The January Man

(Dave Goulder)

I heard this song years ago played by the harper Wendy Stewart and it stayed with me. It’s another song I’ve wanted to record for years but I just couldn’t find the right arrangement. I could hear a melancholiness in the tune and lyrics that I really wanted to express. As we move through each year it is like these brothers accompany us on our journey. And then ‘the January Man comes round again, in woolen coat and boots of leather’, as another year begins. A beautiful song.

Oh the January man he walks abroad,
In woolen coat and boots of leather,
The February man still wipes 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 rain the man goes down,
To watch the birds come in to share the summer,
The man of May stands very still,
To watch 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 colour.

And in July the man in cotton shirts,
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 another 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 woolen 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 for ever.