Tell it to the locked-up trees, Cuckoo, bring your song here! Warrant, Act and Summons, please, For Spring to pass along here! Tell old Winter, if he doubt, Tell him squat and square-a! Old Woman! Old Woman! Old Woman's let the Cuckoo out At Heffle Cuckoo Fair-a! March has searched and April tried -- 'Tisn't long to May now. Not so far to Whitsuntide, And Cuckoo's come to stay now! Hear the valiant fellow shout Down the orchard bare-a! Old Woman! Old Woman! Old Woman's let the Cuckoo out At Heffle Cuckoo Fair-a! When your heart is young and gay And the season rules it -- Work your works and play your play Before the Autumn cools it! Kiss you turn and turn about, But, my lad, beware-a! Old Woman! Old Woman! Old Woman's let the Cuckoo out At Heffle Cuckoo Fair-a!
About the headline (FAQ)The poem is published with the following note at the top: "Spring begins in Southern England on the 14th April, on which date the Old Woman lets the Cuckoo out of her basket at Heathfield Fair -- locally known as Heffle Cuckoo Fair."
Confirmed with The Works of Rudyard Kipling, Wordsworth Editions, Ware, Hertfordshire: 1994, page 519.
- by Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936), "Cuckoo song" [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Martin Edward Fallas Shaw (1875 - 1958), "Heffle Cuckoo Fair" [voice and piano] [text verified 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson
This text was added to the website: 2013-07-26
Line count: 30
Word count: 140