That 'something else' is Rant, an instrument-free all-voice collection of trad folk songs (Sumer Is Icumen In
, The Old Dun Cow), old Futureheads tunes (Robot, Man Ray) and choice covers (Black Eyed Peas' Meet Me Halfway, Sparks' No 1 Song In Heaven).
In Volume Six was a facsimile of the first English song to be written down: Sumer is icumen in
, Llude sing cuccu!
195) that some manuscripts of 'Sumer is icumen in
' (which the author with some reason takes as a send-up or parody) read uerteth 'cavorts' for verteth 'breaks wind'.
The twelve-line Middle English rondellus or rota "Sumer is icumen in "--often referred to as the "Cuckoo Song" or the "Summer canon"--is so well known as to be virtually an early British literature institution.
The context for "Sumer is icumen in" includes Latin words for the musical canon that comprise their own lyric sentiment and contrafactum: Christian gaudium for Christ's sacrifice and resurrection.
Since context is important to my argument, I should say a few words about the manuscript miscellany and the pieces surrounding the "Summer canon," especially because the English and Latin lyrics of "Sumer is icumen in" harmonize in somewhat the way the miscellany texts complement and comment on one another.
"Sumer is icumen in" has even been characterized as a reverdie--a spring song--although technically it is not a spring song but a song in celebration of summer.
Five choirs under the Oregon Festival Choirs umbrella will sing during "Sumer Is Icumen In
," a Mother's Day concert at 3 p.m.
Schofield, 'The Provenance and Date of "Sumer Is Icumen In"', Music Review, ix (1948), 81-6; Jacques Handschin, 'the Summer Canon and Its Background', Musica Disciplina, iii (1949), 5494, and v (1951), 65-113; Frank Ll.
5 Nino Pirrotta was the first to make this point explicitly in 'On the Problem of "Sumer Is Icumen In"', Musica Disciplina, ii (1948), 205-16, at 207-8.
The result was a lengthy list of tunes dating back to the 11th century that included such "hits" as Sumer is Icumen In
, a ditty recounting King Henry V's conquest of France, and tracks by Hoagy Carmichael, Squeeze and Britney Spears.
These are: first, Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Digby 23, dating from the twelfth century, and best known for its copy of the Chanson de Roland; second, British Library, MS Harley 978, a richly various multilingual miscellany long treasured by scholars for its copy of 'Sumer is Icumen In
'; and third, British Library, MS Royal 10.