Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sumer Is Icumen In

The first daylilies have opened, and orange blossoms now stand tall beside the trellis roses. More to open soon along the back fence.

In years past, these daylilies have opened on the exact first day of summer, but, just the like the summer-vacation weather, they have come early. Because the first hot, false spring came in March, many perennials got an early start and came to an early bloom, some on shortened stems.  It's hard to believe it's still May at this moment.*

Daylilies bloom in a kind of musical round, one a day, multiples on a stem, like "Sumer Is Icumen In," this traditional song, also known as "The Cuckoo Song," although there is another wonderful "Cuckoo Song" and "The Cuckoo Bird," sung by Deana Carter on the Songcatcher album, is spinning around in my head right now!

"The cuckoo is a pretty bird." And so on.

These lyrics look pretty "cuccu," don't they? So, here's a translation. (Wait! Is this a farting song?!)

Here's a picture of the original manuscript. You can click on karaoke instructions, or another translation. (Yes, farting. But in this version it's the billy-goat who is farting. In the other, it's the buck. Ah, problem solved! Re: translation, not animal flatulence.)

*Also, "sumer" might mean spring, not summer, in this particular song. (See same note, above, that refers to buck and billy-goat farting dispute.) Thank you, daylilies, for not smelling up the place (that is, in a bad way).

Thank you, Wikipedia, for public domain and free use daylily images.

Thank you, buck and/or billy-goat, for farting. Farting in the round. Karaoke style.

Cuckoo.


5 comments:

Collagemama said...

I love daylilies, but not goat farts so much. Your song got me hunting for an old carol with Christmas icumin. The Christmas one turns out to not be nearly as old as the cuckoo.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masters_in_This_Hall

http://www.makingmusicfun.net/htm/f_mmf_music_library_songbook/masters-in-the-hall-history-and-lyrics-of-a-christmas-favorite.htm

Kathleen said...

I ran across Ezra Pound's "Winter Is Icumin In" in my research, too.

Maureen said...

Well, I never knew!

Kathleen said...

Neither did I!

Collagemama said...

I liked Pound's version.

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