The May Day Carol resounds from Goddard Chapel’s carillon this month. Popular in England and America, particularly within the Appalachian tradition, this carol alludes to the traditional pagan May Day custom. In the ancient custom, young men and women would rise very early on the first day of May and make music with horns and instruments while traversing to a wood in the moonlight. There, there would break off sprigs and boughs of trees, and continue wandering in the morning dew. The boughs would then be delivered, amidst much singing, to homes and treasured friends as a symbol of the budding season.
A recording can be heard here, with the following lyric: