The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Sep 6, 2013


Canczon audi q'es bella'n tresca
que fo de razo Espanesca;
non fo de paraulla Grezesca
ne de lengua Serrazinesca.
Dolz'e suaus es plus que bresca,
e plus qe nulz pimentz q'om mesca;
qui ben la diz a lei Francesca
cuig me qe sos granz pros l'en cresca
e q'en est segle l'en paresca.

Tota Basconn' et Aragons
e l'encontrada delz Gascons
sabon quals es aqist canczons
e ss'es ben vera 'sta razons.
Eu l'audi legir a clerczons
et a gramadis, a molt bons,
si qon o monstral passions
en que om lig estas leiczons.
e si vos plaz est nostre sons,
aisi conl guidal primers tons,
eu la vos cantarei en dons.

Cançó de Santa Fe or Chanson de Sainte Foi d'Agen, first half of 11th century. Troubador chanson in Old Occitan, collected in Vers e regles de trobar, by Jofre de Foixa (died 1300).

I heard a song which is good to dance to, and its content was Spanish; it was not in Greek nor in the Saracen tongue. It is sweet and succulent, more than a honeycomb, and more than a spiced drink poured out ready. He who utters it well in the French manner, I think that he will get great profit from it, and that the profit will be evident in this world. All the Basque country and Aragon and the land of Gascony know what a song it is and if what it has to say is true. And I heard it read by clerks and scholars of note exactly as the 'passion' shows it - the 'passion' in which those 'lessons' are read. And if our melody pleases you, then I will freely sing it to you in teh style set by the first melody.

Translation from John Stevens, Words and Music in the Middle Ages: Song, Narrative, Dance and Drama, 1050-1350, page 234.


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