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Dutch medieval folk songs

Songs from the Antwerp songbook


<<  Dutch medieval folk songs
(translated in English)
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sheet music dutch medieval folk song daghet oosten thumb
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icon sheet music dutch folk songs    sheet music  /  enlargement

icon speaker listen to dutch medieval folk songs with music mp3    play music  /  or click here

icon speaker listen to dutch folk songs with music mp3    play recording by Camerata Trajectina


"The day dawns in the east now      (noble lady speaking)
it lightens everywhere.
How little knows my beloved
where I will go from here."


        Het daghet in den oosten
        het lichtet overal.
        Hoe luttel weet mijn liefken
        och waer ick henen sal.


"Ah, should all foes, ah, should all      (admirer speaking)
my enemies be friends
then I would elope with you
out of this land, beloved."


        Och warent al mijn vrienden
        dat mijn vijanden sijn
        ick voerde u uuten lande
        mijn lief, mijn minnekijn.


"Where is it you would take me        (noble lady speaking)
brave knight so fierce of heart.
I'm lying here with my lover
with greater dignity."


        Dats waer soudi mi voeren
        stout ridder wel gemeyt?
        Ic ligge in mijns liefs armkens
        met grooter waerdicheyt.


"You're lying in his arms now?        (admirer speaking)
By God, you tell a lie!
Go to the green leafy limetree
you'll find him there defeated."


        Ligdy in uus liefs armen?
        Bilo, ghi en segt niet waer!
        Gaet henen ter linde groene
        versleghen so leyt hi daer.


The girl she put on her cloak
and she went down the path
all to the green leafy limetree
where she did find him dead.


        Tmeysken nam haren mantel
        ende si ghinc eenen ghanck
        al totter linde groene
        daer si den dooden vant.


"Alas, you are defeated
choked up in all your blood!
It is because of your bragging
your pride and your conceit.


        Och, ligdy hier verslaghen
        versmoort in al u bloet?
        Dat heeft gedaen u roemen
        ende uwen hooghen moet.


Oh, you lie here defeated
who used to comfort me.
What did you leave behind for me?
So many mournful days."


        Och, ligdy hier verslaghen
        die mi te troosten plach?
        Wat hebdy mi ghelaten?
        So menighen droeven dach.


The girl she put on her cloak
and she went down the road
all to her father's castle gate
that she found all unlocked.


        Tmeysken nam haren mantel
        ende si ghinck eenen ganck
        al voor haers vaders poorte
        die si ontsloten vant.


"Ah, is here maybe one lord
one generous nobleman
who will help me to bury
my well-beloved deceased?"


        Och, is hier eenich heere
        oft eenich edel man
        die mi mijnen dooden
        begraven helpen can?


The gentlemen were silent
they held their tongue so quiet.
The young lady started weeping
turned 'round and walked away.


        Die heeren sweghen stille
        si en maecten gheen geluyt.
        Dat meysken keerde haer omme
        si ghinc al weenende uut.


She took him in her arms then
and kissed him on his mouth
it lasted only a short time
it lasted many hours.


        Si nam hem in haren armen
        si custe hem voor den mont
        in eender corten wijlen
        tot also menigher stont.


Eventually she digged there
with his clear polished sword.
And with her snow-white arms
she layed him in the grave.


        Met sinen blancken swaerde
        dat si die aerde op groef
        met haer snee witten armen
        ten grave dat si hem droech.


"Now I will leave forever
to a small nunnery
I'll wear a habit, a veil in black
and be a nun in a monastery."


        Nu wil ic mi gaen begeven
        in een cleyn cloosterkijn
        ende draghen swarte wijlen
        ende worden een nonnekijn.


From then she sang the high mass
her voice so clear and pure
and with her hands, fine and snow-white
she rang the little bell.


        Met haer claer stemme
        die misse dat si sanck
        met haer snee witten handen
        dat si dat belleken clankc.


  Dutch medieval folk song (Antwerp Songbook).

Text: The first verse could either be spoken by the girl, or by her lover, early in the morning, before he is leaving for the duel (the man-to-man fight over a woman) with the admirer.

Content: The song begins with a conversation between a girl (a noble lady) and an admirer. This admirer wants to elope with her, but she says she has already a lover, who gives her more dignity. He tells her that he has defeated that lover and he is lying dead under a green lime tree (the tree of love). The cloak is a sign of her noble birth. Her lover should have kept their love secret, now he's killed for it.

She asks the noble men in her father's house to help her bury him. That will give her status as surviving relative, widow, but also will give a possible child a status as heir. However, the noble men refuse to help her. She buries her lover herself and becomes a nun. (The 'little bell' was rang during a mass).

In scientific research this has been explained against the backdrop of the changes in habits of marriage and laws of succession in the 11th century. A church marriage became the standard and the power and possessions belonged more and more to the men. Based on the feudal system, the girl asks for an honourable funural and her rights of inheritance. But in the new system, the people in control are no longer willing to give that to her.

Commentary: The song has a couple of well-known medieval literary themes. The morning that breaks for two lovers (in this case, the lover turns out to be dead) (daybreak song). The man who wants to elope with the girl he loves. The green lime tree (linden-tree) as a symbol of love, a meeting place for secret lovers. The love that has to stay secret at a court or castle. The cloak, as sign of nobility. Becoming a monk or nun, swear an eternal oath, after a love affair ends in tragedy.

The Antwerp Songbook (1544) was printed by Roulans in Antwerp. It contains 221 medieval songs (without musical notation), most of them with a secular content. Thanks to tune indications it was possible to retrieve melodies in other songbooks, which did have musical notation.

Recording: Camerata Trajectina is a music ensemble from Utrecht, specialised in Dutch music from the Middle Ages up to the 19th century.

CD: Medieval songs on psalm-melodies / Souterliedekens (1994). This cd is still available in their webshop (camerata-trajectina.nl).

Sources (Dutch Song Database):
•  Het Antwerps liedboek (1544), calling it 'an old song'
•  Haerlems Oudt Liedt-Boeck (1716)
•  J.F. Willems, Oude Vlaemsche liederen (1848)
•  Pollmann en Tiggers, Nederlands volkslied (1941, 1956, 1977)

dutch flag the netherlands holland   Lyrics 'Het daghet in den oosten' on Dutch website: Nederlandse volksliedjes D.
 







sheet music dutch medieval folk song adieu scheiden thumb
    - this is a thumb: click below on 'sheet music' or 'enlargement' -
          ©  copyright translations, sheet music and music

icon sheet music dutch folk songs    sheet music  /  enlargement

icon speaker listen to dutch medieval folk songs with music mp3    play music  /  or click here

icon speaker listen to dutch folk songs with music mp3    play recording by Camerata Trajectina


I say farewell, we have to part, the two of us
till a next time, I'll wait for consolation.
I'll leave you now this heart of mine
so where you go, I'll be with you.
In joy or pain, in joy or pain
I'm yours forever and yours alone.  (bis)


        Ik zeg adieu, wij twee, wij moeten scheiden
        tot op een nieuw zo wil ik troost verbeiden.
        Ik late bij u dat herte mijn
        want waar gij zijt, daar zal ik zijn.
        't Zij vreugd of pijn, 't zij vreugd of pijn
        altoos zal ik uw vrij eigen zijn.


I thank you, love, pure dearest love, I praise you
all pain and grief, I trust that you will heal me.
Who envy us fiercely, viciously
prevent the joy on our faces
this space of time, this space of time
I'm yours forever and yours alone.


        Ik dank u, lief, rein minnelijk lief geprezen
        voor alle grief, zo wil mij doch genezen.
        Deze nijders fel met haar venijn
        zij hebben belet ons blijde aanschijn
        op dit termijn, op dit termijn
        altoos zal ik uw vrij eigen zijn.


Farewell my town, farewell my happy courtyard
pure virgin place, where we were glad together.
Let's not forget you consoled me
you are the love I've never fled.
I tell you blunt, I tell you blunt
I will be yours until our death.


        Adieu, schoon stad, adieu prieel vol vreugden
        rein maagd'lijk vat, daar wij ons saam verheugden.
        Gedenk den troost die gij mij bood
        gij zijt mijn lief die ik nooit en vlood.
        Ik zeg 't u bloot, ik zeg 't u bloot
        uw eigen blijf ik tot den dood.


  Dutch medieval folk song (Antwerp Songbook).

Commentary: This song is a love song and farewell song.

The Antwerp Songbook (1544) was printed by Roulans in Antwerp. It contains 221 medieval songs (without musical notation), most of them with a secular content. Thanks to tune indications it was possible to retrieve melodies in other songbooks, which did have musical notation.

Content: A person has to say goodbye to his or her lover, forced by the vicious slander of envious people. He/she leaves his/her heart with the beloved and will belong to the beloved till death parts them.

Recording: Camerata Trajectina is a music ensemble from Utrecht, specialised in Dutch music from the Middle Ages up to the 19th century.

CD: Medieval songs on psalm-melodies / Souterliedekens (1994). This cd is still available in their webshop (camerata-trajectina.nl).

Sources (Dutch Song Database):
•  Antwerps liedboek (1544), calling it 'a new song'
•  Amoreuse liedekens (ca. 1613)
•  J.F. Willems, Oude Vlaemsche liederen (1848)
•  F. van Duyse, Het oude Nederlandsche lied (1903)
•  Pollmann en Tiggers, Nederlands volkslied (1941, 1956, 1977)

dutch flag the netherlands holland   Lyrics 'Ik zeg adieu, wij twee, wij moeten scheiden' on Dutch website: Nederlandse volksliedjes I.
 







sheet music dutch medieval folk song daghet oosten thumb
    - this is a thumb: click below on 'sheet music' or 'enlargement' -
          ©  copyright translations, sheet music and music

icon sheet music dutch folk songs    sheet music  /  enlargement

icon speaker listen to dutch medieval folk songs with music mp3    play music  /  or click here

icon speaker listen to dutch folk songs with music mp3    play recording by Camerata Trajectina


One day from these high mountains
I looked out over sea.
A boat was floating calmly
three horsemen were on the deck.
A boat was floating calmly
I truly fancied one of them!


        Ic stont op hoogen bergen,
        Ic sach ter zee waert in:
        Ic sach een scheepken drijven,
        Daer waren drie ruyters in.
        Ic sach een scheepken drijven,
        Den eenen stont in minen sin!


It was the youngest horseman
of those three in that boat.
One time he poured out red wine
and filled my glass with wine.
One time he poured out red wine
God honour him for that!


        Den alderjoncsten ruyter
        Die in dat scheepken was,
        Die scanc mi eens te drincken
        Den wijn uut een glas.
        Die scanc mi eens te drincken
        God loons hem, die dat was!


I toast to thee, poor penniless lady
without possessions here:
because you're a penniless and poor young girl
I just have to let you go.
Because you're a penniless and poor young girl
you have no goods nor wealth!


        "Ick brenghet u, cleyn haveloos meysken.
        Ghi zijt van haven bloot:
        Omdat ghy een cleyn haveloos meysken zijt,
        Daerom ick u laten moet.
        Omdat ghy een cleyn haveloos meysken zijt,
        Ghi en hebter ja gheen goet!"


Am I a poor, penniless lady?
I am not the only one!
I'll ride to a nunnery nearby
and part from joys of life.
I'll ride to a nunnery nearby
May God reward who gave me advice.


        "Ben ick een cleyn haveloose meysken,
        Ick en bens alleyne niet!
        In een cloosterken wil ic rijden.
        God loons hem diet mi riet.
        In een cloosterken wil ic rijden.
        dat ic uut alle genoechten sciet."


My lady nun, when you've entered convent
take Holy Orders for real
with pleasure I'd like to know if
the habit they wear suits you well.
With pleasure I'd like to know when
you'll enter this small nunnery.


        "Och joncfrou nonne, als ghy te clooster gaet
        Ende als ghi wiinge ontfaet,
        Hoe geerne soude ick weten
        Hoe v die nonne cleyder staen,
        Hoe geerne soude ick weten
        Als ghi in een clooster wilt gaen!"


But when she was in the cloister
her father passed away;
and as from then in all the land
she was the richest, noblest child.
She was the richest, noblest child
she owned livestock and chattels.


        Mer doen si in dat clooster quam,
        Haer vader die was doot;
        Men vant in al mijns heren lant
        Geen rijcker kint, ende was groot
        Geen rijcker kint, ende was groot
        Ende niet van haven bloot.


So when the knight had heard of this
he said: "Saddle up my horse!
That she became a nun - -- -
that still so hurts and pains my heart.
That she became a nun - -- -
it is worth to take a ride!"


        Den ruyter had so haest vernomen,
        Hi sprac: "Sadelt mi mijn paert!
        Dat si int clooster is gecomen,
        Dat mijnder herten so sere deert:
        Dat si int clooster is gecomen,
        Het is mi wel rijdens waert!"


Standing before the cloister gate
he banged the door-knocker:
"Where is the youngest nun - --
who pledged her vows here recently?
"Where is the youngest nun - --
- - - she is so beautiful!"


        Mer doen hi voor clooster quam,
        Hi clopte aen den rinc:
        "Waer is dat joncste nonneken
        Dat hier lest wiinge ontfinc?
        Waer is dat joncste nonneken
        Het is so schoonen kint!"


Our novice, our youngest nun
she cannot come outside;
she is reclused and sheltered
and she is the bride of Christ.
She is reclused and sheltered
she praises Him devout.


        Dat alderjoncste nonneken
        En mach niet comen uut;
        Si sidt al hier besloten
        Ende si is Jesus bruyt,
        Si sidt al hier besloten
        Si looft hem overluyt.'


The novice then, the youngest nun
appeared before the knight.
Her hair was completely shaved off
her love had all disappeared.
Her hair was completely shaved off
She was dressed in habit and veil.


        Dat alderjoncste nonneken
        Ghinc voor den ruyter staen,
        Haer hayrken was afgescoren,
        Die minne was al ghedaen:
        Haer hayrken was afgescoren,
        Nonnecleederen had si aen.


"You surely can ride home now,
brave horseman, now take your leave!
And choose another young lady
my love has all disappeared.
So choose another young lady
I have chosen another life, -- - --.


        "Ghi moecht wel thuyswaret rijden,
        Stout ruyter ghi moecht wel gaen!
        Ghi moecht een ander verkiesen,
        Mijn minnen is al ghedaen:
        Ghi moecht een ander verkiesen,
        Ick hebbe een ander leven aenghegaen.


When I was a penniless and poor girl
he rejected me, kicked me
because I was young and poorly
without wealth, prosperity.
Because I was young and poorly
get lost and beat it, go away."


        Doen ic een cleyn haveloos meysken was,
        doen stiet hi mi metten voet,
        Om dat ic jonc ende arm was.
        Ic en hadde doen gheen spoet: (*7)
        Om dat ic jonc ende arm was
        Stelt nu tevreden uwen moet."


  Dutch medieval folk song (Antwerp Songbook).

Commentary: This song (in many versions) was the most widespread song through Europe during the Middle Ages. Even during the 20th century there was a Dutch song that still was derived from it, called 'The three horsemen' / 'De drie ruitertjes'.

The Antwerp Songbook (1544) was printed by Roulans in Antwerp. It contains 221 medieval songs (without musical notation), most of them with a secular content. Thanks to tune indications it was possible to retrieve melodies in other songbooks, which did have musical notation.

Content: Narrative song. A young knight (or horseman) rejects a girl because she is too poor. She is very disappointed and becomes a nun. Then she receives an enormous inheritance. The horseman then regrets his decision and rides to the nunnery to marry her after all. But the girl has rejected all worldly affairs and rejects him due to his selfishness.

Melody: The recording gives the medieval sound, the midi gives the sound as the song was sung during the 20th century.

Recording: Camerata Trajectina is a music ensemble from Utrecht, specialised in Dutch music from the Middle Ages up to the 19th century.

CD: The Antwerp songbook / Het Antwerps liedboek (2004). This cd is still available in their webshop (camerata-trajectina.nl).

Sources (Dutch Song Database):
•  Het Antwerps liedboek (1544), calling it 'an old song'
•  Haarlems oud liedboek (1640)
•  J.F. Willems, Oude Vlaemsche liederen (1848)
•  F. van Duyse, Het oude Nederlandsche lied (1903)
•  Pollmann en Tiggers, Nederlands volkslied (1941, 1956, 1977)

dutch flag the netherlands holland   Lyrics 'Ik stond op hoge bergen' on Dutch website: Nederlandse volksliedjes I.
 







sheet music dutch medieval folk song daghet oosten thumb
    - this is a thumb: click below on 'sheet music' or 'enlargement' -
          ©  copyright translations, sheet music and music

icon sheet music dutch folk songs    sheet music  /  enlargement

icon speaker listen to dutch medieval folk songs with music mp3    play music  /  or click here

icon speaker listen to dutch folk songs with music mp3    play recording by Camerata Trajectina


"A dew fell down from heaven
on my love's window-glass.
My lady is so pretty
I bear her in my hart.
My heart is captured by her
it's wounded through and through
if she gave consolation
I would be healthy --.


        "Het viel eens hemels douwe
        Voor mijns liefs vensterkijn,
        Ick en weet geen schoonder vrouwe,
        Si staet int herte mijn,
        Si hout mijn herte bevangen.
        Twelck is so seer doorwont,
        Mocht ic troost ontfanghen,
        So waer ic gansch ghesont.


I want to bring a May branch
to my love's window-pane
and offer her my fealty
and my fidelity.
I'll say to her: 'Come to me
before your small window-glass
accept the May with flowers
it's beautiful - -- ."


        Ic wil den mey gaen houwen
        Voor mijns liefs veynsterkijn
        Ende scencken mijn lief trouwe,
        Die alder liefste mijn;
        Ende segghen: 'Lief, wilt comen
        Voor v cleyn vensterken staen,
        Ontfaet den mey met bloemen,
        Hi is so schoone ghedaen!'"


The girl, she was determined
and let her lover in
so secretly and silent
he came in her small room.
They lay there together hidden
just a short while, not that long.
The guardian started singing
sang from the city walls:


        Tmeysken, si was beraden,
        Si liet haer lief in,
        Heymelic al stille,
        In een cleyn camerken;
        Daer lagen si twee verborghen
        Een corte wijle, niet lanc.
        Die wachter opter mueren
        Hief op een liet, hi sanck:


"All lovers still inside there
you have to get away!
The early light is rising
I see it in the East.
So go elsewhere now quickly
return some other time.
The time will come undoubtly
that you'll be glad again."


        "Och isser yemant inne?
        Die schaf hem balde van daen.
        Ic sie den dach opdringhen,
        Al in dat oosten opgaen.
        Nu schaft u balde van henen
        Tot op een ander tijt,
        Den tijt sal noch wel keeren
        Dat ghi sult zijn verblijt."


"Silent, guardian, silent
And stop singing your song!
This's such a lovely woman
she's lying in my arms.
She healed my heart, she cured it
my badly wounded heart.
Ah, guardian, I will praise thee
stop your announcing song.


        "Swighet, wachter, stille,
        Ende laet u singhen staen!
        Daer is so schoonen vrouwe
        In mijnen armen bevaen.
        Si heeft mijn herte genesen,
        Twelc was so seer doorwont
        Och wachter goet gepresen,
        En makes niemant condt."


"The day is so persistent
it always seperates.
I have to sing the daybreak
Beware, honored noble knight
and quickly leave the girl's room
come back another time.
The time will come undoubtly
that you'll be glad again."


        "Ic sie den dach opdringhen,
        Tscheyden moet ymmer zijn,
        Ic moet mijn dageliet singen.
        Wacht u, edel ruyter fijn,
        Ende maect v rasch van henen,
        Tot op een ander tijt.
        Den tijt sal noch wel comen
        Dat ghi sult zijn verblijt."


  Dutch medieval folk song (Antwerp Songbook).

Commentary: May song and daybreak song. The texts refers to the celebration of the Maypole on 1 May. This represents fertility and prosperity for the year to come.

The Antwerp Songbook (1544) was printed by Roulans in Antwerp. It contains 221 medieval songs (without musical notation), most of them with a secular content. Thanks to tune indications it was possible to retrieve melodies in other songbooks, which did have musical notation.

Content: A lover brings May honour (a branch of the decorated May tree) to his beloved. She lets him in before the peep of day. But soon enough the guardian in the street announces the daybreak and the two lovers have to leave each other.

Recording: Camerata Trajectina is a music ensemble from Utrecht, specialised in Dutch music from the Middle Ages up to the 19th century.

CD: The Antwerp songbook / Het Antwerps liedboek (2004). This cd is still available in their webshop (camerata-trajectina.nl).

Sources (Dutch Song Database):
•  Het Antwerps liedboek (1544), calling it 'an old song'
•  J.F. Willems, Oude Vlaemsche liederen (1848)
•  F. van Duyse, Het oude Nederlandsche lied (1903)
•  Pollmann en Tiggers, Nederlands volkslied (1941, 1956, 1977)

dutch flag the netherlands holland   Lyrics 'Het viel een hemels dauwe' on Dutch website: Nederlandse volksliedjes V.
 



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