Summer is….

An ancient song…

Summer is icumen in

Lhud-e sing cuckoo

Groweth seed and bloweth mead

And springs the wood-e noo

Sing cuckoo

Ew-e bleateth after lamb

Low th after calv-e coo

Bullock starteth

Buck-e parteth

Merry sing cuckoo

Cuckoo cuckoo

Well sing-est thou

Cuckoo, nay stop thou never noo


Sing cu-ckoo noo sing cuckoo

This is an ancient summer song from England. It’s rustic words are a real tongue twister to sing. Our choir tackle it at this time of year. I tend to sing the burden because it’s a simple repeating line. You need good breathing though because it runs along below the main song and usually starts before and ends after the rest of the choir. We sing the music as a round, normally four groups for the tune singing summer is icumen in.. Summer is icumen in.. One group after the other. The foot/Burden group is usually split into two groups of two and start Sing Cu-ckoo… Sing Cu-ckoo…. Over and over.

As a side note, the first time I saw the song was in the film ‘the Green Man’ with Edward Woodward. The villagers sing this after he is captured as a sacrifice. I always get a little chill down my spine when we sing it! You can probably find it on YouTube…..

2 thoughts on “Summer is….

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