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Sumer Is Icumen In

This song is remarkable for being ahead of its time. It is a cannon in four parts sung over a two part "foot" or bass line, itself a cannon in two parts. This makes the whole song a polyphonic composition in six parts at a time when the most "advanced" music was in two or three part polyphony. The music with performance instructions was in a manuscript, originally in Reading Abbey.

Svmer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
and springþ þe wde nu.
Sing cuccu!
Summer is a-coming in
Loudly sing cuckoo
Groweth seed and bloweth mead
and springs the wood anew
Sing cuckoo!
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!
Ewe bleateth aft-er lamb,
Calf loweth after cow,
Bullock starteth, buck farteth,
Merry sing cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo!
Well singest thou cuckoo,
Nor cease thou never now!
Sing cuckoo now, Sing cuckoo!
Sing cuccu, Sing cuccu nu!
Foot (or Bass)
Sing cuckoo, Sing cuckoo now!