Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

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

.

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).

.

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: