Une Jeune Fillette

A popular tune of the Renaissance and Baroque period, used by many composers in different settings, sacred and profane.

One Complete Set of Lyrics

From: Martha G. Bishop
(with some corrections)

Une jeune fillette
   de noble coeur,
Plaisante et joliette
   de grand' valeur,
Outre son gre on l'a rendu' nonnette
Cela point ne luy haicte
   dont vit en grand' douleur.

Vn soir apres complie
    seulette estoit,
En grand melancolie
    se tourmentoit,
Disant ainsi, douce Vierge Marie
Abregez moy la vie,
    puisque mourir je doy.

Mon pauvre coeur
   souspire incessament,
Aussi ma mort
   desire journellement.
Qu'a mes parens ne puis mander n'escrire,
Ma beaute fort empire,
   je vis en grand tourment.

Que ne m'a-t-on donnee
   a mon loyal amy,
Qui tant m'a desiree
   aussi ay-je moy luy,
Toute la nuict my tiendroit embrassee
Me disant la pensee
   et moy la mienne a luy.

A Dieu vous dy mon pere,
   ma mere e mes parens,
Qui m'avez voulu faire
   nonette en ce couvent,
Ou il n'y a point de resjouissance,
Je vis en desplaisance
   je n'attens que la mort.

La mort est fort cruelle
   a endurer,
Combien qu'il faut par elle
   trestous passer.
Encor'est plus grand mal que j'endure,
Et la peine plus dure
   qu'il me faut supporter.

A Dieu vous dy
   les filles de mon pays,
Puis qu'en cest' Abbaye
   me faut mourir,
En attendant de mon Die la sentence,
Je vy en esperance
   d'en avoir reconfort.

(This section from Bradley Philip Lehman).

Somebody asked about a posting of texts for "Une jeune pucelle" and its cousins which use the same tune. I did one of my doctoral lectures on this very topic this month. Here is my file of texts.

Spellings are of course as they appear in the sources and secondary literature. For the most extensive list of settings, see Oscar Mischiati's compilation in the preface to Frescobaldi's masses. Also read John Wendland's article in Acta Musicologica 48 (1976).

Various texts (first stanzas) for the "La Monica" tune

Chronological ordering here is of course tentative, as some of these texts may have been in use long before their appearance in surviving prints and manuscripts. Topics:

1. La monica (Italian ballad-dance about a girl forced to become
a nun, as her parents could not afford a dowry)

  - As early as 1465, Siena.  Different tune.  See Madre non mi far monaca.

2. Une jeune fillette                   There was once a young girl,
De noble coeur,                         noble of heart,
Plaisante et joliette                   charming and pretty
De grand' valeur,                       and of great worth,
Outre son gre                           against her will
on l'a rendu' nonnette,                 she was made a nun;
Cela point ne luy haicte,               this doesn't please her at all,
Dont vit en grand' douleur.             so she lives in great pain.

  - Chardavoine, Le recueil des plus belles et excellentes chansons, Paris
     1576.  Also in a Lyon songbook, 1557.

3a. Alls was gereicht zu Gottes ehr     All is offered to God's glory
vnd seligkeyt der Seelen,               and to the blessedness of souls.
Das ist gewiss ein solche Lehr          Surely this is a lesson
die wir billich erwelen;                that is easily learned.
Sie werde vorbracht wie sie wöll,       It can be expressed as any way,
geredt oder gesungen,                   spoken or sung.
mann Gott den Herren loben soll         One should praise God the Lord
in aller art der zungen.                with all manners of the tongue.

  - Helmbold, poetic introduction to "Von Gott will ich nicht
    lassen" (1563): the poem goes on to point out that Helmbold's
    new hymn is to an existing tune which is "so pleasant to sing"
    (dise Melodei so lieblich ist an stimmen...).

3b. Von Gott will ich nicht lassen,     God will I ne'er forsake,
denn er lässt nicht von mir,            for he forsakes me not,
führt mich durch alle Strassen,         he leads along every road,
da ich sonst irret sehr;                for else I would wander badly;
reicht mir seine Hand,                  he stretches out his hand to me,
den Abend und den Morgen                In the evening and the morning,
thut er mich wohl versorgen,            he always takes good care of me
sei, wo ich wöll, im Land.              wherever in the land I go.

  - Magdeburg, Christliche und tröstliche Tischgesang, Erfurt
    1572.  (But Helmbold's text first issued in 1563.)

4. Ich gieng einmal spazieren           I once went walking
ein Weglein, das war klein.             on a narrow way.
Was thät mich da verfürren?             What did seduce me there?
Mein Fleisch so ganz unrein.            My flesh so very impure
Das voller Sünden was;                  for being full of sin;
die Schlang hat uns betrogen,           the serpent has deceived us,
wir habens von Eva gsogen,              we have suckled this from Eve,
da sie den Apfel ass.                   for she the apple ate.

  - von Dolgen, [Dresdener Codex, M53 #55], Erfurt c.1564-70.

5. Einmal thet ich spatzieren           Once I went walking
sunderbar allein,                       curiously alone,
Was thet mich nun verfüren?             What did seduce me now?
ein weglein das war klein,              A narrow little path,
Das suber und lustig was                that was clean and merry
darin da thet ich finden                therein I did find
mit meinen schnellen winden             with my quick twists
ein thierlein in dem gras.              a little creature in the grass.

  - Berger, [Jägerliede,] Strasbourg 1570.

6. Helft mir Gotts Güte preisen,        Help me praise God's goodness,
ihr lieben Kinderlein,                  you loving little children,
mit G'sang und andern Weisen            with singing and in other ways,
ihm allzeit dankbar sein,               being always thankful to him,
fürnemlich zu der Zeit,                 especially at the time
da sich das Jahr thut enden,            when the year comes to an end,
die Sonn sich zu uns wenden,            the sun turns now back toward us,
das neu Jahr ist nicht weit.            the new year is not far away.

  - Figulus, Zwanzig artige und kurz Weynacht-Liedlein, Frankfurt
    1572; also Gassenhawer, Reuter & Bergliedlin, Christlich
    moraliter..., 1571.

7. Wy Geuskens willen nu singhen        We tiny Protestants are bound to sing
in dese Meyes tijt,                     now, in these Maydays of times,
en van vreuchden opspringhen,           our hearts will leap up for joy
dat ons Godt ghebenedijt                as God in his blessing
nu heeft ghegheven reyn                 has given us his seal of approval
sijnen seghel machtich,                 so perfectly and powerfully,
daerom wy sullen eendrachtich           we will therefore unanimously
den lof Godt gheven certeyn.            praise God and honor him for sure.

  - Den Briel, Een nieuw Geusen lieden boecxken, 1581 (1572).

8. Ich ging einmal spazieren            I once went walking
durch einen grünen Wald,                through a forest green,
da hört ich lieblich singen,            there I heard
ein Fräulein wohlgestalt;               a comely maiden singing prettily;
sie sang sogar ein schönen Gsang,       she even sang a beautiful song,
dass in dem grünen Wald erklang.        that rang through the forest green.

  - Lechner, Newe Teutsche Lieder mit fünff und vier Stimmen,
    N*uuml;rnberg 1582.

9. Une nimphe jolie                     A pretty nymph
Dormoit en en verd pré,                 was sleeping on a green meadow
De mainte herbe fleurie                 richly adorned
Richement diapré.                       with many flowers.
Le doux sommeil                         The sweet sleep
De cette creature                       of this creature
Surpassoit la nature                    vanquished even nature
de beauté à mon gré.                    in beauty, I thought.

  - Planson, Airs mis en musique par Jean Planson parisien tant de
    son invention que d'autre musitiens, Paris 1587.  A very erotic
    text in later stanzas.

10. Ma belle si ton âme                 My beautiful one if your soul
Se sent or allumer                      feels itself now kindled
De cette douce flamme                   by this sweet flame
Qui nous force d'aimer;                 that compels us to love,
Allons contents,                        let us go satisfied,
Allons sur la verdure,                  let us go along on the greening,
Allons tandis que dure                  let us go while lasts
Notre jeune printems.                   our young springtime.

  - Besardus, Thesaurus harmonicus, Cologne 1603.

11. Madre non mi far monaca             Mother don't make me a nun
che non mi voglio far;                  because I don't want to be one;
Non mi tagliar la tonaca                Don't tear the habit
che non la vuo' portar.            only because you do not want to wear it.
Tutt'il dì in coro                      All day in the choir
al vespre'et all messa,                 at Vespers and at evening Mass
e la madr'abadessa                      and with the mother abbess
non fa se non gridar,                   she does nothing but cry,
Che possela creppar.                    that she may die.

  - Pario, di Canzonette e madrigaletti spunali..., Parma 1610.
    The first two lines are by the girl, followed by the response
    of her mother.  Songs on this subject appear as early as 1465,
    Siena.  The earliest musical setting of this subject, though
    not to the same tune considered here, is the 14th-Century
    canzona Hora may che fora son / non voio esser pi`u monicha...,
    in a chansonnier of Escorial, ms.  IV.a.24, p. 90v-91.

12. Bienheureuse est une âme,           Blessed is a soul,
où nul vice n'a lieu,                   where no vice has place,
qui jamais ne s'enflamme                which never kindles itself
que de l'amour de Dieu                  except by the love of God
et d'un desdain                         and of a disdain
rejette l'artifice                      rejects the artifice
de la haute malice                      of the lofty malice
de tout homme mondain.                  of every human on earth.

  - La pieuse alouette, Valencienne 1619.

13. Gy vraegt my of ick self            You ask me if I myself practise
beleef al wat ick seg,                  what I am telling others to do,
En't pad so nau betre'e            and if I myself keep to the straight path
als ick 'teen ander leg?                as much as as I impose it upon others?
Kindsch is do vraeg.                    To ask such a thing is child-talk.
Siet wat u voorgeset is:                See what is held before us:
Niet ick, maer uwe wet is               not one's own self, but the Law over it
Hetgeen dat Godt behaegt.               is that which pleases God.

  - Camphuysen, Stichtelyke rymen, Amsterdam 1624.

14. Maraen, hoe moogt gy spies en lans  Well then, how could you, facing God,
verheffen tegen God?                    raise your fists and draw your steel?
Merckt hoe ghy, met u stercke schans,   See how and why it is that with a sword
geworden styten spot.                   your strong arm is but laughingstock.
Ghy, door u moorders' spel,             You with your play-act of killing,
wilt al de werelt drucken            are bent on weighing down the whole world
end' alles slaen in stucken;            in oppression, smashing it to pieces;
maer God die siet het wel.              but it is God who sees all things well.

  - Valerius, Neder-landtsche gedenck-clanck, Haarlem 1626.

15. Was willst du dich betrüben,        Why art thou distressed,
O meine liebe Seel?                     O my dear soul?
Ergib dich, den zu lieben,              Surrender thyself to love him
Der heißt Immanuel!                     who is called Immanuel!
Vertraue ihm allein,                    Trust in him alone.
Er wird gut alles machen                he will make all well
Und fördern deine Sachen,               and promote thine affairs,
Wie dirs wird selig sein!               so it will be blessed for thee!

  - Heermann, 1630; stanza-by-stanza basis of Bach's Cantata BWV
    107, July 1724.

16. Wat mogen zich de Papen             What is it to the Papists that
"Berommen van Autaer?                   they can "boast of in the Altar?
Nadien all' Christus knapen             That therefore all servers of Christ
Byzonder en te gaer"                    each individually and they altogether"
Door Godes hand,                        through God's hand,
Zoo hoog nu zijn verheven               have been uplifted to such high rank
"Dat zy hem mogen geven"                "That they are allowed to"
Een dienst van offerand.                make him a service of oblation.

  - Stalpaert, Extractum catholicum, Antwerp 1631.

17a. Estennialon de tsonoue             People, take courage,
Iesous ahatonnia                        Jesus is born!
Onnaouateoua dóki                      Now that the reign
nónouandaskouaentak                    of the devil is destroyed,
Ennonchien skouatrihotat                Don't listen anymore
nónouandilonrachatha                   to what he says to your spirits.
Iesous ahatonnia.                       Jesus is born!

  - St. Jean de Brébeuf, Jesuit missionary to the Huron
    Indians, Toronto area, c.1643.

17b. Hommes, prenez courage,            People, take courage,
Jésus est né!                           Jesus is born!
Maintenant que le règne                 Now that the reign
du diable est détruit,                  of the devil is destroyed,
N'écoutez plus                          Don't listen anymore
ce qu'il dit à vos esprits.             to what he says to your spirits.
Jésus est né!                           Jesus is born!

  - Paul Picard Tsaouenhohi, translation of Brébeuf's hymn,
    in MS of Father Etienne-Thomas Girault de Villeneuve (1747-1794).

18. Parton dall'Oriente                 Three kings leave from the East
Tre Re per adorar                       to honor
Il Dio onnipotente                      omnipotent God
Ch'huom s'è degnato far,                who deigned to become man,
Sol per aprire                          only to open the doors
il cielo al peccatore,                  of the heavens to the sinner,
Se pentito di core                      who, truly repentant of heart,
disponsi a sui tornar.                  prepares to return to Him.

  - Coferati, Corona di sacre canzoni o laudi spirituali, Florence 1675.

19. Kyrie eleison.                      Lord, have mercy.

  - Used in Charpentier's Messe de minuit sur des airs de Noël,
    late 17th Century.

20. Une jeune Pucelle                   A young virgin of Pucelle
de noble coeur                          of noble heart
priant en sa chambrette                 praying in her little room
son Créateur,                           to her Creator,
l'Ange du Ciel                          the Angel of Heaven
descendit sur la terre,                 came down upon the earth
lui conta le mystère                    and told to her the mystery
de notre Salvateur.                     of our Savior.

  - Binard, Noëls ou cantiques nouveaux, Troyes 1741.  Also
    Grande Bible des Noëls, Troyes 1699.

21. Entends ma voix fidèle,             Listen to my faithful voice,
Pasteur, suis-moi,                      shepherd, follow me,
Viens témoigner ton zèle                come to prove your zeal
Au divin Roi;                           to the holy King;
Ce Dieu si grand                        that God so great
est né dans une étable,                 is born in a stable,
Ce Dieu si redoutable                   that God so formidable
Est homme comme toi.                    is human like you.

  - Pérennès, Dictionnaire de noëls et de
    cantiques, Paris 1867.  Nineteenth-century setting.

22. Nun will der Lenz uns grüBen,       Now will Lent greet us,
von Mittag weht es Lau;                 with a warm south wind blowing;
Aus allen Ekken sprießen                out of every corner sprout
die Blumen rot und blau.                flowers, red and blue.
Draus wob die braune Heide              Outside the brown heather
sich ein Gewand gar fein                wove itself a fine garment
und lädt im Festtagskleide              and in its festive dress invites
zum Maientanze ein.                     us to the May dance.

  - student club songbook, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität
    Jena, 1987; tune in major!


(23). Descuidado de cuidado estava yo.
!Ay Dios, y qui'en me le dió!
Estava descuidado
quanto agora estoy con 'el
y tan apartado d'el
cuanto agora estoi llegado.
No hay honbre tan desdichado como yo.
!Ay Dios, y qui'en me le dió!

  - polyphonic choral piece by Ginés de Morata, based on
    musical incipits of the tune.  c.17th Century.

Translation credits:

German: Deborah DeWitt, Ralf Spatzier, Mark Audus, Janina Clark, Mark Bighley, Bradley Lehman
Dutch: Ella Aertsen, Alowin Moes
Italian: Livio Flaminio, Deborah DeWitt
French: Bradley Lehman, Lawrence Rosenwald
Huron via Picard's French: Bradley Lehman

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François Velde