Now is the Month of Maying

Now is the month of maying,
When merry lads are playing,
Fa la la la la la la la la,
Fa la la la la la lah.
Each with his bonny lass
Upon the greeny grass.

We are reminded that May flowers once brought more that pilgrims by the World Heritage Encyclopedia and Project Gutenberg. “Now is the month of maying is one of the most famous of the English ballets, by Thomas Morley published in 1595. It is based on the canzonet So ben mi ch’a bon tempo used by Orazio Vecchi in his 1590 Selva di varia ricreatione

But since the merry month has taken on a more mechanically challenging meaning. We now break the barley by less personal means.

Mowing machine

And others prefer our barley broken and brewed as sung in “When Jones’ Ale Was New” by Roger McGuinn at the Folk Den:

Come all you honest labouring men that work hard all the day,
And join with me at the Barley Mow to pass an hour away,
Where we can sing and drink and be merry,
And drive away all our cares and worry.

Each May we continue to celebrate “prodigious mowing did we make”