Un doux nenny (Geert van Turnhout)

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  • (Posted 2018-10-18)  CPDL #51505:       
Editor: André Vierendeels (submitted 2018-10-18).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 71 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Un doux nenny
Composer: Geert van Turnhout
Lyricist: Clément Marot , No. LXVII from Les Épigrammes

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: SST
Genre: SecularChanson

Language: French
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1574 in La Fleur des chansons a 3 (Pierre Phalèse), no. 90
Description: Nenny is a familiar way of saying "no," such as the refusal with which a maiden (in this case, possibly Marguerite de Navarre) would deter potential lovers during courting. The epigram has also been attributed to Mellin de Saint-Gelais.

External websites:

Original text and translations

French.png French text

Un doux nenni avec un doux sourire
est tant honnête il vous le faut apprendre,
quand est d'oui si veniez à le dire
d'avoir trop dit je vous voudrois reprendre,
non que je sois envieux d'entreprendre
d'avoir le fruit dont le désir me point,
mais je voudrois qu'en me le laissant prendre,
vous me disiez: non, vous ne l'aurez point.

English.png English translation

As simple “no” said with a smile that’s sweet
Is something that you really ought to learn.
When you let drop a “yes” all nice and neat,
That you have said too much you should discern;
It’s not that I would ever choose to spurn
The chance to pick the fruit that piques desire;
But please, in dangling that for which I burn,
Make clear it’s nothing I will e’er acquire!

Translation by Thomas Daughton