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Lyr Req: Sumer Is Icumen In/Summer Is A-Coming In

DigiTrad:
HAL AN TOW
SUMER IS ICUMEN IN


Related threads:
Lisa Knapp's Hal-an-Tow (11)
Lyr Req: Hal n Toe? / Hal an Tow (26)
Lyr/Tune Add: Helston Hal an Tow (21)
What does 'Hal an Tow' mean? (89)
Lyr Req: May songs (5)
Want first verse to Hal an Tow. (26)
Lyr Req: alt. verses to Hal An Tow (21)
Hal and Toe / Hal and Tow (20)
Hal An Tow: notes? (43)
hal an tow. What's it about? (5)
Hal an Tow (34)
Hal an Tow (10)
Hal and Tow (5)


j0_77 14 Aug 99 - 12:32 AM
Helen 14 Aug 99 - 01:20 AM
j0_77 14 Aug 99 - 01:25 AM
Pete M 14 Aug 99 - 03:06 AM
Ted from Australia 14 Aug 99 - 03:21 AM
Alan of Australia 14 Aug 99 - 03:51 AM
Barry Finn 14 Aug 99 - 12:21 PM
j0_77 14 Aug 99 - 12:41 PM
j0_77 14 Aug 99 - 02:07 PM
HaHa 14 Aug 99 - 02:29 PM
j0_77 14 Aug 99 - 02:51 PM
IanC 16 Jul 02 - 09:53 AM
masato sakurai 16 Jul 02 - 12:27 PM
greg stephens 16 Jul 02 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,Desdemona at work 16 Jul 02 - 01:04 PM
Uncle_DaveO 16 Jul 02 - 02:33 PM
gnomad 16 Jul 02 - 03:09 PM
KingBrilliant 17 Jul 02 - 03:09 AM
GUEST,greg stephens 17 Jul 02 - 03:25 AM
KingBrilliant 17 Jul 02 - 05:33 AM
masato sakurai 17 Jul 02 - 08:29 AM
Wincing Devil 17 Jul 02 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,adavis@truman.edu 18 Jul 02 - 01:56 AM
greg stephens 18 Jul 02 - 05:13 AM
greg stephens 18 Jul 02 - 05:27 AM
MMario 18 Jul 02 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,NMZouk 17 Oct 07 - 07:14 PM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 18 Oct 07 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,keberoxu 19 Jun 16 - 06:01 PM
Richard Mellish 20 Jun 16 - 05:14 PM
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Subject: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: j0_77
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 12:32 AM

Ok guys there is a song by this or a name like it. Comments. BTW It is a very olde one from merry England and pos Robin Hood era.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: Helen
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 01:20 AM

Hi Jo

Here is a site with a midi file of Summer is icumen in

http://www.areacom.it/html/arte_cultura/duke/jukebox.htm

I tried searching the forum for the lyrics because I'm sure someone posted them in the last few months but I can't remember which thread it was and the forum search doesn't allow body searches (no, I'm not referring to police procedures *BG*) so I couldn't find it. Someone else may remember which thread it was in or will know the words.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: j0_77
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 01:25 AM

thakyou Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: Pete M
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 03:06 AM

Hi Jo,

here is a link to the words "sumer is icumen in"

Pete M


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Subject: Lyr Add: HAL AN TOW
From: Ted from Australia
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 03:21 AM

Here is one that mentions Robin hood and summer coming in HAL AN TOW

Take no scorn to wear the horn
It was the crest when you were born
Your father's father wore it
And your father wore it to

Hal an tow, jolly rumbalo
We were up long before the day o
To welcome in the summer
To welcome in the may o
For summer is a comin in
And winter's gone away o

Robin Hood and Little John
Have both gone to the fair o
and we will to the merry green wood
To hunt the buck and hare o

What happened to the Spaniards
Who made so great a boast o
It's they shall eat the feathered goose
And we shall eat the roast o

And as for that good knight, St. George
St. George he was a knight o
Of all the knights of Christendom
St. George is the right o

God bless Aunt Mary Moses
In all her power and might o
May she send peace to England
Send peace by day and night o

Recorded by Watersons on Frost & Fire; by Shirley Collins on No Roses;Steeleye Span
The Oyster Band on Step Outside and others

From the DT
Regards Ted


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Subject: Lyr Add: SUMMER IS A-COMIN' IN
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 03:51 AM

G'day,
I have seen this song named as the oldest known song in the English language (early 13th cent), however in a book I recently acquired, "Medieval English Lyrics", there are two older ones.

Here is how I've heard it sung ("modernised"):-

Summer is a-comin' in
Singeth loud cuckoo
Groweth seed and bloweth mead
And springeth the woods anew
Ewe bleateth after lamb
After calf the cow
Bullock rouseth and buck brouseth
Merry sing cuckoo
Sing cuckoo, sing cuckoo, sing cuckoo.

Then sung as a round.

The last part of the old version, not used in the "modern" version translates as: Cuckoo, cuckoo, well singest thou cuckoo, nor cease thou never now.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 12:21 PM

Try in the threads, back awhile ago there was a lengthy dicussion on Hal An Tow. Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: j0_77
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 12:41 PM

Thankyou Peter and Allan, that is the songe :) It was, I understand, the first song ever notated by some monks at olde English Abbey. I've yet to get an exact date - though 11 th century sounds kinda close - reasearching.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SUMER IS ICUMEN IN
From: j0_77
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 02:07 PM

Oh wow - there is a 'naughty' word in the original
the best site I found - contains both words and tune

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~msmiller/rounds.html

A 'plaque' at the Abbey in Reading England, records the song. It is rendered in some kind of 'shape notes' possibly related to lute strings?? It appears the Abbey dates from the 13th Century - it has a colorful history. King Henry Beauclerc (sorry bout the spelling) is buried there. This one was the son of the famous Willian the Conq - who it appears was illegitimate. I guess the invasion was the result of some silly remark by the then English monarch - like 'Oh so thats how ye singe zummer ... ' Boing :)

Anywho here is the unedited song.

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing, cuccu!
Groweth sed and bloweth med
And springth the wude nu.
Sing, cuccu!

Awe bleteth after lomb,
Lhouth after calve cu
Bulloc sterteth, bucke ferteth.
Murie sing, cuccu!
Cuccu, cuccu,
Wel singes thu, cuccu.
Ne swik thu naver nu!

Translation

Spring has come in
Loudly sing, cuckoo!
Grows the seed and blooms the meadow
And the woods springs now
Sing, cuckoo!

The ewe bleats after the lamb
Lows after the calf the cow
The bull leaps, the buck farts.
Merrily sing, cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo,
Well sing you, cuckoo.
Nor cease you ever now!

Sing cuccu nu, sing cuccu!
Sing cuccu nu, sing cuccu!

Sung annually at Reading Abbey Gateway.
Earliest folk song tradition ?? Since the 13th century? Wow world record for folk festivals.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: HaHa
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 02:29 PM

It was noted by G. Legman [The Limerick, 1969] that...

"I do not insist that 'Sumer is i-cumen in' (about 1300), the oldest popular song in the English language, is in the limerick form, but a rather good case can be made for its stanzaic portion at least, and the possibility ought not to be overlooked. In modernized spelling:

Ewe bleateth after lamb, Low'th after calve coo; Bullock starteth, Bucke farteth- Merry sing cuckoo!

With all that has been written about 'Sumer is i-cumen in' - and it has taken almost a library of learned annotation to vindicate even the simple barnyard humor of the buck's crepitation at the highest note and melodic climax of the song - no suggestion has ever yet been made as to just what its prosodic form may be; and where, and when, and whether any verses similar to it may be found, in any language."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: j0_77
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 02:51 PM

My interest is primarily in the fact that the 'piece' was written down, which at the time was rare, I find it hard to believe that ancient musicians did not do what all musicians do - play by ear, pick up fragments from any source, travel to far away places - in this case probably Banbury Oxon (Friar Tuck singing about stampeeding cattle spooked by a buck breaking wind and wandering through the woods .....on his way to Banbury)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: IanC
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 09:53 AM

While looking for something else, I found a copy of the (C1250) manuscript version of Sumer is Icumen In on the Wessex Parallel Web Texts site. Thought I'd post a link to it here for completeness. It even has advice on how to sing karaoke from the original!

Beware, thi image takes a long time to load!

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 12:27 PM

Thanks for the link, Ian. I have that Hilliard Ensemble CD, so I can practice in my room.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 12:42 PM

the curious thing about this piece is not so much the farting buck as the fact that the muical language, the handling of harmony and counterpoint, seems infinitely more "modern" or "sophisticated" than other contemporary written music. A much more convincing case for little grey men in space ships, or visits from undersea ancient civilations, tan your pyramids and stuff: which let's face it don't need a great leap of the imagination. Six part harmony does.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: GUEST,Desdemona at work
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 01:04 PM

The Dufay Collective do a very nice version of it on their "Miri It Is" CD; check out Chandos records to get a copy.

D.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 02:33 PM

Jo_77 gives the fourth line of the untranslated version as:

And springeth the wude nu.

I believe the word "the" is an intruder here. I've never seen it in this position. Among other things, it fouls up the scansion, which goes:

And SPRING-eth WOO-duh NOO

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: gnomad
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 03:09 PM

Nice parody also available in DT

WINTER IS ICUMMEN IN

makes me giggle anyway.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 03:09 AM

Reading Abbey is a ruin, and has been since Henry VIII dissoluted it - the git.
It's right next to Reading Gaol (of Oscar Wilde fame).
Plays and music events are sometimes held in the ruins - and its quite atmospheric in the dark.
There was, allegedly, a lot of "treasure" hidden at the time of the dissolution - generations of kids have dreamed of finding genuine buried treasure....
There is indeed a plaque of Summer is icummen in. Its nice to think that big ugly towns like Reading can have quiet places with a bit of musical cultural history.
Makes me quite chuffed to live here.

KRis


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: GUEST,greg stephens
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 03:25 AM

Summer may have been icumen in since 1200AD, but it's only just arrived in Stoke.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 05:33 AM

I think its icum & igone in Reading.

KRis


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 08:29 AM

The 13th-century sumer is not the same as the present-day summer. This site even translates the tilte as "Spring has come in". However,

Sumer: spring or summer? The ME word extends over a longer period than the modern one (see Fischer (1994)). Roscow (1999) argues that the poem describes early summer rather than spring.
(From HERE.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: Wincing Devil
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 09:04 AM

Remember, only recently did we mark solstice as the beginning of summer. To some folks, Solstice is Midsummer (as in A Midsummer Night's Dream). Either way, it's been UNGAWDLY hot so far, don't you think?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: GUEST,adavis@truman.edu
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 01:56 AM

Did anybody mention the dirty joke? "Merry sing cuckoo" means "lotsa cuckolds a-coining these warm spring nights." The cuckoo clock is an elaborate version of the same gag, I've heard it said. The informant observed, "and that's about as close as the Swiss ever come to humor."

For variation, Ezra Pound did a parody:

Winter is i-cumen in
Hlude sing ghoddam.
Lurcheth bus
And sloppeth us
Hlude sing goddam goddam
Hlude sing goddam!

Best,

Adam


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 05:13 AM

Any deer-hunters who can help out on dates here?Is there a particular time of year when they fart?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 05:27 AM

That farting deer has caused a lot of problems. The song has always been famous and important, so dealing with that line when modernising it for school use has exercised minds considerably.I noticed in an earlier posting it was quoted as "browseth".This comes presumably from a specious explanation that "verteth" (so spelled in the original MS) was a word meaning "eating green shoots" (from French vert=green). Chappell in "Popular Music of the Olden Time" goes even more fanciful, saying that "verteth" means "frequents the green fern". I imagine he knew perfectly well what it meant, but was also aware what you could and couldnt publish in 1850.
Probably not a problem nowadays: I doubt if boring old songs(or farts) are part of the New National Relevant Curriculum.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: MMario
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 08:23 AM

hmmmmmmm--verteth - from the french vert=green. Possibly a reference to the antlers in velvet - being "green"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: GUEST,NMZouk
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 07:14 PM

In spring when grazing animals begin to eat fresh greens it gives them the farts.
People then lived much closer to the natural world than most people do today.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Summer is a comm?in in' ?
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 09:28 AM

Nice to hear a about Reading for once, having grown up there. Once upon a time, every kid who grew up there could tell you that "Sumer is Icumen In" is the oldest surviving piece of written music in England.

Apparently a bunch of Morris Dancers dance to it at dawn in the Abbey ruins on May morning, but I never managed to get up in time to see this. I suspect it's actually been fairly recently adopted by folkies (as opposed to early music buffs) on account of its antiquity and traditional feel. Seeing as it was written less than 600 years after England became a Christian country (and features in "The Wicker Man") I reckon it's well on its way to becoming a "survival from pagan times" ;-)

King B, quite right, the Abbey Ruins and the Forbury Gardens next to them are one of the few peaceful and pleasant places left in Reading.. going off on a tangent here, there's a local legend end about the statue of the lion in the Forbury- the legs are wrong (it's walking with both left legs forward), and when the sculptor was informed of this error, hanged himself in shame from the lion's mouth. I've no idea where this story came from, it all sounds a little far-fetched,

There's also a statue of of Queen Victoria outside the town hall which directly facing the railway station, apparently because she came to visit and was so mightily unimpressed by the place that she turned straight back. That I can believe.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sumer Is Icumen In
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 06:01 PM

Farting deer. I learn something new at Mudcat all the time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sumer Is Icumen In/Summer Is A-Coming In
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 05:14 PM

Seeing as this thread has just been revived, it seems worthwhile to emphasize Masato's point: "icumen" is an old form of the past participle, corresponding to modern German gekommen, so "A-Coming" in the thread title is misleading.


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