Come you all lad and lassies, I'd have you give attention
To these few lines I'm about to write here.
'Tis of the four seasons of the year that I shall mention,
The beauty of all things doh appear.
And now you are young and all in your prosperity
Come cheer up your hearts and revive like the spring
Join off in pairs like the birds in February
That's St. Valentine Day is forth to bring.
Then cometh Spring, which all the land doth nourish;
The fields are beginning to be decked with green,
The trees put forth their buds and the blossoms they do flourish,
And the tender blades of corn on earth are to be seen.
Don't you see the little lambs by the dams-a-playing?
The cuckoo is singing in the shady rove.
The flowers they are springing, the maids they go a-Maying,
In love all hearts seem now to move.
Next cometh Autumn with the sun so hot and piercing,
The sportsman goes forth with his dog and his gun
To fetch down the woodcock, the partdridge and the pheasant,
For health and for profit as well as for fun
Behold, with loaded apple-trees the farmer is befriende.
They will fill up his casks that have long laid dry.
All nature seems to weary now, her task is nearly ended,
And more of the seasons will come by and by.
When night comes on with song ant tale we pass the wintry hours:
By keeping up a cheerful heart we hope for better days.
We tend the cattle, sow the seed, give work unto the ploughers,
With patience wait till winter yelds before the sun's fair rays
And so the world goes round and round, and every time and season
With pleasure and profit crowns the passage of the year.
And so through every time of life, to him who acts with reason
The beauty of all things doth appear.
(traditional english -XIX century)
Recorded at Annaghmakerring, Ireland, by Loreena McKennitt on
"To drive the cold wind away" (1994)