Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Green Man

We celebrated May Day on Sunday both in Cambridge and at home. Usually there is a gap between the two and the day is more like a week. There will be a few May day related posts this week to extend the celebration.

First is the green man, Jack in the Green, and the words to one of my favorites of the songs we sing in Cambridge.

Now winter is over, I’m happy to say,
And we’re all met again in our ribbons so gay.
And we’re all met again on the first day of Spring
To go about dancing with Jack in the Green.

Now Jack in the Green is a very strange man,
Tho’ he dies every Autumn, he is born every Spring.
And each year on our birthday, we will dance
through the street,
And in return Jack he will ripen our wheat.

With his mantle he’ll cover the trees that are bare.
Our gardens he’ll trim with his jacket so fair.
And our fields he will sow with the hair of his head.
And our grain it will ripen ‘til Old Jack is dead!

Now the sun is half- up and betokens the hour
That the children arrive with their garlands of flowers.
So now let the music and the dancing begin,
And touch the good heart of young Jack in the Green!

I drew this green man several years ago. I put a light green tint on a photograph of tree bark and placed the drawing on top.

Here is a Green Man book my daughter made when she was small.

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