Un doux nenny (Thomas Crecquillon)

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  • (Posted 2013-03-14)  CPDL #28518:        (Finale 2008)
Editor: André Vierendeels (submitted 2013-03-14).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 86 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Un doux nenny
Composer: Thomas Crecquillon
Lyricist: Clément Marot , No. LXVII from Les Épigrammes

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

Language: French
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1549 in Livre 28: 28 chansons a 4 (Pierre Attaingnant), no. 11
    2nd published: 1560 in Septiesme livre des chansons à quatre parties (Pierre Phalèse), Edition 1
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 nenny, avec un doux soubrire,
est tant honneste, il le vous faut apprendre,
quant est d'ouy si veniez à le dire,
d'avoir trop dit je vous voudrois reprendre,
non que je suis envieux d'entreprendre,
d'avoir le fruit dont le désir me point,
mais je voudrois qu'en me laissant prendre
vous me dieriez 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