Le chant de l'alouette (Clément Janequin)

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  • (Posted 2017-08-11)  CPDL #45831:     
Editor: Frank de Ruyter (submitted 2017-08-11).   Score information: A4, 9 pages, 99 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: F major.
  • (Posted 2014-09-11)  CPDL #32906:      (Finale 2004)
Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2014-09-11).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 163 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed up from G.
  • (Posted 2003-10-27)  CPDL #05862:      (Finale 2003)
Editor: Kevin Skelton (submitted 2003-10-27).   Score information: Letter, 12 pages, 288 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Le chant de l'alouette
Composer: Clément Janequin

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularChanson

Language: French
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1551 in Cinquièsme livre du recueil (Nicolas Du Chemin), no. 2
Description: Le chant de l'alouette ("The song of the lark") is one of Janequin's earliest and most famous bruitiste (onomatopoetic) chansons, and appears to have been in circulation by 1515. The lyrics, intended to imitate birdsong, are a veritable glossary of insults and epithets in Renaissance French.

External websites:

Original text and translations

French.png French text

Orsus, orsus vous dormez trop,
Ma dame joliette,
Il est jour levez sus,
Escoutez l'alouette.
Petite, il est jour,
Que dit Dieu.
Lire, lire, lire, liron.
Qu'on tue ce faulx jaloux cornu coqu.
Tout chassieulx,
Tout esperdu,
Tout farcineux,
Tout marmiteux,
Tout malostru,
Il ne vault mye les brayes d'ung vieux pendu.
Te rogamus audi nos.
Saincte teste Dieu!
Qu'il soit torché,
Batu, frappé,
Qu'il soit bruslé,
Qu'il soit huilé,
Tue ce coqu coquin.
Pin chore lire lichim, chin, choc, choc, floc, floc,
Cherely lichim fidely, fidely, ocy, ocy.
Coquin, marault, lourdin, lourdaut,
Petin, petaut, nyault, nygault, bedin, bedault,
Vessin, vessault, coqu, il est jour,
Il est temps d'aller boyre,
Fan, farilarilaron fan
Or, oyez, tue ce villain cornu coqu!
Hou, hou, hou, qu'il est lait, le jaloux!
Coqu, tortu, bossu!
Cheny, cheny, qu'il soit lié,
Tresbien bagué, serré, troussé, fort garroté,
Et puis geté dens ung fosse!
Lessez la esjouyr, saulter, jouer, gaudir,
Chacun entretenir,
Parler à son plaisir,
Veiller et dormir,
Croquir, à plaisir!
On vous faict assavoir,
De par les oyseaulx,
Que courez tost pour veoir,
Par mons et par vaulx,
Le traistre coqu, teigneux, tondu, morveux,
Bossu, boiteux, tortu, rongneux,
Testu, brigneux, batu.
Que l'on condanné à mourir,
Va, faulx truant,
Coquin, puant, tout mal pensant,
Et mesdisant!
Soeuffre, soeuffre, soeuffre!
Ou aultrement qu'il soeuffre,
Quant à sa femme on s'offre
De la baiser,
De l'acoler,
De l'embrasser,
Et renverser,
Que chacun face son plaisir!
Ou aultrement t'en va mourir!

English.png English translation

Get up, get up, you sleep too much,
My pretty little lady,
Morning’s come, get up,
Listen to the lark.
Little one, day has come,
As God says.
Tra-la, tra-la, tra-la.
Let’s kill this lying jealous horned cuckold.
All bleary-eyed,
All forlorn,
All leprous,
All wretched,
All miserable,
He’s not worth half a hanged man’s britches.
We beseech thee to hear us.
Holy head of God!
Let him be wiped away,
Beaten, whipped,
Let him be burned,
Let him be oiled,
Kill this cuckold rogue.
Pin chore lire lichim, chin, choc, choc, floc, floc,
Cherely lichim fidely, fidely, ocy, ocy.
Rogue, varlet, churl, dullard,
Fart, gas-passer, cunnie, lobcock, dolt, minion,
Cyst, blister, cuckold, it’s morning,
It’s time to go drink,
Fan, farilarilaron fan
Hey, listen, kill this vile horned cuckold
Oh, oh, oh, he’s ugly, the jealous fool!
Cuckold, twist-back, hunchback!
Worm, worm, string him up!
Tied up good, bound, trussed up, wound up tight,
And then tossed in a cesspit!
Let him frolic there, jump, play, jibe,
Everyone have a good time,
Say what they want,
Stay up late and sleep,
Drink, as they wish!
We’re here to let you know,
Through the birds,
To go early to see,
Over hill and over dale,
The traitorous cuckold, scabrous, shorn, snivelling,
Hunchback, cripple, crook-back, mangy,
Mulish, prune, whipping-boy.
Condemn him to death,
Go to, lying beggar,
Rogue, stinking, evil-thinking,
And opprobrious!
Suffer, suffer, suffer!
Or otherwise let him suffer,
When he offers himself to his wife
To kiss her,
To nuzzle her,
To hug her,
And to spill,
Let each one have his pleasure,
Or otherwise go off and die!

Translation by Thomas Daughton