Blogger Ref http://www.youtube.com/Searle8
more modern instruments....(a "long" introduction before the music)
Ref Richard Thompson
..The Munich Olympics, 1972
Sumer Is Icumen In" (also called the Summer Canon and the Cuckoo Song) is a medieval English rota of the mid-13th century.
The title translates approximately to "Summer Has Come In" or "Summer Has Arrived" (Roscow 1999,[page needed]). The song is composed in the Wessex dialect of Middle English. Although the composer's identity is unknown today, it may have been W. de Wycombe. The manuscript in which it is preserved was copied between 1261 and 1264 (Wulstan 2000, 8).
This rota is the oldest known musical composition featuring six-part polyphony (Albright 1994,[page needed]), and is possibly the oldest surviving example of independent melodic counterpoint.
It is sometimes called the Reading Rota because the earliest known copy of the composition, a manuscript written in mensural notation, was found at Reading Abbey; it was probably not drafted there, however (Millett 2004). The British Library now retains this manuscript (Millett 2003a).
RotaA rota is a type of round, which in turn is a kind of partsong. To perform the round, one singer begins the song, and a second starts singing the beginning again just as the first got to the point marked with the red cross in the first figure below. The length between the start and the cross corresponds to the modern notion of a bar, and the main verse comprises six phrases spread over twelve such bars. In addition, there are two lines marked "Pes", two bars each, that are meant to be sung together repeatedly underneath the main verse. These instructions are included (in Latin) in the manuscript itself.
As six-voice round (four in melody, two in "pes")
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Lyrics translationsThe celebration of summer in "Sumer Is Icumen In" is similar to that of spring in the French poetic genre known as the reverdie (lit. "re-greening"). However, there are grounds for doubting such a straightforward and naïve an interpretation. The language used lacks all of the conventional springtime-renewal words of a reverdie (such as "green", "new", "begin", or "wax") except for springþ, and elements of the text, especially the cuckoo and the farmyard noises, are susceptible of double meanings. "It is the wrong bird, the wrong season, and the wrong language for a reverdie, unless an ironic meaning is intended" (Roscow 1999, 188, 190, 193).
Svmer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu
and bloweþ med
and springþ þe wde nu
Awe bleteþ after lomb
lhouþ after calue cu
murie sing cuccu
Wel singes þu cuccu
ne swik þu nauer nu
Sing cuccu nu • Sing cuccu.
Sing cuccu • Sing cuccu nu (Millett 2003b)
Spring has arrived, (Crystal 2004, 108)
Loudly sing, cuckoo!
The seed is growing
And the meadow is blooming,
And the wood is coming into leaf now,
The ewe is bleating after her lamb,
The cow is lowing after her calf;
The bullock is prancing,
The billy-goat farting,
Sing merrily, cuckoo!
You sing well, cuckoo,
Never stop now.
Sing, cuckoo, now; sing, cuckoo;
Sing, cuckoo; sing, cuckoo, now! (Millett 2003b)
The translation of "bucke uerteþ" is uncertain. Some translate the former word as "buck-goat" and the latter as "turns" or "cavorts," but the current critical consensus is that the line is the stag or goat "farts" (Millett 2003c; Wulstan 2000, 8).
Christian version in LatinA later version of the song with Latin lyrics reflects on the sacrifice of the Crucifixion of Jesus: