The development of music

In the Middle Ages, many men and women wrote and sang songs about the joys and trials of being in love. Two great examples representing male and female attitudes towards the objects of their affection are Bernart de Ventadorn’s Can vei la lauzeta mover (When I See the Lark) and Beatriz de Dials A chantar m’er (I Am Obliged to Sing). For this exercise, write a blog explaining to your readers how to understand the poems in general and in comparison to each other. What are similarities and differences from the masculine and feminine points of view. Finally, explain to your readers how these approaches still exist today. Choose one song that you know from your world that shares similarity to one of the medieval examples and explain.

Bernart de Ventadorn

Can vei la lauzeta mover

Can vei la lauzeta mover
De joi sas alas contral rai,
Que s’oblid’ e.s laissa chazer
Per la doussor c’al cor li vai,
Ai! Tan grans enveya m’en ve
De cui qu’eu veya jauzion,
Meravilhas ai, car desse
Lo cor de dezirer no.m fon.
When I see the lark
Spread its wings for joy and fly towards the sun,
Forget itself, and fall
In the bliss that rushes to its heart
Alas! How I then envy
All creatures that I see happy.
I am amazed that my heart
Does not melt away there and then with longing.

Ai, las! Tan cuidava saber
D’amor, e tan petit en sai,
Car eu d’amar no.m posc tener
Celeis don ja pro non aurai.
Tout m’a mo cor, e tout m’a me,
E se mezeis e tot lo mon;
E can se.m tolc, no.m laisset re
Mas dezirer e cor volon.
Alas! how much of love I thought I knew
And how little I know,
For I cannot stop loving
Her from whom I may have nothing.
All my heart, and all herself,
And all my own self and all I have
She has taken from me, and leaves me nothing
But longing and a seeking heart.

Anc non agui de me poder
Ni no fui meus de l’or’ en sai
Que.m laisset en sos olhs vezer
En un miralh que mout me plai.
Miralhs, pus me mirei en te,
M’an mort li sospir de preon,
C’aissi.m perdei com perdet se
Lo bels Narcisus en la fon.
I no longer had power over myself,
Nor belonged to myself, from the moment
When she let me look into her eyes;
Into that mirror which so delights me.
Mirror, since I was mirrored in you
My sighs have slain me;
I am lost
As fair Narcissus was lost in the spring,

De las domnas me dezesper;
Ja mais en lor no.m fiarai;
C’aissi com las solh chaptener,
Enaissi las deschaptenrai.
Pois vei c’una pro no m’en te
Vas leis que.m destrui e.m cofon,
Totas las dopt’ e las mescre,
Car be sai c’atretals se son.
I despair of all women;
Never again shall I trust them;
As much as I was formerly their protector
I shall now neglect them;
Since no woman will come to my aid
With her who destroys and confounds me
I fear them all and mistrust them
For well I know that they are all alike.

D’aisso’s fa be femna parer
Ma domna, per qu’e.lh o retrai,
Car no vol so c’om voler,
E so c’om li deveda, fai.
Chazutz sui en mala merce,
Et ai be faih co.l fols en pon;
E no sai per que m’esdeve,
Mas car trop puyei contra mon.
My lady wants to appear a good woman;
So I discourage her.
For she does not want what she should,
And what is forbidden her, she does.
I have fallen into disfavour
And behaved like the fool on the bridge
And I don’t know how it came about
Unless it was that I applied too much pressure.

Merces es perduda, per ver,
(Et eu non o saubi anc mai,)
Car cilh qui plus en degr’aver,
No.n a ges, et on la querrai?
A! Can mal sembla, qui la ve,
Qued aquest chaitiu deziron
Que ja ses leis non aura be,
Laisse morrir, que no l.aon.
Mercy is lost, truly
(And I never knew it)
For she who should have had most
Has none: and where should I seek it now?
Oh! how pitiful it seems to him who sees –
wretched and lovesick as I am
Unable to know happiness without her –
How she lets me die, and will not come to my aid.

Pus ab midons no.m pot valer
Precs ni merces ni.l dreihz qu’eu ai,
Ni a leis no ven a plazer
Qu’eu l’am, ja mais no.lh o dirai.
Aissi.m part de leis e.m recre;
Mort m’a, e per mort li respon,
E vau m’en, pus ilh no.m rete,
Chaitius, en issilh, no sai on.
Since nothing can help me with my lady,
Neither prayers nor grace, nor the rights that I have,
Since it does not please her that I love her
I shall not speak of love again.
I give up love and deny it;
She has willed my death, and I answer with death;
I leave, since she does not hold me back,
And go wretched into exile, not knowing where.

Tristeza, no.n auretz de me,
Qu’eu m’en vau, chaitius, no sai on.
De chantar me gic e.m recre,
E de joi e d’amor m’escon.
You will not see my sorrow,
Since I am going, wretched not knowing where.
I renounce and deny my songs
And flee from joy and from love.

Beatriz de Dia

A chantar m’er

  1. A chantar m’er de so qu’eu no volria,
    tant me rancur de lui cui sui amia;
    car eu l’am mais que nuilla ren que sia:
    vas lui no.m val merces ni cortezia
    ni ma beltatz ni mos pretz ni mos sens;
    c’atressi.m sui enganad’ e trahia
    Com degr’ esser, s’eu fos dezavinens.
  2. D’aisso.m conort, car anc non fi faillensa,
    Amics, vas vos per nuilla captenenssa;
    ans vo am mais non fetz Seguis Valensa,
    e platz mi mout quez eu d’amar vos vensa,
    lo meus amics, car etz lo plus valens;
    mi faitz orgoil en digz et en parvensa,
    et si etz francs vas totas autras gens.
  3. Meraveill me cum vostre cors s’orgoilla,
    amics, vas me, per qui’ai razon queu.m doilla;
    non es ges dreitz c’autr’ amors vos mi toilla,
    per nuilla ren diga ni acoilla.
    E membre vos cals fo.l comensamens
    de nostr’amor! Ja Dompnedeus non voilla
    qu’en ma colpa sia.l departimens.

I Am Obliged to Sing

  1. I must sing of what I do not want,
    I am so angry with the one whom I love,
    Because I love him more than anything:
    Mercy nor courtesy moves him,
    Neither does my beauty, nor my worthiness,
    nor my good sense,
    For I am deceived and betrayed
    As much as I should be, if I were ugly.
  2. I take comfort because I never did anything wrong,
    Friend, towards you in anything,
    Rather I love you more than Seguin did Valensa,
    And I am greatly pleased that I conquered you in love,
    My friend, because you are the most worthy;
    You are arrogant to me in words and appearance,
    And yet you are so friendly towards everyone else.
  3. I wonder at how you have become so proud,
    Friend, towards me, and I have reason to lament;
    It is not right that another love take you away from me
    No matter what is said or granted to you.
    And remember how it was at the beginning
    Of our love! May Lord God never wish
    That it was my fault for our separation.

Sample Solution