002 1 66 086 0129 1 67 095 0041 0 66 086 0437 0 67 095 0002 1 71 102 0478 0 71 102 0002 1 69 096 0351 1 67 071 0022 0 69 096 0062 0 67 071 0045 1 64 095 0958 0 64 095 0002 1 64 101 0332 1 66 076 0023 0 64 101 0125 1 67 094 0053 0 66 076 0665 0 67 094 0002 1 69 097 0238 0 69 097 0002 1 71 107 0238 0 71 107 0002 1 67 105 0194 1 69 101 0010 0 67 105 0254 1 67 108 0017 0 69 101 0245 1 69 092 0004 0 67 108 0474 0 69 092 0002 1 69 114 0320 1 71 087 0010 0 69 114 0150 1 72 124 0029 0 71 087 0303 1 74 118 0017 0 72 124 0131 1 76 116 0035 0 74 118 0443 0 76 116 0002 1 71 095 0308 1 69 097 0035 0 71 095 0137 1 71 094 0017 0 69 097 0941 0 71 094 0002 1 71 105 0118 0 71 105 0002 1 72 107 0118 0 72 107 0002 1 74 100 0238 0 74 100 0002 1 76 103 0478 0 76 103 0002 1 76 102 0343 0 76 102 0032 1 78 099 0105 1 76 094 0053 0 78 099 0249 1 74 087 0034 0 76 094 0144 1 71 082 0017 0 74 087 0315 1 69 091 0017 0 71 082 0131 1 67 082 0016 0 69 091 0316 1 69 078 0029 0 67 082 0119 1 71 093 0035 0 69 078 0443 0 71 093 0002 1 69 088 0478 0 69 088 0002 1 64 092 0478 0 64 092 0002 1 67 077 0358 0 67 077 0002 1 66 074 0118 0 66 074 0002 1 64 095 0958 0 64 095
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:THE CUCKOO
M:3/4
Q:1/4=75
K:G
E11/2D/2|E2e2d3/2B/2|A3/2F/2D2E5/4F/2G/4|
-G2B2A3/2G/2|E4E3/2D/2|E2e2d3/2B/2|A5/4F3/4D2E3/2F/2|
G2B2A3/2G/2|E4E3/2F/2|G3ABG3/4A/4|-AGA2A5/4B3/4|
c3/2d/2e2B5/4A3/4|B4B/2c/2d|e2e3/2f/2e5/4d3/4|
B3/2A/2G3/2A/2B2|A2E2G3/2F/2|E6||

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: Philippa
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 07:37 AM

well, I did hear a cuckoo this morning. I know the song Alison gives above, but I heard the "holler" verse in a very different song with verses about card-playiing. I'm not looking for lyrics, I know a few verses, just wondering about the July date. I'm thinking it's just a rhyme. Good verse from a cuckoo song in the vein of Alison and A;ice's contributions:
Oh I can love little and I can love long
I can love the old one till a new one comes along
I can kiss him and hug him and prove my heart kind
Then turn my back on him and likewise my mind.

Gaelic poet Uilleam Ros wrote a song about the cuckoo; I must check whether the Gaelic verses I supplied in this thread come from his song.


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 10:51 AM

Interesting to see you have two more kinds of cuckoo in the US thatn we ahve bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover!

Steve (with an ornithological bent)


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: Penny S
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 11:34 AM

I do remember seeing bluetits, and others of that sort a mile back from said White Cliffs!

Penny


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 19 Jun 99 - 03:53 PM

I learned it the way Alison has it posted, except for the last bit going:

And she never sings cuckoo 'til spring of the year.

PPM have the July bit; maybe that album gives source? Maybe it has to do when the foundlings in their borrowed nests start singing, so their foster parents know to boot them out?


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: The Burren Ranger. Ireland.
Date: 20 Jun 99 - 06:01 AM

Are there Corncrakesto be heard in the USA? They have become extinct here in western Ireland due to the machine age. Check Andy M Stewart's song'The Echo Mocks The Corncrake'.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE INCONSTANT LOVER
From: rich r
Date: 23 Jun 99 - 12:26 AM

Just to expand on the ornithology aspects of this thread. There are actually 6 members of the Family Cuculidae (Cuckoos) that are known to nest in in the USA. There may be additional North American species from southern Mexico to Panama. There are about 125 species world-wide, most of them tropical. Some of the European cuckoo species are nest parasites that lay their eggs in other birds nests and have the young raised by foster parents. The US ones all build their own nests. We have the cowbird to fill the nest parasite niche.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo - this is the most widespread, found from British Columbia to Maine and south into Mexico and also the West Indies.

Black-billed Cuckoo - this is an eastern species found from southern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico but east of the Rocky Mountains.

Mangrove Cuckoo - restricted to the mangove thickets of coastal southern Florida and the Florida Keys.

Smooth-billed Ani - also restricted to southern Florida brush and farmland habitats.

Groove-billed Ani - Southern Texas possibly east to Louisiana.

Roadrunner (yes it is a ground dwelling cuckoo) - Arid regions of southwestern USA and south into Mexico

Back to lyrics, here is a version of "THE INCONSTANT LOVER" from the Frank C Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore.

Cuckoo is a pretty bird, she sings as she flies,
She'll bring you good tidings, She'll tell you no lies.

I once loved a fond young man as dear as my life
And ofttimes he'd promise to make me his wife.

He fulfilled his promise; He made me his wife.
Now see what I've come to by changing my life.

It's trouble, it's trouble, It's trouble on my mind;
If trouble don't kill me I'll sure live a long time.

My children are crying, They're crying for bread.
My husband's off gambling- Lord, I wish I was dead.

I'll build me a castle on the mountain so high
Where the dear Lord can see me and hear my poor cry.

Young ladies, young ladies, take warning from me;
Never put your dependence in a green growing tree.

For the leaves they will wither, the roots they will die.
A young man will fool you, for one has fooled I.

I'm going to Georgia, I'm going to Rome,
I'm going to Georgia and call it my home.

note to catters in other countries that Rome is a town in Georgia.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: Felipa
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 11:58 PM

It's cuckoo time again!


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 12:44 AM

The Roadrunner of cartoon fame is the state bird of New Mexico. As Richr says, it is ground-dwelling. A picture at: Roadrunner


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: Gurney
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 02:17 AM

I did wonder what was in the birds eggs around Phillipa's way, to make the cuckoo "wobble as she flies."
Verses from that song family pop up everywhere.


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 08:25 AM

I presume "wobbles" is a corruption of "warbles"

ands what about those songs & tunes called "The Cuckoo's Nest"?


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 11:17 AM

on the other hand, I don't think cuckoos warble as they fly, not like larks. And some birds, such as wagtails, do wobble up and down as they fly.

Meanwhile, it is the time when cuckoos drive us cuckoo with their incessant cooing "cuckoo"

"Cuach inniu agus cuach amárach,
's óró ghrá mo chroí,
'gus cuach ar&#s eile achan lá go ceann ráithe,
Cuach mo londubh buí"

(cuckoo today, cuckoo tomorrow, dear love of my heart - and another cuckoo every day for the next quarter, cuckoo my yellow blackbird)


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: clueless don
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 01:11 PM

What I think I remember from my days as an active birder (long past, alas, long past!): Here in the Washington D.C. area the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo is one of the last of the migrating songbirds to come through - late May/early June? If it is similarly late farther along its migration route, that might have given rise to the notion that it "never sings cuckoo 'til the fourth day of July."

Or, might the several versions of the song be of European origin?

I am not certain that the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo is parasitic - i.e. lays its eggs in other birds' nests. Around here, it is the Brown-Headed Cowbird that exhibits that behavior. I assume that at least some European cuckoos are parasitic.


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 06:11 PM

The only cuckoo with a range across all of Europe is Cuculus canorus which is parasitic and is the cuckoo of the songs. My field guide is only for identification so I don't know about Clamator glandarius which is found around the Mediteranian.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CUCKOO
From: Joe_F
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 08:04 PM

I can't remember where I learned this version:

The cuckoo is a pretty bird,
He sings as he flies.
He brings us glad tidings,
And he tells us no lies.
He sucks all sweet flowers
To make his voice clear,
And he never sings cuckoo
Till the spring of the year.

Come all you young women,
Take a warning from me:
Never hang your affections
On a green growing tree,
For the leaves they will wither
And the branches will die.
If I am forsaken,
I know not for why.

If I am forsaken,
I'll not be forsworn,
And he's surely mistaken
If he thinks that I'll mourn.
I'll get myself up in
Some right high degree,
And pass as light by him
As he can by me.

Johnny's on the water --
He may sink or he may swim.
If he can do without me,
I can do without him.
Johnny is a young man --
Still younger am I,
And he often has told me
That he'll wed me or die.

The cuckoo, he's a pretty bird....

What does "be forsworn" mean in this context? Be shunned by men in general? The OED says it can also mean "perjure oneself", but the application of that here is unclear. I find that stanza very beautiful even tho obscure in that place.


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 08:11 PM

I like the winter version of the cuckoo song:

Winter is icumen in
Lhude sing pen-guin!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: Gurney
Date: 01 May 03 - 02:36 AM

In 'Ban Claudy' "She sucks the small birds eggs, to make her voice clear" which is factual. I wonder if the song has been made more presentable for the queasy.
Phillipa, are you trolling? That's a song usually sung by the men, and the cuckoo's nest is not a birds nest.


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 May 03 - 04:32 AM

Having been lucky enough to see and find nesting Mountain Bluebirds in the US, I would willingly trade all our European Cuckoos, to have them flying over our and rainbows and white cliffs.

We do sometimes get the odd lost American Cuckoo here.


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 06:05 AM

I've wondered about this too. I was asking a friend in Wicklow, and she said that she'd always heard (like Ian):

The cuckoo comes in April

She sings her song in May

In the middle of June

She changes her tune

And in August she flies away.

Sexism, of course, it's the males singing plaintively to advertise themselves to possible mates that give the cuck-oo, cuck-oo clock-sounding call.

In Ireland, the cuckoos arrive, flying north, tanned and relaxed, in April, and in May begin to sing for a mate; they pair up in June, and lay their eggs in someone else's nest (normally choosing the nest of the same species of bird that raised themselves), and by September they've headed south again, along with the swallows, corncrakes and so on.

(By the way, I understand that drought in the Sahel is one of the reasons for the corncrake's near extinction, as well as the use of mechanical harvesting which chops the heads off the young birds as they cringe in their nests amid the long grasses.)

But what I can't find out is *where* the cuckoos go when they fly south from Ireland. Anyone know?

And by the same token, are there any birds that migrate from Ireland to Crete?


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Subject: Lyr Add: CUCKOO SONG (Kipling, Bellamy)
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 06:42 AM

No one seems to have mentioned Kipling's "Cuckoo Song" which has been set to music by Peter Ballamy. Incidently "Heffle Cuckoo Fair" is actually "Heathfield (Sussex) Cuckoo Fair".

Tell it to the locked-up trees,
Cuckoo, bring your song here!
Warrant, Act and Summons, please,
For Spring to pass along here!
Tell old Winter, if he doubt,
Tell him squat and square -- o!
Old Woman!
Old Woman!
Old Woman's let the Cuckoo out
At Heffle Cuckoo Fair -- o!

March has searched and April tried --
'Tisn't long to May now.
Not so far to Whitsuntide
And Cuckoo's come to stay now!
Hear the valiant fellow shout
Down the orchard bare -- o!
Old Woman!
Old Woman!
Old Woman's let the Cuckoo out
At Heffle Cuckoo Fair -- o!

When your heart is young and gay
And the season rules it --
Work your works and play your play
'Fore the Autumn cools it!
Kiss you turn and turn-about,
But my lad, beware -- o!
Old Woman!
Old Woman!
Old Woman's let the Cuckoo out
At Heffle Cuckoo Fair -- o!


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 01:09 PM

Joe_F, a nice version.

"Forsworn" here means- I'm not tied down; if he scarpers, I won't mourn.
So much of the poem is about not caring if "he" goes, that is is obvious that the gal does care very much.

Forswear, "to swear, to vow to bring about." An old sense of the word, also in the OED. Still used locally in the States, and I am sure in UK as well.

"Never hang your affections on a green-growing tree"- this idea of hanging the heart, affections, etc. on a tree appears in several songs. Must be a very old saying.


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 06:45 PM

See Lomax's "Folk Songs of North America," in which "The Cuckoo" and "The Fourth Day of July" are placed on facing pages. Essentially same song, different attitude. The earlier "Cuckoo" has the bird never singing until April. If memory serves, Lomax's notes suggest "Fourth Day..." came along at the time when banjos were becoming more available in rural America. It seems it was just a case of the boys having fun with an old song and they probably didn't caring exactly when the cuckoo sang.


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 03:03 PM

Surely forsworn normally has to do with swearing (or promising) falsely?


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: MMario
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 03:08 PM

They migrate to somewhere in Africa. (That's about all they know)


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 10:24 PM


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 10:38 PM

I looked today for online lyrics of the cuckoo song which I quoted a verse from on June 19, 1999 - verse 3 in the lyrics below. If you think 1999 is long ago, I learned this song in the 1960s. I'm surprised this version isnt already on Mudcat, as far as I can find at the moment - it was via Mudcat search for various lines of the song that I found this old thread.

What I found on other sites is attributed to Ronnie Gilbert (recorded with the Weavers). Is she in any sense the author of this version, which you can see is related to some other cuckoo songs on this thread, and is especially close to a

A walkin and a talkin

The cuckoo is a pretty bird, she sings as she flies
She brings us the tidings and tells us no lies
She feeds on the pretty flowers in the spring of the year
And sings of my false love in a voice true and clear

A-walkin' and a-talkin', a-walkin' goes I
To meet my false lover and hear him deny
But if I'm forsaken, I have not foresworned
And he surely mistaken to think I shall mourn

For I can love little and I can love long
And I can love a sweetheart 'til a new one comes along
I can hug him, I can kiss him and prove my heart kind
And turn my back on him and likewise my mind

A-walkin' and a-talkin', a-walkin' goes I
To meet with my true love, we'll meet by and by
To walk and talk together it's all my delight
To walk and talk together from evening till night

---
This is very close to lyrics I have but the last lines I sing for verse 1 are "She drinks the spring waters for to make her voice clear, When her nest she is building then summer is near" and there are a few other minor differences. Did Jean Ritchie record this song too? I sometimes sing the false hearted lover is worse than a thief verses but I dont know if they were in the song the way I first heard it. The song is made up of floating verses.

(her nest she is building?! stealing more like it)


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 10:44 PM

Judy Collins sang:

The dove she is a pretty bird, she sings as she flies
She brings us glad tidings and tells us no lies
She drinks the spring waters to make her voice clear
When her nest she is building and summer is near

Come all you young fellows take warning by me
Don't go for a soldier, don't join no army
For the dove she will leave you, the raven will come
And death will come marching at the beat of a drum

Come all you pretty fair maids, come walk in the sun
And don't let your young man ever carry a gun
For the gun, it will scare her, and she'll fly away
And then there'll be weeping by night and by day.

The dove she is a pretty bird, she sings as she flies
She brings us glad tidings and tells us no lies
She drinks the spring waters to make her voice clear
When her nest she is building and summer is near


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 10:55 PM

Joe F's version at the end of this cuckoo thread http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=5102#3549076
thread.cfm?threadid=5102#3549076
is also similar to A Walkin' and a' Talkin' and again I'm familiar with the "take a warning by me" verses being part of the song.


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Subject: RE: Cuckoos
From: maeve
Date: 07 Apr 15 - 07:49 AM

Jean Ritchie's "The Cuckoo"

Jean Ritchie- lovely acapella version

Jean Ritchie- "The Cuckoo" different version 1952

Yellow-billed and Black billed cuckoos breed both in Maine (where we live) and New Hampshire, (Where Allison lives). Yellow-billed: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Yellow-billed_Cuckoo/lifehistory "Yellow-billed Cuckoos sometimes lay their eggs in other birds' nests—although they don't do this nearly as often as the Common Cuckoo of Eurasia, which made the behavior famous. When outbreaks of cicadas, tent caterpillars, gypsy moths, and other prey create an abundant food supply, Yellow-billed Cuckoos sometimes lay eggs in nests of other cuckoos as well as in those of American Robins, Gray Catbirds, and Wood Thrushes. "

Black-billed: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-billed_Cuckoo/lifehistory "Like its Old World relatives, the Black-billed Cuckoo is known occasionally to lay eggs in the nest of other bird species... Black-billed Cuckoos occasionally eat eggs of other birds."


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