Summer Is a Coming In (Summer Is Icumen In)

Believed to be the oldest example of part-music in existence, this 13th century middle-English song is a round. This means parts come in at different times and all combine to make complex harmony. (You may have sung Row, Row, Row Your Boat as a round. See the music at the end of this post for the entrances of the various voices.) You can also sing this song in modern English with only one singer. It’s up to you!

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!
Summer is a coming in,
Loudly sing, Cuckoo!
Groweth seed and bloweth mead,
And springeth wood anew,
Sing, Cuckoo!
Ewe bleateth after lamb
The cow lows after the calf.
Bullock starteth buck, too, verteth*,
Merrily sing, Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo, well you sing,
Of cease thee never now,Sing cuckoo now. Sing, Cuckoo.
Sing Cuckoo. Sing cuckoo now!