We are now well into the Month of May, Spring is at it’s height and England never looks better than at this time of year. This Madrigal which celebrates May was written by Thomas Morley in 1595, the year that Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet was first performed and Robert Southwell was executed at Tyburn.
Now is the month of maying,
When merry lads are playing
Each with his bonny lass
Upon the greeny grass.
The Spring, clad all in gladness,
Doth laugh at Winters sadness,
And to the bagpipes sound
The nymphs tread out their ground.
Fie then! why sit we musing,
Youth’s sweet delight refusing?
Say, dainty nymphs, and speak,
Shall we play barley- break?
Thomas Morley 1595
So that you can also hear the tune I have added this video fromYouTube. I considered leaving it out because it is seriously naff. I eventually decided it was too funny to leave out. Someone on YouTube likened it to Monty Python and they do have a point! See if you can watch this without thinking of Terry Jones/Eric Idle & co.