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Audio: Merry it is while summer lasts (1225 AD)

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Recorded by Ensemble Belladonna, “Miri it is while sumer ilast” is considered the oldest surviving secular English song. Unfortunately only one verse survives:

Miri it is while sumer ilast with fugheles song, oc nu
neheth windes blast and weder strong. ei ei what this
niht is long. and ich with wel michel wrong, soregh and
murn and fast.

Merry it is while summer lasts with the song of birds;
but now draws near the wind’s blast and harsh weather.
Alas, Alas! How long this night is! And I, most unjustly,
sorrow and mourn and fast.

Performers:
Miriam Andersén (voice & harp), Rebecca Bain (voice & fiddle), Susanne Ansorg (fiddle & rebec).

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Page containing the song. Credit: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Rawlinson Collection, MS. Rawl. G. 22

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