Le Chant des Oiseaux (Clément Janequin)

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  • (Posted 2013-05-24)  CPDL #29228:     
Editor: Mathias Lindner (submitted 2013-05-23).   Score information: A4, 15 pages, 171 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: transposed a fourth down for TTBB.
  • (Posted 2008-03-28)  CPDL #16469:       
Editor: Till Rettig (submitted 2008-03-28).   Score information: A4, 19 pages, 198 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes:
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. Error summary: Wrong notes in b.13,75,114,145,184-5, text in alto b.104, bass b.168-183 See the discussion page for full description.
  • (Posted 2008-02-16)  CPDL #16036:         
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2008-02-15).   Score information: A4, 24 pages, 158 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: NoteWorthy Composer file may be viewed and printed with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer.
  • (Posted 2003-04-19)  CPDL #04774:        (Sibelius 2)
Editor: John Henry Fowler (submitted 2003-04-19).   Score information: Letter, 25 pages, 240 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: revised 5/21/03.
  • (Posted 2000-09-22)  CPDL #01390:        (Finale 2000)
Editor: Claudio Macchi (submitted 2000-09-22).   Score information: Letter, 15 pages, 309 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Le Chant des Oiseaux
Composer: Clément Janequin

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicings: SATB or TTBB
Genre: SecularChanson

Language: French
Instruments: A cappella

First published: c.1528 in Chansons de maistre Clement Janequin, no. 1
    2nd published: 1540 in Le difficile des chansons (Jacques Moderne), Livre 1, no. 19
    3rd published: 1551 in Cinquièsme livre du recueil (Nicolas Du Chemin), no. 1
    4th published: 1847 in Recueil des morceaux de musique ancienne, Volume 11, no. 123
Description: See here for a short version.

External websites:

  • Free choir training aids for this work are available at Choralia.

Original text and translations

French.png French text

Reveillez vous, coeurs endormis
Le dieu d’amour vous sonne.
A ce premier jour de may,
Oyseaulx feront merveillez,
Pour vous mettre hors d’esmay
Destoupez vos oreilles.
Et farirariron (etc…)
Vous serez tous en ioye mis,
Car la saison est bonne.

Vous orrez, à mon advis,
Une dulce musique
Que fera le roy mauvis (le merle aussi)
D’une voix autentique.
Ty, ty, pyty. (etc…)
Rire et gaudir c’es mon devis,
Chacun s’i habandonne.

Rossignol du boys ioly,
A qui le voix resonne,
Pour vous mettre hors d’ennuy
Vostre gorge iargonne:
Frian, frian, frian (etc…)
Fuiez, regrez, pleurs et souci,
Car la saison l’ordonne.

Ariere maistre coucou,
Sortez de no chapitre.
Chacun vous donne au bibou,
Car vous n’estes q’un traistre.
Coucou, coucou (etc…)
Par traison en chacun nid,
Pondez sans qu’on vous sonne.

Reveillez vous, coeurs endormis,
Le dieu d’amours vous sonne.

English.png English translation

Awake, sleepy hearts,
The god of love calls you.
On this first day of May,
The birds will make you marvel.
To lift yourself from dismay,
Unclog your ears.
And fa la la la la (etc…)
You will be moved to joy,
For the season is good.

You will hear, I advise you,
A sweet music
That the royal song thrush will sing (the blackbird, too)
In a pure voice.
Ti, ti, pi-ti (etc…)
To laugh and rejoice is my device,
Each with abandon.

Nightingale of the pretty woods,
Whose voice resounds,
So you don’t become bored,
Your throat jabbers away:
Frian, frian (etc…)
Flee, regrets, tears and worries,
For the season commands it.

Turn around, master cuckoo
Get out of our company.
Each of us gives you a ‘bye-bye’
For you are nothing but a traitor.
Cuckoo, cuckoo (etc…)
Treacherously in others' nests,
You lay without being called.

Awake, sleepy hearts,
The god of love is calling you.

Alternate text

This is the version and translation used by the Scholars of London in their recording. Overall it does not match any of the editions on CPDL, but it includes at least one substantial passage omitted from the text above.

French.png French text

Réveillez vous, coeurs endormis,
Le dieu d'amours vous sonne.
Vous serez tous en joie mis
Car la saison est bonne.
Les oiseaux quand sont ravis
En leur chant font merveilles ;
Ecoutez bien leur devis,
Détoupez vos oreilles.
Et fa ri ro frere li joli
Ti ti pi ti, chouti toui.
Tu, que dis tu ?
Le petit sansonnet de Paris,
Le petit mignon: (q'est là bas ?
Passe villain. Sainte tête Dieu,
II est temps d'aller boire)
Sage, courtois et bien apris.
A sermon, ma maitresse.
Sus madame à la messe.
A Saint Trotin montrer le tétin,
Le doux musequin.
Teo ticun, frian, frian frian,
Tu tu tu, qui l'ara.
Coqui coqui, oi ti oi ti,
Huyt huyt, ter ter teo,
Queo queo, tar tar, fouquet, quibi,
Veleci, huyt huyt, ter turri.
Cocu coqui, ou est il, le cocu ?
Fuiez, fuiez, maître cocu,
Sortez de nos chapitre,
Vous ne serez point retenu
Car vous n’êtes qu’un traître.
Par trahison en chacun nid,
Pondez sans qu’on vous sonne.
Réveillez vous, etc..

English.png English translation

Rouse yourselves, sleeping hearts,
The god of love calls you.
You should all be joyful
For spring is come.
The birds, all inspired,
Do wonders with their song;
Listen well to their ditty,
Bend your ears.

You, what are you saying?
The little starling of Paris,
The little thing: (who’s there?
Pass, knave. By the holy head of God
It is time to go drinking)
Wise, courteous and well versed.
Go to the sermon, my mistress.
Get thee to Mass, Madam.
To St. Trotin to show your tits
And sweet looks.

…Who wants it?
Cuckoo, cuckoo…

Cuckoo, where is the cuckoo?
Away, go away, master Cuckoo,
Get out of our company.
You will never be missed
For you are nothing but a traitor.
Treacherously, in every nest
You lay without being called.
Rouse yourselves, etc..