I don’t like summer. I find myself wishing for it to be over even before it’s properly begun.
So, today I’m drowning out the sound of kids happily playing in the balmy heat with the song Miri it is while sumer ilast – performed by the brilliant Ensemble Belladona – knowing that it’ll be over soon and winter will return.
It’s the earliest surviving secular song in English – dating to the first half of the 13th Century – and it makes me proud to be English. If you want to read a fascinating, in-depth analysis of the song, you can do so here.
Singing along is so bloody fun and I promise you, if you want to inject a bit of joy into your day, even if your a sun hater like I am, this song will give you that joy.
Here are the lyrics if you want to sing along.
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.
Here’s another version. You know, for a treat.