THE FURRY DAY SONG

THE FURRY DAY SONG


The celebration of "Furry Day," on May 8th each year, at Helston, in
South Cornwall, is one of the most interesting survivals of an old
custom in the whole country. On "Furry Day" the whole town makes
holiday. The people go first into the surrounding country to gather
flowers and branches, and return about noon, when the Furry dance begins
and continues until dusk; the merrymakers, hand in hand, dancing through
the streets and in and out of the houses, the doors of which are kept
open for the purpose.

The origin of the word "Furry," and of the song and dance, is lost in
the ages. Some authorities hold that these celebrations are a survival
of the old Roman Floralia, others that it began in celebration of a
great victory gained by the Cornish over the Saxons. The words and
music, as they have come down to us, show many signs of Elizabethan
origin. The music reproduced here is from a very old setting and
contains many crude harmonies unfamiliar at the present day.

There is one line of the song, "God bless Aunt Mary Moses," that most
people will find incomprehensible. It refers to the Virgin Mary, "Aunt"
being among the Cornish a term of great respect; "Moses" being a
corruption of the old Cornish word "Mowes," a maid. "Mary Moses" means
literally "Mary the Maid."

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Główna Czytelnia Literatura Legendy THE FURRY DAY SONG

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