The Cuckoo: A chart topper since the 1200’s
The English folksong “The Cuckoo,” often sung as a round or canon, celebrated the arrival of summer recalling the sights and sounds of English barnyards and meadows. Some scholars consider the song a parody and possibly too coarse for polite society. The manuscript in which it is preserved was copied between 1261 and 1264. The song evolved into a more poetic form and became part of the English folksong lexicon. Give a listen to this transitional version where “she never sings cuckoo ’til summer is near.” Now that’s old-time music!
The “Down the Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina” podcast highlights bluegrass and old-time music stories, performers, and traditions across the mountain and foothills counties of Western North Carolina. Hosted by Laura Boosinger and produced by Corrie Askew and Joe Kendrick of WNCW-FM, the podcast is a joint effort of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, the North Carolina Arts Council, and WNCW-FM.