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Sumer is icumen in


I found this old newspaper cutting, and the headline sprang immediately to mind. Then I started researching the 13th century song. I’d forgotten that Ezra Pound was responsible for this parody, Ancient Music, beginning:

Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!

Although I have a handful of his remarkable works [such as Black Forest Bluegrass, The “Unbegun” Symphony and A Little Nightmare Music] I didn’t know that the unfairly neglected P. D. Q. Bach – “the twenty-first of Johann Sebastian’s twenty children” – had also parodied it as Summer is a cumin seed, the penultimate movement of his Grand Oratorio, The Seasonings.

In a pathetic attempt to be down with the kids, I’ve just listened to a version by The Futureheads [Sunderland, post-punk] on their album, Rant, just issued. It’s surprisingly good.


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