May Day

Today we enter the Cathedral of May, that month when the fullest beauty of spring gives way to the richness of summer.

Though the whitest branches of Georgia's spring come earlier in the year, the mountain laurel are like this now.  Here is a branch from the shoulders of the Oconee.

The greenwood in May always brings to my mind the old stories of Robin Hood, who was always happiest in the Maytime.  Eight years ago I quoted part of a ballad of Robin Hood in May:  today I realize that ballad can be sung to the tune of the May Day Carol, given above.  Here's the first few lines:  try it and see!

But how many months be in the year?   There are thirteen, I say; The midsummer moon is the merryest of all   Next to the merry month of May.
IN summer time, when leaves grow green,      
  And flowers are fresh and gay, Robin Hood and his merry men   Were [all] disposed to play.
Then some would leap, and some would run,   And some use artillery:      
‘Which of you can a good bow draw,   A good archer to be?
‘Which of you can kill a buck?   Or who can kill a doe? Or who can kill a hart of grease,      
  Five hundred foot him fro?’
Will Scadlock he kill’d a buck,   And Midge he kill’d a doe, And Little John kill’d a hart of grease,   Five hundred foot him fro.


Assistant Village Idiot said...


Yeah, I knew it wasn't NH you were talking about here.

Grim said...

It topped out at 90 degrees here yesterday. It's supposed to get there two or three times this week yet.

May is usually the last good month in Georgia; we don't have nice weather again until late September.

DL Sly said...

Hurray, hurray
The first of May!
Outside screwin'
Starts today!!

What? Weren't we talking about Occupy?

bthun said...

"Hurray, hurray
The first of May!
Outside screwin'
Starts today!!"

Well, that makes it easier to check for ticks...

Back to the vegetable garden...

DL Sly said...

Preferrably by someone who knows how to bait a hook.

Grim said...

Shortly after she graduated from college, my mother went on a fishing trip with my father and his uncle -- a simple man and a Navy vet. They took a boat out on one of the TVA's lakes, and at the end of the day, came back with their catch.

I don't know if she knew how to bait a hook, but she didn't have much experience on the water. Trying to get up on the dock, she over-tipped and fell face-first into the water.

My uncle looked at her, shook his head, and said to my father: "Four years of college, and can't get out of a damn boat."

Texan99 said...

Old 'Oss forever! I assume we've all constructed a Maypole and an 'Obby 'Oss? Beltane is upon us.

MikeD said...

Grim, that story reminds me of a joke.

It came to pass that a man took his wife on a camping trip. She, not being the outdoor type still wanted to make her husband happy, so she accompanied him. He had prepared for the trip with a brand new fishing boat, fishing license, rod, reel, bait box, trailer to haul the boat, tent, space heater, the works. She brought with her, a book she had been meaning to read.

One morning, her husband (who had been up before the sun "to get all the good fishing done" returned from the lake with his catch. He volunteered to clean and cook the fish from breakfast. Knowing his wife to be of the more squeemish variety, he suggested she take the boat out on the lake, and get some reading done in peace while he dealt with the fishy task. So she gathers a blanket and her book, shoves the fishing gear to one side of the boat, rows out into the lake and begins reading.

About that time, along came the game warden. He sees her out on the lake and calls her over to shore. She does so and asks what's the problem.
"Ma'am, I'm going to need to see your fishing license."
"But officer," quoth she, "I'm just out on the lake, reading. I wasn't fishing."
"Nonetheless, I need to see your license."
She protested, "I don't have a license, I was just reading."
"Well, ma'am, I'm afraid I'm going to have to issue you a citation."
"But why? I was just reading"
"That may or may not be, but you have all the equipment."
"Well, in that case,' she said, "I'm going to have to charge you with rape!"
"What?!?" he exclaimed, "I never touched you!"
"That may or may not be," she said, "but you have all the equipment."

DL Sly said...

Yanno, Mike, that joke is really old...old enough that a certain blog host should probably remember such instances of rebuttal and revenge next time he gets the notion to give his wife the *cold shoulder*.

Personally, I've always taken pride in the fact that when my feet hit the floor in the morning the Devil says, "Oh sh!t! She's up!!"

E Hines said...

I've always taken pride in the fact that when my feet hit the floor in the morning the Devil says, "Oh sh!t! She's up!!"

Frankly, I've never found "both feet on the floor" to be much of an impediment.

Eric Hines

Wilson Wedlock said...

I couldn't believe it till I heard it myself. You're absolutely right, it can go with the melody of the video. And I agree, Georgia's season in the month of May is the best one of the whole year because of the ideal conditions that comes with it. No wonder Robin Hood is happy with it too.

Grim said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the ballad. It's one I've wanted to be able to sing for a long time, but I never could figure out a tune to make it work before -- it's a very unusual structure.

Then when I was putting together this post, I realized that it went perfectly. And why not? This is the traditional English song for May: of course it's the right one.