Monday, 11 April 2011
Jack in the Green.
So just who is the Jack in the Green? Jack has long been a participant in the Mayday festivities notably in a parade in the town of Hastings.
The person chosen to be the Jack wears a large foliage covered framework, usually conical in shape, which covers the body from head to foot. In some of the parades he has two attendants who depict Robin Hood and Maid Marian.
In my mind Jack is an embodiment of natural fertility, a spirit of the wildwood, and a trickster. In other words Jack is none other than the Green Man himself.
The rock group Jethro Tull even wrote a song about him,
Have you seen Jack-In-The-Green?
With his long tail hanging down.
He sits quietly under every tree —
in the folds of his velvet gown.
He drinks from the empty acorn cup
the dew that dawn sweetly bestows.
And taps his cane upon the ground —
signals the snowdrops it’s time to grow.
It’s no fun being Jack-In-The-Green —
no place to dance, no time for song.
He wears the colours of the summer soldier —
carries the green flag all the winter long.
Jack, do you never sleep —
does the green still run deep in your heart?
Or will these changing times,
keep us apart?
Well, I don’t think so —
I saw some grass growing through the pavements today.
The rowan, the oak and the holly tree
are the charges left for you to groom.
Each blade of grass whispers Jack-In-The-Green.
Oh Jack, please help me through my winter’s night.
And we are the berries on the holly tree.
Oh, the mistlethrush is coming.
Jack, put out the light.