The Cuckoo

from by Rosie Hodgson

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After deciding there were far too many songs about "inconstant lovers", Rowan decided to write a few new verses to this beautiful tune. His Grandma worked many years as an ornithologist, so it was a natural choice to feature more avian stories, whether they be Oscar Wilde fables, English nursery rhymes or references to the obscure Piggott tradition of Wren Day in Dingle!


Oh the Cuckoo is a pretty bird she sings as she flies,
She brings us good tidings she tells us no lies,
She sucks the little birds' eggs to keep her voice clear
And when she cries "cuckoo" the summer draws near.

As I walked down by the side of a bush
I heard two birds whistling, the Blackbird and Thrush,
I asked them reason so merry they be
And the answer that they gave me,
"We are single and we are free".

But the Nightingale sings so sweetly for true love she knows,
She's pierced her brown breast on the thorn of a rose,
That rose once as white as the first fall of snow
Glows scarlet in the moonlight her heartache to show.

A-walking and a-talking, a-walking was I,
When I spied Cock Robin in a ditch he did lie.
I asked him who caused him such sorrow such strife,
And he told me that the Sparrow had taken his life.

And when the year's a-turning and wassailing we go,
I'll spy our small King as he dashes through the snow,
The Wren singing boldly is out a ways in front,
Of the boys in straw costume who are out on the hunt...


from Rise Aurora, released December 1, 2016
Verses 1 & 2 traditional.
Verses 3,4 & 5 by Rowan Piggott.
Music traditional.



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Rosie Hodgson England, UK

Rosie is a folk singer/songwriter from Midhurst, West Sussex. Having grown up surrounded by traditional music, her voice possesses a naturalness and maturity, bringing "a ruby-richness to lyrics new and old". (Folk Radio UK)

Rosie is currently working with fiddle player Rowan Piggott.
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