This is transcribed in 3/4 in the modern edition, but has a rather funky 2/4 3/4 feel: Ravenscroft's notation, without barlines, allows the stresses to fall where they feel natural.
- in 3/4 http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/ravenscroft/modern/as_i_me_walked.pdf
- without barlines, in G (all four verses)(pdf)(lilypond)
You can sing it at any comfortable pitch. We often sing it in G - start note is G, range is G to D.
When we use all four "verses", we usually do it like this:
- First verse in unison
- First verse as a round, each person singing it once through
- Second verse, in unison: as soon as the last person finishes the last "cuckoo" of the first verse we all begin the second
- Second verse as a round, once through
- Third verse in unison
- Third verse as a round, once
- Fourth verse in unison
- Fourth verse as a round
- First verse in unison, once, to finish off
When we're singing this as a round, we often start with the "cuckoo", as this can make counting easier.
I.e. In unison, we all sing "As I me walked in a May morning I heard a bird sing *** cuckoo"
The first person goes straight on, singing (part in unison is in bold)
"As I me walked in a May morning I heard a bird sing *** cuckoo As I me walked ..."
The second repeats the "cuckoo" before continuing:
"As I me walked in a May morning I heard a bird sing *** cuckoo *** cuckoo As I me walked ..."
The third has three cuckoos, and the fourth four, etc.
An octave and a fifth. In G, that's from G to D.