greenmanThe January Man

introduced by Judy Cook

Our song for this month is Dave Goulder’s “January Man.” It’s a song of fine images, insight into human nature, and just a hint of mysticism. We’re invited to contemplate the ever-circling years and our place in them. Dave wants to be sure folks sing the lyrics as he wrote them, and I know I’m not alone in wanting to hear this song sung more; this should help.

Here are the lyrics, the musical notation, and a bit of information about Dave Goulder. I love Ed Trickett’s singing of this song: simple, unaccompanied, very accessible. You'll find a YouTube video (audio only) embedded below or at this link.

january man tune notation

The January Man

The January man he walks abroad

In woollen coat and boots of leather

The February man still shakes the snow

From off his hair and blows his hands

The man of March he sees the Spring and

Wonders what the year will bring

And hopes for better weather

Through April rains the man goes down

To watch the birds come in to share the summer

The man of May stands very still

Watching the children dance away the day

In June the man inside the man is young

And wants to lend a hand

And grins at each new comer

And in July the man in cotton shirt

He sits and thinks on being idle

The August man in thousands takes the road

To watch the sea and find the sun

September man is standing near

To saddle up and lead the year

And Autumn is his bridle

The man of new October takes the reins

And early frost is on his shoulder

The poor November man sees fire and wind

And mist and rain and Winter air

December man looks through the snow

To let eleven brothers know

They’re all a little older

And the January man comes round again

In woollen coat and boots of leather

To take another turn and walk along

The icy road he knows so well

The January man is here for

Starting each and every year

Along the way forever

Dave Goulder was born in 1939 of a Derbyshire farming family — a railway footplate man, mountaineer, motorcyclist, classical music enthusiast, Spanish guitar player, Jew’s harp virtuoso, songwriter, poet, singer, hedge layer, junk sculptor, naturalist, community arts administrator, drystone walling Master Craftsman/instructor, ceilidh band member, failed mandolin player, and arthritic. He lives in Scotland.

Judy Cook is an author, entertainer, and folk-singer. She has been living in Oberlin, Ohio, with her husband Dennis since 2013. 2017 will be her 20th year touring throughout both Britain and the US. She is known for her repertoire and storytelling ability in ballad form. Judy has one book and several CDs. You can reach her through her web page.

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