"Ce fu en mai", Moniot d’Arras (c1250–1275)
6:50 - Three caroles, Anonymous
The Sounds of Time: Songs of the Trouvères
October 9, 2015
St. Malachy’s – The Actors’ Chapel, NYC
Jolle Greenleaf, soprano
Molly Quinn, soprano
Virginia Warnken, alto
Jason McStoots, tenor
Robert Mealy, vielle
Debra Nagy, winds
Charlie Weaver, medieval lute
Jolle Greenleaf, artistic director
Robert Mealy, guest director
Once in May in the mild and merry season,
when the weather is fine;
I got up early one day
and went to hang out
by the bank of a stream.
In an orchard
surrounded by a wild rose hedge
I heard a fiddle
and saw there dancing
and a maiden.
Their bodies were graceful and lovely
and, my God, how well they danced!
Embracing and kissing,
they were having a lot of fun.
At the end of the dance they went off
in pairs to a private spot;
on a bed of flowers
they played the game of love
to their hearts’ content.
I went up to them
and told them my woes;
that I loved a lady
to whom I would be loyal
and never false
my whole life long;
for her I endure more
pain and suffering
than I could say.
Alas, I’ll soon die
I have no doubt,
unless she saves me.
Courteously and politely
they both consoled me
and said they wished
that God would soon
send me some of that joy
for lack of which I felt
and I offered them
my deepest thanks
and, in tears,
commended them to God.
She wakes up in the morning, beautiful Aaliz
Gracefully I see her coming. She dresses herself
so beautifully under the branches
Gracefully I see her coming, she whom I love.
Down there beneath the olive tree,
A clear spring wells up. Dance, girls!
Don’t repent of loving faithfully!
It’s time for games in the meadows.
I have just the love I wish for.
Ladies have started dancing:
the sight has perked me up!
I have just the love I wish for,
exactly as I would like.
Often my heart sighs, full of rage
for the most beautiful woman in the empire.
Although she martyrs me, more than I dare say,
often she makes me weep and laugh.
She knows well how to contradict me
and to insult me more than anyone else.
No one can read her heart,
or write it down in wax.
She makes me writhe and burn
whenever I look at her.
I’ve served my sweet beloved for so long,
I do believe I’ll lose my life from it.
When I ask her she refuses me:
“Get out of here, boy, I don’t love you at all!”
Sweet Lord, even though Love opposes me,
let me live, I beg you!
There’s nothing for me in this life
that can help me.
My beloved, my life,
you’ve made my life a misery!
She takes pains to put me in pain
the whole week long.
If she dominates me like her own servants
she is more proud than any chatelaine.
Never was beautiful Helen as stunning,
nor did she ever have such sweet breath!
She even forces me
to clean house on Sundays, the wench!
There’s not a vein in her body
that isn’t full of pride.