Sing a Song of Summer – John Martyn

john martyn in concert 1978

john martyn in concert 1978

John Martyn is one these musicians that just live on in your heart.  He was part of my student years, and I actually saw him in concert a couple of times.

I bought the LP of The Tumbler (1968) and played it over and over – I still have it, but I also downloaded some of the songs from it years ago, and burnt a very amateur CD for myself, together with many other old songs that I already owned – when it was possible to use the old sharing websites – Oh LimeWire!

So this week, I dipped into the box and turned out one of my John Martyn mixes – and was captivated once again, by the young singer that hadn’t yet ruined his voice with drink and self destructive behaviour.  If you want to know more about him this is his wikipedia page and this is his official website, where I got the lyrics from.  He died in 2009, age 60, and had been ill for some time, but still played here and there.

Sing a Song of Summer is a gloriously hopeful and idiosyncratic song, cheerful and fantastical – the lyrics reflect the child in him – so here they are – together with the only original version straight from the Tumbler, that I could find – Enjoy!

Sing A Song Of Summer

If you go looking down in the summer
To the village at the bottom of the well
You’ll find nice things and butterflies’ wings
And policemen’s hats as well
The girlies there won’t hurt you
‘Cause they’re all so very nice
There’s cats and dogs and bats and frogs
And little pink sugar mice.

So come along and sing of summer
Sing of summer coming on
Come along and sing of summer
Summer’s coming on
Summer’s coming on.

And won’t you wear your silly trousers
And your funny feathered hat
To come home running down the road
Follow the Cheshire cat
Your friends they will all be there
And they will all be taking tea
So come on laughing down the road
Come on follow me.

Come along and sing of summer
Sing of summer coming on
Come along and sing of summer
Summer’s coming on
Summer’s coming on.

Won’t you leave behind your city shoes
And lose your bowler hat
Forget about your winter woes
And wipe your eyes on the mat
Won’t you leave your green wallpaper
And the clock upon the wall
And lock your doors up one by one
Come running down the hall.

Come along and sing of summer
Sing of summer coming on
Come along and sing of summer
Summer’s coming on
Summer’s coming on.

And if you go looking down in the summer
To the village at the bottom of the well
You’ll find nice things and butterflies’ wings
And policemen’s hats as well
The ladies there won’t hurt
Cos they’re all so very nice
There’s cats and dogs and bats and frogs
And little pink sugar mice.

So come along and sing of summer
Sing of summer coming on
Come along and sing of summer
Summer’s coming on
Summer’s coming on
Summer is a coming on.

2 thoughts on “Sing a Song of Summer – John Martyn

  1. I like quite a few John Martyn Songs, but this is a new one on me – thanks for sharing! I have a box set at home, so hopefully it’s on there somewhere. I think my favourite is ‘Certain Surprise’.

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