I just can’t get enough of this song, written by Dave Goulder and also sung by Martin Carthy and Christy Moore and adapted by Rachel Unthank & the Winterset for their debut album Cruel Sister (2005). Although one must bow to the genious of the songwriter, I adore Unthank’s arrangement and listen to it on a daily basis. Without further ado I hereby submit the lyrics (may vary) & song for your enjoyment. Don’t forget to check out your homework (at the bottom) for Friday!
Rachel Unthank’s version (extract)
Martin Carthy’s version (press ‘play on top right of page)
Dave Goulder’s version (extract)
Am C G Am
The January man he goes around in woolen coat and boots of leather
C Am G Am
The February man still shakes the snow from of his clothes and blows his hands
Am C (play different bass lines) G
The man of March he sees the Spring and wonders what the year will bring
and hopes for better weather.
Through April rain the man goes down to watch the birds come in to share the summer
The man of May stands very still to watch the children dance away the day
In June the man inside the man is young and wants to lend a hand
and smiles at each new comer.
In July the man in cotton short he sits and thinks and being idle
The August man in thousands take the road to find the sun and watch the sea
September man is standing near to saddle up another year
And Autumn is his bridle
The man of new October takes the rain and early frost is on his shoulder
The poor November man sees fire and mist and wind and rain and winter ere
December man looks through the snow to let eleven brothers know
They’re all a little older
The January man he comes around again in coat and boots of leather
To take another turn and walk along the icy roads he knows so well
The January man is here the start of each and every year
Along the road forever …………………………
Right, this is your homework: I expect you to listen carefully, study the lyrics, and join me at the Bratby for an in-depth discussion of it all, accompanied by fermented barley juice.