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:

january man tune notationLyrics

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, mouth 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.