> June Tabor > Songs > Now Welcome Summer

Now Welcome Summer

[Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1340-1400)]

June Tabor sang Geoffrey Chaucer' poem Now Welcome Summer in 2005 on her Topic CD At the Wood's Heart. She noted:

This roundel comes at the end of the Parlement of Foules. Martin Shaw set it to “an old Irish carol tune” in the 1928 edition of The Oxford Book of Carols.

For this was on Saint Valentine's Day,
When every fowl cometh th choose her make.

The superstition has continued into the folklore of the 19th and 20th century. Saint Valentine was an early martyr clubbed to death around AD 270 for aiding persecuted Christians. He was assigned the 14th of February as his Saint's Day.

Lyrics

June Tabor sings Now Welcome Summer

Now welcome summer with thy sunne soft,
Now welcome summer with thy sunne soft,
That hast this winter`s weather overshake,
And driven away the longe nightes black.

Saint Valentine, that art full high on loft,
Thus singen smalle fowles for thy sake:
Now welcome summer with thy sunne soft,
That hast this winter`s weathers overshake.

Well have they cause for to gladden oft,
Well have they cause for to gladden oft,
Since each of them recovered hath his make.
Full blissful may they singen when they wake:

Now welcome summer with thy sunne soft,
Now welcome summer with thy sunne soft,
That hast this winter`s weather overshake,
And driven away the longe nightes black.