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When I was in high school, one of my English projects was to compile 12 poems. The poems could be poems that had been written by someone else or poems that I had written. I still remember working on this project the day before and late at night, because like all students, I had procrastinated. I also remember my mom feeling bad for me because I was working “so hard”. I looked through books and magazines searching for poems that spoke to me; and when I could not find enough poems, I found pictures that spoke to me, and wrote poems. There are a few poems I still remember because they are beautiful. This one is one of them. It’s a medieval song and is sung using medieval language. Every summer, I am reminded of this song.
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Sumer is icumen in

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
And springþ þe wde nu,
Sing cuccu!

Awe bleteþ after lomb,
Lhouþ after calue cu.
Bulluc sterteþ, bucke uerteþ,
Murie sing cuccu!

Cuccu, cuccu,
wel singes þu cuccu;
Ne swik þu nauer nu.
Sing cuccu nu. Sing cuccu.
Sing cuccu. Sing cuccu nu!

Translation:

Summer has come in,
Loudly sing, Cuckoo!
The seed grows and the meadow blooms
And the wood springs anew,
Sing, Cuckoo!

The ewe bleats after the lamb
The cow lows after the calf.
The bullock stirs, the stag farts,
Merrily sing, Cuckoo!

Cuckoo, cuckoo, well you sing,cuckoo;
Don’t ever you stop now, Sing cuckoo now.
Sing, Cuckoo.
Sing Cuckoo. Sing cuckoo now!

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There are a lot of renditions of this song but I felt this one posted by La Harpe de melodie, was the purest one, as it had very little accompaniment that interferes with the singing; much like I envision it to have been back in its day.

Sumer is icumen in song.

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