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The cuckoo and the owl

Set by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895 - 1968), "The cuckoo and the owl" [high voice and piano], from Shakespeare Songs, Book VII, no. 3. [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Note: this setting is made up of several separate texts.

When daisies pied and violets blue
 [And lady-smocks all silver white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,]1
  Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo, then on ev'ry tree
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,
  Cuckoo,
Cuckoo, cuckoo: o word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear.

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
  And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
[When]2 turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
  And maidens bleach their summer [smocks]3,
The cuckoo, then on ev'ry tree
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,
  Cuckoo,
Cuckoo, cuckoo: o word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear.

Authorship


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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Kevät", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo)
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist) , "Lied. Der Frühling", first published 1870
  • NOR Norwegian (Bokmål) (Arild Bakke) , "Når spraglet tusenfryd", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Stravinsky: reversed.
2 Arne: "And"
3 Arne: "frocks"


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail;
When blood is nipt and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl:
Tu-who! 
Tu-whit! Tu-who! -- A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw;
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl
Then nightly sings the staring owl:
Tu-who! 
Tu-whit! Tu-who! -- A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

Authorship


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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):


Submitted by Clive Robinson