But guess we'll cry <come first of May.>

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First of May

New Member
Chinese
In the lyrics of First of May, there is a line "But guess we'll cry come first of May". What is the meaning of it? Especially, what is the meaning of "come first of May"? What will "come first of May"?

Thanks
 
  • First of May

    New Member
    Chinese
    Thank you, lingobingo. Now this line makes sense to me.

    Is it a common use of English? I mean "come" + "some time" = "When some time comes"? Can I say, for example, "We'll go to school come first of September." Is it very informal and just used in spoken English? Also, why "come" but not "comes"? Is it just because of some kind of convention?

    A lot of questions. Thanks a lot.
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    In the lyrics of First of May, there is a line "But guess we'll cry come first of May". What is the meaning of it? Especially, what is the meaning of "come first of May"? What will "come first of May"?

    Thanks
    It's a common enough usage though a little old fashioned. We need context. Is this a song or a poem?
     

    First of May

    New Member
    Chinese
    It comes from the lyrics of a song. Part of the lyrics is as follows:

    When I was small, and Christmas trees were tall
    We used to love while others used to play
    Don't ask me why, but time has passed us by
    Someone else moved in from far away

    Now we are tall, and Christmas trees are small
    And you don't ask the time of day
    But you and I, our love will never die
    But guess we'll cry come first of May
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    That use of “come” is what’s sometimes known as a fossilised subjunctive – one that’s archaic but survives in idioms.

    come what may (= whatever happens)

    come winter… (when winter arrives)
     
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