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Quant j'ai ouy le tabourin (1908) L99


Part of a series or song cycle:

Trois Chansons de Charles d'Orléans (L99)


Quant j'ai ouy le tabourin

Quant j’ai ouy le tabourin
Sonner pour s’en aller au may,
En mon lit n’en ay fait affray
Ne levé mon chef du coissin;
En disant: il est trop matin,
Ung peu je me rendormiray,
Quant j’ai ouy le tabourin
Sonner pour s’en aller au may.
Jeunes gens partent leur butin;
De Nonchaloir m’acointeray,
A lui je m’abutineray;
Trouvé l’ay plus prochain voisin,
Quant j’ai ouy le tabourin!

When I heard the drum

When I heard the drum
Summoning us to go maying,
I neither leapt from my bed
Nor lifted my head from the pillow.
And I said: it is too early.
I shall sleep a little longer:
When I heard the drum
Summoning us to go maying.
Let the young divide their spoils,
I shall be happy to remain indifferent
And share my spoils with him –
For he was my nearest neighbour,
When I heard the drum beat.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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