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(learned from John Jacob Niles album)

The cuckoo is a pretty bird, she singeth as she flies,
She bringeth us good tidings, she telleth us no lies,
She sucketh the sweet flowers to keep her throat so clear,
And every time she singeth, Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
    The summer draweth near.

The cuckoo is a giddy bird, no other is as she,
That flits across the meadow, that sings from every tree.
A nest she never buildeth, a vagrant she doth roam;
Her song it is not tearful, Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
    I nowhere have a home.

The cuckoo is a witty bird, arriving with the spring.
When summer suns are waning, she spreadeth wide her wings.
She flees the approaching winter,she hates the rain and snow.
Like her I would be singing, Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
    And off with her I'd go.

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)