Jan petit Jan (Jehan L'Heritier)

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  • (Posted 2008-01-11)  CPDL #15770:        (Finale 2007)
Editor: Joachim Kelecom (submitted 2008-01-11).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 74 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed one step down.

General Information

Title: Jan petit Jan
Composer: Jehan L'Heritier

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

Language: French
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1530 in Six Gaillardes et six Pavanes avec Treze chansons musicales a quatre parties (Pierre Attaingnant), no. 19
  2nd published: 1535 in Il primo libro de le canzoni franzese (Ottaviano Scotto), no. 10

External websites:

Original text and translations

French.png French text

Jan, petit Jan,
quant tu as belle femme
garde la bien
mais ne sois point jaleux
car ton bon bruyt tourneroyt en diffame.

Jan, petit Jan,
quant tu as belle femme
sy tu ne l'es
tu seras trop heureux.
Laisse passer le tems aux amoureux

Jan, petit Jan,
quant tu as belle femme,
sans parler d'eulx,
ne leur donner nul blasme.

Lors ils diront:
'Fi pour ces envieux,
car petit Jan montre bien
qu'il nous ayme.'

English.png English translation

Jan, little Jan,
when you have a beautiful wife
guard her well
but don't be jealous
because that would spoil your reputation.

Jan, little Jan,
when you have a beautiful wife
if you are not [jealous]
you will be too happy.
Let men who love [her] pass the time,

Jan, little Jan,
when you have a beautiful wife,
without saying anything about them
or criticising them in any way.

Then they will say:
'Fie on envious husbands,
for little Jan makes it clear
that he is our friend.'

Translation by Mick Swithinbank