Night after night I do lay in my bed / With the pillows, the feathers all under my head // No sleep No rest I can take / __ The thought of you keeps me awake // __ __ And I can see us lost in the memory August slipped away into a moment in time / 'Cause it was never mine // And I can see us twisted in bedsheets August sipped away like a bottle of wine / 'Cause you were never mine Cuckoo's pretty And sings while in flight / And brings glad tidings both morning and night // 'Til summer's gone And the cuckoo's voice, too / __ Without even saying 'adieu' // __ __ And I can see us lost in the memory ... Come you all Wherever you may be / Don't hang your poor hearts on the sycamore tree // The leaf will wither and the roots will de- -cay / __ Forsaken you'll perish away // __ __ Oh I can see us lost in the memory ... __ I've been forsaken __ __ But I'll not be for- -sworn / __ You'll be mistaken if you think I'll for-ever __ mo- -ourn // I will survive __ __ After many a cry / When I see you, I'll walk on __ by __ // But for now I can see us lost in the memory ...
Verses are adaptations of traditional lyrics for The Cuckoo, inspired by verses sung by
The Devil's Interval, Anne Briggs, Cyril Tawney, and Jean Ritchie The Devil's Interval O, it's night after night, love, I do lay on my bed, With the pillows, the feathers all under my head; Neither sleeping nor waking, oh no rest can I take, But the thought of that young man, he still troubles my mind. Anne Briggs The cuckoo's a pretty bird, she sings as she flies, She brings us glad tidings, tells us no lies, And when her time is come, her voice we don't hear, And where she goes we do not know until another year. Cyril Tawney Come all you fair maidens, wherever you be, Don't hang your poor hearts on the sycamore tree. The leaf it will wither, and the roots will decay And if you're forsaken you'll perish away. Jean Ritchie If you do forsake me I'll not be forsworn And they'll all be mistaken if they think that I'll mourn; For I'll get myself up in some higher degree And I'll walk as light by him as he can by me.
recording: Taylor Swift "August", from her 2020 album "folklore" [YouTube]
recording: Alex Cumming "Cuckoo" [BandCamp]
notes: song background and lyrics to many trad versions of Cuckoo [Mainly Norfolk]