May Day Revels, Part 1

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This page introduces the May Day Revels, which among the Indo-Europeans are generally for *Pria, the Goddess of Spring Flowers. In the Germanic languages, she is known as Freya. The traditional activities most associated with May Day especially in England are dew gathering, hawthorn flower gathering, and May dancing, music and romantic love. All over northern Europe and in England, people danced around Maypoles. There is so much information about May Day that I have divided it into four separate pages on this website. To make it easier to find the various topics, here is a Table of Contents for all four pages.

fluted trunk of a hawthorn tree Table of Contents
Freya (different page)
Invocations
May Day Revels, Part 1 (this page)
Walpurgis Night
Medieval May Dances
Customs for Children
Hawthorn Tree Songs
May Dew Songs
May Day Songs (different page)
Visiting Songs
Syllabub Recipe
May Day Revels, Part 2 (different page)
Furry Day Dances
Maypole Dances
Tree in the Wood Songs (Summerisle or Maypole Song)
Morris Dances

The festival of May Day is normally celebrated out of doors and consists of welcoming the warmer weather in spring which allowed people to resume a life of more comfort and freedom without the need to wear heavy clothes, work to keep warm or huddle indoors. Music is an essential part of any festivity, so interspersed with this discussion will be charms, songs and dances and entire operas connected to May festivals. Most of the entries are in English and some other Germanic languages, and most of them are related to the Celtic and Germanic forms of Indo-European religion. Although this study is based on linguistic research on the Indo-European religion, most of these songs were chosen because they are traditional, pretty and fairly easy to learn and they relate to the loveliness of May-time. They are numbered for convenience.
#walpurgis

Walpurgisnacht, Walpurga’s Night

This festival is most widely celebrated on May Day, now set to the 1st of May, but Spring is celebrated on various days all through the month. Beltaine, as the name is in Celtic countries, is also now set to the 1st day of May, which is fixed in the annual calendar. But back when the calendars were still set by the phases of the moon, it would have fallen on the 1st New Moon of the 5th month (depending on when you think the year begins, here set to January for convenience). This means that Walpurgis Night would have fallen on the dark of the moon. The same scenario, with the festival beginning on the dark of the moon on the night before the new month, applies to Halloween and Samhain, and probably the other cross quarter festivals.

Walpurgisnacht ‘Walpurga’s Night,’ when the festival actually begins, is April 30, the evening before May Day. Walpurga is a byname of Freya and is also found related to her or to her myth in cognate forms in other Indo-European languages. This time of year coincides loosely with the first dew fall, that is the time of year when frost no longer forms at night, but rather the temperature remains above freezing at least for some of the nights. This change in the weather allows the growth of green things and the blooming of all the flowers. This in turn allows for the cattle to be turned out of their winter quarters and released to feed on the new grass which increases the amount and quality of milk available to humans.

Walpurgisnacht is not named after St. Walburga, as is commonly said, although there actually may have been a person named Walburga. She is said to have been a sister to Saints Winibald and Willibald and she wrote biographies of her famous brothers. She probably carries the ancient name of the Goddess in Anglo-Saxon either because her mother valued it or because it was still a popular name in her family or society. However, the saint’s name became attached to the festival as a way of “explaining” the meaning of the name of the holiday. St. Walburga’s feast day is set to May 1st because that was already the name of a major festival of Freya. The pretense that the festival of Walpurgisnacht is named for St. Walburga provides a convenient way of obscuring the festival’s older Pagan origin.

1. Charm for Walpurgis Dew or Walpurgisthau
I’m not sure if other people notice it now, but early in the morning where the grass is still wet with dew, and with the bright sun behind you, you can see the dew drops change color like the colors of the rainbow. Each drop of dew is a different color and as you walk along they change color, ruby, topaz, dark sapphire and emerald. This may be the origin of “fairy jewels” which are beautiful but disappear in the broad light of day. Here is a charm for Walpurga’s Dew, given under Walpurgisthau from the Deutsches Wörterbuch, put together by the brothers Grimm.
Eine bäuerin ging jedes jahr am tage Walburgis vor sonnenaufgang in ihre felder, .... schnitt drei grashalme ab und sprach:
“du guter Walbernthau,
bringe mir so weit ich schau
in jedem hälmlein gras
ein tröpflein schmalz.”
-- Panzer (author)
A farmwoman goes every year on Walpurgis Day before sunrise into her fields and cuts three blades of grass and says:
“thou good Walpurgis dew,
bring me as far as I see
in every little blade of grass,
a little drop of gold.”

A free translation for “Fairy Jewels” or the Walpurgis Dew Charm might be:

Dear good Walpurga, bring to me,
As far as ever eye can see,
For every dew drop the grass may hold,
A little drop of fairy gold.

There are more songs related to May dew further on.

2. Dr. Faustus and Walpurgisnacht
Quite a different coloring is given to this time of year in traditional sources related to the career of Dr. Faustus, a figure of fiction or fear in popular literature long before Goethe’s elaborate poem. Many early descriptions of Faust’s life are given in chapbooks, cheap but charming books with woodcut illustrations. The oldest version of Faust dates to 1599, and while the story of Dr. Faustus is nonsense, this is where it comes from. I didn’t notice any versions which specifically mentioned Walpurgisnacht however, until Goethe’s poem Faust. Part 1 has a scene in which the protagonists participate in a meeting of “spirits” on Walpurgisnacht called Walpurgisnacht’s Dream. It depicted Oberon and Titania’s Wedding. This is seen as part of the Witches’ Revel on the Brocken mountain, a tradition in Germany. Since the reunification of East and West Germany, Pagans are now able to celebrate Walpurgisnacht at the Brockenberg, which they do.

The original poem “Faust” with text by Goethe inspired many other artistic creations. There are many operas about Faust, but the most popular has a score by Charles Gounod. As was customary at the time, Gounod’s opera has an Intermezzo. There are a number of different versions of the intermezzo, some performed as part of the opera and others completely reimagined as separate ballet performances, independent of the opera. The opera score by Charles Gounod is published by Schirmer. This has the vocal score while the complete ballet music by Leo Delibes is in an appendix, pp. 300-323. There is a very nice performance of the ballet Walpurgis Night as a Bacchanalia, by the Bolshoi Theatre with the very sprightly Walpurgis night dance.

3. Die Erste Walpurgisnacht
Felix Mendelssohn wrote an operetta in 1832-1833 called Die Erste Walpurgisnacht ‘The First Walpurgis Night.’ It is based on a “dramatic ballad” by Goethe published in Goethes Werke in Sechs Bänden, edited by Erich Schmidt. “Die Erste Walpurgisnacht” is on pp. 193-196 in Part 1 of the Schriften der Goethe-gesellschaft (series). Goethe’s poem Die Erste Walpurgisnacht in German is also on the internet.

The music for the operetta Die Erste Walpurgisnacht with the setting by Felix Mendelssohn, and with a contemporary English translation by William Bartholomew, is published in an edition by John Michael Cooper. There are, of course, several recordings on CD’s, and a version that is on YouTube at the moment is Mendelssohn's Die Erste Walpurgisnacht by the Philharmonia Orchestra. Strophe 1, Es Lacht der Mai, is a Welcome May song and it is very beautiful. #meddance

Medieval May Dancing

In the Middle Ages, people used to make little booths or shelters of the branches of trees and spend the day feasting and making merry on the lawns, with music, singing, and dancing. May Day is an out-of-doors festival. Many secular songs were recorded on the continent long before secular music was notated in England, and there are entire genres of secular music known from Europe from the early Middle Ages.

4. Maiden in the Moor Lay
This is one of the earliest songs in English for which we have the music because it was mentioned in the Red Book of Ossory, Ms. Bodley 13679, put together by (Bishop) Richard de Ledrede, of the 14th century. The explanation for how this song was preserved and later recognized is given by John Stevens in Words and Music of the Middle Ages, pp. 182-184. The words are from B.M. Rawlinson D.913 with one stanza of the song known from another source. A version of the words are given in Medieval English Songs by E. J. Dobson and F. L. Harrison, p. 269. The music is known because the same tune was used for “Peperit Virgo,” a Christian song, for which the music was later written down. Ledrede wrote the words of “Peperit Virgo” to be sung to the tune of the secular (or Pagan) song “Maid in the Moor Lay,” since he wanted to discourage people from singing any non-Christian songs. It is ironic that, in attempting to replace this beautiful song with a Christian hymn to the “Virgin”, the bishop has preserved the ancient English song for us. Here I have modernized the English while trying to keep it close enough to the original to maintain the meter.

Maiden in the moor lay
in the moor lay
Seven nights fulle
Seven nights fulle
Maiden in the moor lay
in the moor lay
Seven nights fulle
Seven nights fulle and a day

What was her meat?
Well was her meat
The primerole and the
The primerole and the
What was her meat?
Well was her meat
The primerole and the
The primerole and the violet.

What was her drink?
Well was her drink
The cold water of the
The cold water of the
What was her drink?
Well was her drink
The cold water of the
The cold water of the well spring.

What was her bower?
Well was her bower
The red rose and the
The red rose and the
What was her bower?
Well was her bower
The red rose and the
The red rose and the lily flower

There are several performances of this song, each very different because the exact way the words and music should go together is debatable. Mediæval Bæbes whisper Maiden in the Mor Lay on the Undrentide CD. A much better performance of Maid in the Moor Lay by Anúna can be heard on YouTube and it has a really good video although it seems to be based on Peter Dronke's bizarre theory. This performance was directed by Michael McGlynn on the self-titled Anúna CD where it can also be heard. The christianized version called Peperit Virgo is performed by Anonymous 4 on the Yoolis Night CD, if you wish to compare.

5. Willekommen Mayenschein
This is a Minnelied by Neidhart von Reuenthal, written about 1250 CE. The music and the words in German with an English translation are given in Masterpieces of Music before 1750, by Carl Parrish & John Ohl. This is Song #5, on p. 13-15 and in their English translation it begins “Welcome art thou, May’s bright sun.” Minnelieder are usually love songs but this one is addressed directly to the Sun, or properly to the Mayshine. I think this is performed on the CD’s that were made to accompany the Norton book where it is Track 5 on Disc 1, but I couldn’t find a good link for where they are available.

6. O Tyt Zeer Lustich by Tielman Susato
This is one of many songs composed by Susato, or collected by him in the collections of the First and Second Music Boxes, as he calls them. These songs are in Dutch, for four voices, published around 1551. Some of these are “art songs” that is, they are composed to show off the musical and literary gifts of the composer. But some, such as No. 47 in Box 2, are identified as a popular songs or folksongs. This one begins:

O tyt zeer lustich, vul melodyen,
O smeys saisoen, edel sonder ghenoot...
This is translated by Timothy McTaggart as:
O happy time, full of joy,
O season of May, splendid beyond compare.

Unfortunately this song is quite morose, but there are other May songs. The songs with music and words and a very nice scholarly apparatus are published in Musyck Boexken, Books 1 and 2, Dutch Songs for four voices by Tielman Susato, ed. by Timothy McTaggart as Volume 108 in Recent Researches in the Music of the Renaissance. The songs have been recorded by the Egidius Kwartet (voices) and the Egidius Consort (instruments) and “O Tyt Zeer Lustich” is #19 on Disc 2 in the Egidius recordings.

May Dances in German
There are several very pretty songs, with words and music given from Geschichte des Tanzes in Deutschland by Franz M. Böhme, pp. 5-6. These examples are from the 15th century.

7. Alter Reigen um das erste Veilchen
This is Song #10 in Geschichte des Tanzes, “for the first violet” which gives the words and the music, though it seems to have only one verse which goes:

Der Meie, der Meie
bringt uns der Blümlein viel
Ich trag ein frei Gemüthe,
Gott weiß wol wem ichs will
Gott weiß wol wem ichs will
You can also find the music for Alter Reihentanz um das erste Veilchen on an ABC notation page.

8. Ringelreihen
This is Song #11 in Geschichte des Tanzes and the editor calls it a Springtanz (spring dance) and gives both words and music:

Ich spring an disem ringe
des pesten so ichs kan
Von hubschen frewlein singe
als ichs gelernet han.
Ich reit durch frembde lande,
do sach ich mancherhande,
do ich die frewlein fand.

Die frewelein von Franken
Die sich ich alzeit gern,
Nach in sten mein gedanken,
Sie geben süßen kern.
Sie seind die feinsten dirnen,
Wolt Got, ich solt in zwirnen,
Ich wolte spinnen lern.

Die frewelein von Bairen
Die künnen kochen wol;
Mit käsen and mit eiren,
Ir küchen die sind voll.
Sie haben schöne pfannen,
Weiter denn die wannen
Und heißer dann ein kol.

9. Ringel Ringel Reihe
I couldn’t find any performances of those songs, but I could find this little song Ringel Ringel Reihe, with the music which includes the words

Ringel Ringel Reihe,
sind der Kinder dreie,
sitzen unterm Holderbusch,
schreien alle: husch, husch, husch!
A Holderbusch is a mulberry bush. Another video shows how to dance to it on YouTube. This is exactly the way we used to dance to “Ring Around the Rosie”. #child

May Day Customs for Children

There are many lovely customs for children at this time of year and I just want to mention a few of them.

Making Daisy Chains
Take the little stem of each daisy and push it though the stem of the next daisy. This will make a flower crown or necklace to wear to a tea party or to give to your mother.

knot of hawthorn flowers

10. Nuts in May, Game and Song
An informative website Historical Folk Toys explains that Nuts in May is a misunderstanding of Knots of May, referring to the little branchlets of May flowers or Hawthorn flowers which are gathered at this time of year. This explanation makes sense because there are no nuts to be gathered in May, and this song is always associated with May Day by tradition. The song is given with words and music on p. 113, by Marguerite Ickis, along with an explanation of how to play the children’s game. Americans will know the tune to this song as “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.”

Here we come gathering nuts in May, nuts in May, nuts in May.
Here we come gathering nuts in May, so early in the morning.

Whom will you have for nuts in May, nuts in May, nuts in May?
Whom will you have for nuts in May, so early in the morning.

We will have (Mary) for nuts in May, nuts in May, nuts in May.
We will have (Mary) for nuts in May, so early in the morning.

Whom will you have to pull her away, pull her away, pull her away?
Whom will you have to pull her away, so early in the morning.

We will have (John) to pull her away, pull her away, pull her away.
We will have (John) to pull her away, so early in the morning,

Here is a little clip of a lady singing Nuts in May (on a cold and frosty morning) in case you don’t know the song. I had to click three times on this to get it to work, but you don't have to sign up for anything to listen.

May Flower Cones
This is probably a more recent custom which might go back to Victorian times, though it seems to be based on the older custom of leaving May branches at people’s houses (see May Day Songs). It was especially popular with children around the turn of the last century (1900), and consisted of hanging May baskets or paper cones with fresh picked flowers on the doorknobs of neighbors’ houses. This was done anonymously by ringing the doorbell and running away, though the children tried to stay where they could watch the reaction of the person who found the flowers. I doubt it was much of a secret who had left them.
#hawthorn

Hawthorn Tree Songs

In England especially, May Day was associated with the blooming of the May trees or Hawthorn as they are also called. Hawthorn trees are so important in English custom that they have their own set of songs. They are certainly charming and it does no harm to gather their branches to decorate the house. Hawthorn trees are easy to recognize by their fluted trunks (see picture at the top of this webpage). They often grow by sacred wells and shade the wells and the hawthorn trees are themselves considered sacred. Since the changing of the calendar in 1752, the May trees no longer bloom on May Day, but often a week or ten days later, so it is a little bit difficult now to “bring home the May” on May 1st. In other Germanic-speaking countries, other plants are welcomed as harbingers of spring, roses in Germany since the Middle Ages, and the new green shoots of birch and fir trees in Scandinavia. The blooming of fruit trees was most welcome and carefully watched because they would represent the coming harvest of fruit later in the year which was an essential food for survival in northern winters. Although the blossoms of the fruit trees were probably always the most important part of this festival, they are not picked because that would decrease the harvest--every blossom is a potential fruit, and each one picked is one less fruit later in the year. However, the other plants mentioned, roses, birch and hawthorn are not much used as food, so they could be picked without loss to later food production.

11. At a Spring Well
“At a springe-wel...”, is the first line of a poem known from Oxford MS. 60, Magdalen College; and dated to the end of the 14th century. It has words, but no music; the words are given in Middle English Lyrics, by Lurie and Hoffman, p. 261-2 and 324.

At a springe-wel, under a thorn
There was a bote of bale, a litel hire a-forn,
There beside stant a maide, full of love ibounde,
Whoso wol seche trewe love, in hir it shall be founde.
my translation
At a spring-well, under a thorn
There was a remedy of misfortune,
a little while before.
There beside stands a maid, full of love bound,
Whoso will seek true love, in her it shall be found.
At a Springe-wel is sung by Mediæval Bæbes on their Undrentide CD, but unfortunately, it doesn’t really have a tune.

12. Hawthorn Tree Poem (“Of every kind tree...”)
The words are published in Music in the Age of Chaucer, by Nigel Wilkins on p. 101, from the manuscript B.M. Rawlinson D.913. The music for this has not been preserved.
Of everykune tree
Of everykune tree
The hawethorn blowet suotes
Of everykune tree.

My lemmon she shall be
My lemmon she shall be
The fairest of erthkinne,
My lemmon she shall be

Of every kind [of] tree
Of every kind [of] tree
The hawthorn bloweth sweetest
Of every kind [of] tree.

My lover she shall be
My lover she shall be
The fairest of earth-kind
My lover she shall be.

13. The Hawthorn Bush
This song was sung by Harry Scott, and the words and music were published by Fred Hamer in Garners Gay, EFDSS.

’Twas in the pleasant month of May,
When two fair maids walked out one day
To view the blackbird and the thrush
As they sat under a hawthorn bush.

It was in the springtime of the year
When she puts forth her buds so clear
And after buds there comes the bloom,
Which bringeth all things in full tune.

Oh, these two birds they’ll come and they’ll say,
“The hawthorn bush is not gone away.”
The hawthorn bush made this reply,
“I’ll be your shelter till I die.”

“If you cut me down it’ll be of no use.
Unless you destroy the branch of youth,
For the very next year I shall be seen,
A-spreading my hawthorn fresh and green.”

14. The Hawthorne Tree
The words and music for The Hawthorne Tree are given on Digital Tradition, and it is from Chappell, Popular Music of the Olden Times, p. 65 which was first printed in 1810. According to the form of the language, it’s actually not very old, probably not earlier than the 1800’s. Like a lot of songs collected or published in that era, it looks like a puritan rewriting and I have skipped the misogynist ending.
It was a maid of my country
As she came by a hawthorn tree,
As full of flowers as might be seen
She marveled to see the tree so green.

At last she asked of the tree,
“How came this freshness unto thee?
And every branch so fair and clean!
I marvel that you grow so green.”

The tree made answer by and by,
“I’ve cause to grow triumphantly.
The sweetest dew that ever be seen,
Doth fall on me to keep me green.”

“Yes,” quoth the maid, “but where you grow
You stand at hand for every blow
Of every man for to be seen
I marvel that you grow so green.”

“Though many a one take flowers from me
And many a branch out of my tree
I have such store they will not be seen,
For more and more my twigs grow green.”

“But how, an they chance to cut thee down
And carry thy branches into the town?
Then they will never more be seen.
To grow again so fresh and green.”

“Though that you do it is no boot
Although they cut me to the root,
Next year again I will be seen
To bud my branches fresh and green.”

Aside from At a Springe-wel, I couldn’t find any performances of these songs, so here are some other nice songs about Hawthorn Trees which you might like. First is Heather Gale singing the Hawthorn Tree from The Trial of Lancelot album. This is modern and very pretty and mysterious and the lyrics are included on the page. Another song about a hawthorn tree is Lady Kilmarnock's Lament or the Hawthorn Tree of Cawdor, sung by Lewis Lancaster with guitar. This doesn't really have anything to do with May Day, but it's very beautiful even though it's sad.
#dew

May Dew Songs

Gathering May Dew is an ancient tradition, and dew that was gathered on May 1st was considered especially powerful. A website in Ireland gives some information about May dew gathering. There are songs associated with this which are very old.

15. Sing Levy Dew
The first line of this song is, “Here we bring new water...” with a chorus: “Sing levy dew...” The song is traditionally sung in Welsh-speaking areas at the (modern) New Year, January 1st, so it also has the title “New Year Carol.” I have changed the date of this from January 1st, to the season of first dew fall, in late spring, because it makes more sense. The words and music, with some variant words, are given on the School of the Seasons website put together by Waverly Fitzgerald. The words were collected by Walter de la Mare, and published pp. 3-4 in “Come Hither” a collection of poetry, mostly anonymous. The song is also quoted in Christmas in Ritual ... by Clement A. Miles, 1912 (p. 335, fn. 54), who attributes it to Notes and Queries, First Series, Vol. 5, 5, published in 1848. There is a musical setting by Benjamin Britten, in the piece “Friday Afternoons” apparently under the title “A New Year Carol” and this is the version that is usually performed by church choirs with a lot of ponderous piano. The oldest lyrics that I can find are:

Here we bring new water from the well so clear,
For to worship God with, this happy New Year.
Sing levy dew, sing levy dew.
the water and the wine;
The seven bright gold wires
and the bugles that do shine.

Sing reign of Fair Maid, with gold upon her toe,
Open you the West Door, and turn the Old Year go.
Sing levy dew....

Sing reign of Fair Maid, with gold upon her chin,
Open you the East Door, and let the New Year in.
Sing levy dew....

A variation of this song is sung by Waterson:Carthy under the title Residue or New Year Carol on the Holy Heathens CD. Residue appears to be a mishearing of Levy Dew, otherwise unexplainable, so we have our very own folk Mondegreen! It’s a safe bet that they didn’t learn this from Benjamin Britten who had a tendency to try to copyright traditional folk songs under his own name. In any case, the Waterson:Carthy lyrics have two more verses which they wrote, covering all four directions and it is charming as all their songs are. There is also a performance of “A New Year Carol” as #19 by Anonymous 4 on the Wolcum Yule CD, and I found several versions on YouTube, including this one of little kids singing A New Year Carol.

16. I Sing of a Maiden
The words are from the Sloane Ms. 2593, dating to the first half of the 15th century, but there was no music for this, so a modern tune has been used. The words and music for this are given in Oxford Carols #183 under the title “I Sing of a Maiden” in a setting by Martin Shaw, 1928. The word makeles in the first line means “matchless, without equal.”

I sing of a maiden that is makeles
King of all kings to her son she ches.

He came al so stille there his moder was
As dew in Aprille that falleth on the grass.

He came al so stille to his moder’s bour
As dew in Aprille that falleth on the flour.

He came al so stille there his moder lay
As dew in Aprille that falleth on the spray.

Moder and mayden was never none but she
Well may such a lady Goddess moder be.

As you can see by the words, this may look like a Christian song, and it is sung by Christians as a Christmas carol, but none of the Christian gods were born in April, nor at the “time of dew fall.” There is a very beautiful performance by Shirley Collins of I Sing of a Maiden from the Fountains of Snow CD, which you can listen to on YouTube.

The next section gives three May Day Songs which are sung in English for the Luck Visits connected to the sharing of May flowers, along with a recipe for Syllabub. These are followed by the May Day Revels, Part 2 which include Furry Day Songs and Dances, Maypole customs, Tree in the Wood songs and two Morris Dances which are suitable for Maypole dancing.

References

The Book of Festival Holidays, by Marguerite Ickis, Dodd, Mead & Co., NY, 1964.
Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan by Clement A. Miles, Stokes, NY, 1912.
Come Hither collected by Walter de la Mare, Alfred A. Knopf, NY, 1923.
Deutsches Worterbuch by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, S. Hirzel, Leipzig, 1878.
Die Erste Walpurgisnacht, setting by Felix Mendelssohn of 1832-33, with a contemporary English translation by William Bartholomew, ed. by John Michael Cooper, A.R. Editions, Middleton, Wisconsin, 2008, v. 49.
Faust, opera by Charles Gounod, publ. G. Schirmer, NY, 1902. This is the vocal score with the complete ballet music by Leo Delibes in an appendix.
Garners Gay, collected by Fred Hamer, EFDSS Pubs. Ltd., London, 1968.
Geschichte des Tanzes in Deutschland by Franz M. Böhme, publ. Georg Olms Hildesheim, Weisbaden, 1967.
Goethes Werke in Sechs Bänden, ed. Erich Schmidt. This is part of the Schriften der Goethe-gesellschaft (series), Insel-Verlag, Leipzig, (no date).
Masterpieces of Music before 1750 by Carl Parrish & John Ohl, W. W. Norton & Co., NY, 1951.
Medieval English Songs by E. J. Dobson and F. Ll. Harrison, Cambridge University Press, NY, 1979.
Middle English Lyrics by Maxwell Luria and Richard Hoffman, W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., NY, 1974.
Music in the Age of Chaucer, Nigel Wilkins, publ. by D. S. Brewer, Cambridge, 1979.
Musyck Boexken, Books 1 and 2, Dutch Songs for four voices by Tielman Susato, ed. by Timothy McTaggart as Volume 108 in Recent Researches in the Music of the Renaissance, publ. by A-R Editions Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, 1997.
Oxford Book of Carols, ed. by Percy Dearmer, R. Vaughan Williams, Martin Shaw, Oxford University Press, London, 1928, 1964
Popular Music in the Olden Time; by W. Chappell; Cramer, Beale & Chappell, London, 1859.
Words and Music in the Middle Ages 1050-1350 by John Stevens, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1986.

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