La belle margarite a 5 (Jacobus Clemens non Papa)

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  • (Posted 2021-08-13)  CPDL #65480:         
Editor: Gerd Eichler (submitted 2021-08-13).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 137 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from original print, Mensurstrich layout, original key signature and note values, clefs modernized, musica ficta clearly marked.
  • (Posted 2011-08-01)  CPDL #24069:        (Finale 2008)
Editor: André Vierendeels (submitted 2011-08-01).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 116 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. Error summary: Some errors in text underlay See the discussion page for full description.

General Information

Title: La belle margarite a 5
Composer: Jacobus Clemens non Papa

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SecularChanson

Language: French
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1550 in Douzieme livre contenant trente chansons amoureuses a cinq parties, no. 1
Description: not to be confused with a 6 part setting

External websites:

Original text and translations

French.png French text

La belle marguerite
est une belle fleur
Prenez qu’elle est petite,
elle est de grande valeur

Elle est jeune et prospecte (:prospère)
et si n’a point d’amer (:cruel)
La plus belle fleurette
qu’au monde puis trouver.

English.png English translation

Note: “Marguerite” is a kind of daisy in English as well as being a woman’s name (“Margaret”). The double-entendre allows two significantly different interpretations of the lyrics – something that Clemens almost certainly intended.

Version 1
The daisy sweet and fair
Is a lovely flower
Pluck it early if you dare,
That’s its finest hour.

It is young and awesome
And if it doesn’t bite,
The sweetest little blossom
To ever see day’s light.

Version 2
Margaret sweet and fair
Is a lovely flower
Take her young if you dare,
That’s her finest hour.

She is young and awesome
And if she’s without spite,
The sweetest little blossom
To ever see day’s light.

Translation by Thomas Daughton