My bonny cuckoo, I tell thee true,
That through the groves I'll rove with you:
I'll rove with you until the next spring.
And then my cuckoo shall sweetly sing
Cuckoo, cuckoo, until the next spring,
And then my cuckoo shall sweetly sing.
The ash and the hazel shall sadly say,
"My bonny cuckoo, don't go away,
Don't go away, but tarry here,
And make the season last all year.
Cuckoo, cuckoo, pray tarry here,
And sing for us throughout the year."
Singing Together, Summer 1967, BBC Publications
The tempo was not specified on the original music. I have chosen this to roughly match a version by Shirley Collins.
This is taken from the Carendon Song Book II
, Oxford University Press. The tune is noted as 'Old Irish Air' but is not further identified. It is generally considered that Carolan used this tune as the basis for his Si Bheag, Si Mhor