Mirie It Is While Sumer Ylast (Merry It Is While Summer Lasts)

DESCRIPTION: Early Middle English: "Mirie it is whil somer ylast, With fughles song." Merry it is while summer lasts, With fowls' song, But now neigh winter's blast, And weather strong. Ei! Ei! What, this night is long, And I, from much wrong, sorrow, mourn, and fast
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: c.1225? (Oxford, Bodleian Library MS. Rawlinson G.22)
KEYWORDS: hardtimes bird
FOUND IN: Britain(England)
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Stevick-100MEL 2, "(Myrie it is whil somer ylast)" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Reginald Nettel, _Seven Centuries of Popular Song_, Phoenix House, 1956, p. 13, "(no title)" (1 short text)
R. T. Davies, editor, _Medieval English Lyrics: A Critical Anthology_, 1963, #2, p. 51, "How Long This Night Is" (1 text)
Maxwell S. Luria & Richard Hoffman, _Middle English Lyrics_, a Norton Critical Edition, Norton, 1974, p. 7, #5 (no title) (1 text)
Celia and Kenneth Sisam, _The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse_, Oxford University Press, 1970; corrected edition 1973, #3, p. 5, "Winterfall" (1 text)
Brown/Robbins, _Index of Middle English Verse_, #2163
Digital Index of Middle English Verse #3486.5-1

NOTES: Mark this down as yet another instance of a claimed "earliest known ballad." Reginald Nettel, Seven Centuries of Popular Song, p. 13, offers it as his first popular piece. I doubt it qualifies, but it is an early English piece with music, so I'm putting it in here just because we try to list all the claimed "earliest ballads." At least it has a tune, as most of the other candidates do not.
Apparently this poem was not originally meant to be part of MS. Rawlinson G.22 (which is mostly classical material); it was a sheet that was stuck into the volume. - RBW
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