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J’ay pris ung poul a ma chemise 3v · Anonymous

Sources:

*Florence 176 ff. 12v-13 »j’ay pris ung poul a ma chemise« 3v PDF

*Paris 15123 ff. 97v-98 »j’ay pris ung plus a ma chemise« 3v PDF (see Florence 176) · Facsimile

Edition: Taruskin 1982 no. 24 (Paris 15123).

Text: Rondeau cinquain; corrupted refrain only in Paris 15123:

J’ay pris ung poul a ma chemise (1)
qui me son loyer m’ondre[sse]
a se guise mais maintenant
puis que l’ay a ma volente
parvenus suis a mon playsir.

1) Paris 15123, line 1 “... ung plus ...”

Evaluation of the sources:

The scribes of the chansonniers, Florence 176 and Paris 4379/Sevilla 5-1-43, can very well have used nearly identical exemplars for their copies. The differences are primarily to be found in the use of ligatures in the contratenor (see the edition). The poem, however, is only fragmentarily present in Paris 4379, not riming and corrupted beyond repair.

Comments on text and music:

This rondeau cinquain builds on the widely circulated rondeau quatrain »J’ay prins amour a ma device«, which already was quite old when it was copied into the ‘Loire Valley’ chansonniers in two different versions (see further the comments on this song). The memorable first line in the upper voice of the older song is cited in the tenor a 9th lower (bars 1-14) and imitated in the superius. Also the motives of the last line (bars 40.2 ff) seem generated by the contours of the last line of “J’ay prins amours”.

As regards the remnants of the poem, it was probably related to the rondeau quatrain »J’ay prins deux pous a ma chemise«, a travesty of “J’ay prins anours”, which is set in music in the Dijon chansonnier. The theme was probably exactly the same: the double entendre of erotic pleasure (plaisir) over “I have taken a lice in my shirt”.

Stylistically it seems obvious that the reworking of the music from the popular “J’ay prins amours” was based on the version of the Laborde chansonnier. From the start, its contratenor is designed in the same range as the tenor, and most of the time it moves above it taking the fifth at cadences (compare bars 13-14 with bars 15-16 in the Laborde version of “J’ay prins amours”). As the setting moves away from its model, the contratenor more and more often lies below the tenor and reaches its lowest note G in bar 46; in this way this not very brilliant composition obtained a contratenor of the extended range of 13 notes. Like the greater part of the repertory of Florence 176 this setting must be regarded as contemporary with the dominant repertory of the ‘Loire Valley’ chansonniers. (1)

PWCH January 2013


1) See further the remarks in my edition, The Complete Works of Gilles Mureau.