A Troubadour Song about Spring from the 12th Century

The troubadours were poet musicians who lived between the 11th through the 13th centuries. They spoke Occitan, a romance language that can still be heard in parts of southern France, Italy and Spain.

Monique of Mama Lisa’s World en français sent me a troubadour song about the Springtime. Here’s what she had to say about the song…

I translated Al’entrada del temps clar (When the Clear Days Come) into English. It’s an anonymous song from the 12th century about Spring, with the usual allegory of the young Spring Queen needing a young man in the dance of life, so she can renew. It’s a troubadour song which is a trobar lèu song, lèu meaning here light, easy.

Here’s Al’entrada del temps clar in the original Occitan language followed by an English translation. If you’re familiar with any of the romance languages, you might be able to recognize some words in the Occitan version.

A l’entrada del temps clar
(Occitan)

A l’entrada del temps clar, eya
Per jòia recomençar, eya
E per jelós irritar, eya
Vòl la regina mostrar
Qu’el’es si amorosa
A la vi’, a la via, jelós,
Laissatz nos, laissatz nos
Balar entre nos, entre nos.

El’ a fait pertot mandar, eya
Non sia jusqu’à la mar, eya
Piucela ni bachalar, eya
Que tuit non vengan dançar
En la dansa joiosa.
A la vi’, a la via, jelós,
Laissatz nos, laissatz nos
Balar entre nos, entre nos.

Lo reis i ven d’autra part, eya
Per la dança destorbar, eya
Que el es en cremetar, eya
Que òm no li vòlh emblar
La regin’ aurilhosa.
A la vi’, a la via, jelós,
Laissatz nos, laissatz nos
Balar entre nos, entre nos.

Mais per nïent lo vòl far, eya
Qu’ela n’a sonh de vielhart, eya
Mais d’un leugièr bachalar, eya
Qui ben sapcha solaçar
La dòmna saborosa.
A la vi’, a la via, jelós,
Laissatz nos, laissatz nos
Balar entre nos, entre nos.

Qui donc la vezés dançar, eya
E son gent còrs deportar, eya
Ben pògra dir de vertat, eya
Qu’el mont non aja sa par
La regina joiosa.
A la vi’, a la via, jelós,
Laissatz nos, laissatz nos
Balar entre nos, entre nos

When the Clear Days Come
(English)

When the clear days come, eya
To be joyful again, eya
And to annoy the jealous ones, eya
The queen wants to show
That she’s so amorous.
Go away, go away, you jealous ones,
Let us, let us,
Dance together, together.

She had a message sent everywhere, eya
That as far as the sea, eya
Let there be neither maiden nor young man, eya
Who shall not come to dance,
The joyous dance.
Go away, go away, you jealous ones,
Let us, let us,
Dance together, together.

The king comes, eya
To disturb the dance, eya
For he is very afraid, eya
That someone will want to steal,
The April Queen.
Go away, go away, you jealous ones.
Let us, let us,
Dance together, together.

But she wouldn’t let him do it, eya
For she needs not an old man, eya
But a graceful young one, eya
Who would well know how to comfort,
The delightful lady.
Go away, go away, you jealous ones,
Let us, let us,
Dance together, together.

Whoever would see her dance, eya
And her pretty body move, eya
Could well say, in truth, eya
That in all the world she has no equal,
The joyous queen.
Go away, go away, you jealous ones,
Let us, let us,
Dance together, together.

***

Monique further mentioned…

About the Occitan word that’s in the song, joia, in the troubadours’ time, the word had a very strong meaning of joy of life, it was a very deep feeling of happiness.

Hear you can hear this poem:

Come visit the Mama Lisa’s World’s Occitan Page for more Occitan Songs, and the Mama Lisa’s World Blog Occitan Page for more about Occitan.

Many thanks to Monique for translating this song for us and for her interesting comments.

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Sunday, April 9th, 2006 at 9:25 pm and is filed under A l'entrada del temps clar, Countries & Cultures, Folk Songs, Languages, Occitan, Occitan, Occitan Songs from the Troubadours, Songs about Spring, Songs about the Seasons, Songs by Theme. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “A Troubadour Song about Spring from the 12th Century”

  1. Lili Says:

    Hi! can anyone translate this song in french for me?
    I am looking for fresh and happy poems or songs in french about spring, this one seems great!

    Thanks a tone :-)

    Lili

  2. a Says:

    Thank you so much for providing this much needed translation. Even though I’m familiar with romance languages and could get the general idea behind the text, I could not go that far relying solely on cognates.

  3. Monique Says:

    Lili, I’ll post a French translation of this song later, but I never was a poet. Here is the address of a French teachers forum with links to sites presenting French poems about spring. A genuine French one would probably be better than the translation of an old Occitan song. Though I’ll do my best!

  4. Peter Horton Says:

    My partner Jane is learning to play the Gascon bagpipes, and we really love the tune of A l’entrada del temps clar. Would anyone be able to post up the music for it so Jane can play it on the whistle and then maybe adapt it for ‘la boha’? Many thanks

  5. Monique Says:

    You can find a pdf sheet music here

  6. Peter Horton Says:

    Thank you for the link to ‘A l’entrada’ – do you know where we might find the words for ‘Lo Torrin’ – we have the music, but would love to sing it as well! Many thanks!

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