Sumer is icumin in – A Beautiful Old Canon

Sumer is icumen in is possibly the oldest canon in print (circa 1226 a.d.)  It was written in Middle English.  You can read the original here, followed by a translation into modern English and a lovely YouTube rendition by two girls.

cuckoo

Sumer is icumen in

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweth sed and bloweth med
And springeth the wde nu,
Sing cuccu!
Awe bleteth after lomb,
Llouth* after calve cu.
Bulloc sterteth, bucke verteth,
Murie sing cuccu,
Cuccu, cuccu!
Wel singes thu, cuccu;
Ne swik thu naver nu.

English Translation

Summer has come,
Loudly sing cuckoo!
Seeds grow, and meadow blooms
And the woods bud anew,
Sing cuckoo!
The ewe bleats after the lamb,
The cow moos after the calf,
The bullock leaps, the buck farts,
Merry sing, Cuckoo!
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
Well you sing Cuckoo,
Nor cease you never now…

Listen below…

Translation by Mama Lisa.  You can learn more about Sumer is iumen in on Mama Lisa’s World England Song Pages.

This article was posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2012 at 9:06 am and is filed under Canons, Countries & Cultures, England, English, Languages, Middle English, Music, Songs by Theme, Traditional Music, YouTube. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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