June Concert 2008

Sumer is Icumen in
Anon c1280

This four-part infinite canon at the unison (rota), with its accompanying two-part rondellus (pes), has been widely published. Although time has rendered the composer anonymous, the date of c1280 seems widely accepted. Controversy still remains over whether the Medieval English text sung in this performance, or a sacred Latin text, is the original.

Sumer is icumen in, lhude sing cuccu.
Groweth sed and bloweth med and springth the wode nu.
Sing cuccu. Awe bleteth after lomb, lhouth after calve cu.
Bulluc sterteth, bucke verteth, murie sing cuccu.
Cuccu, cuccu, wel singes thu cuccu, ne swik thu naver nu.

Summer has come, loudly sing cuckoo.The seed grows, the meadow blooms and the wood comes to life. Sing cuckoo. The ewe bleats for the lamb, the cow lows for the calf, the bullock starts, the buck farts. Merrily sing cuckoo. Cuckoo, cuckoo, much do you sing cuckoo – don’t stop now.