This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday, 29 September 2013

A medieval French song

The manuscript of a previously-unknown French carol has come to light. It is attributed to the medieval monk Frère Graham Quendrique.

The underdog

Chien j'y sous-chien!
[The singer complains that he is always the underdog.]
Fille d'Islande vif dit farceuse clairet.
[A girl from Iceland says he is lively, but she is a jester who drinks claret.]

The girl from Iceland.

Blé ce spire rite Blaise!
[He invokes St Blaise to condemn a ritual involving binding wheat into coils.]
Ce tour hâtes Enfer!
[This prank hurries one to Hell!]

Beware pagan rituals!

Flou rit va flou!
[Confused, he laughs and goes.]
Fleur de naissance suive graissant merci!
[The flower denotes birth, but afterwards greasing (unction) may follow, thank God!]

Frère Graham looks forward to his deathbed.

Scène de four dur verte,
[The scenery is green, even if toiling at the oven is hard.]
Lourdes en laideur Pilate!
[He goes to Lourdes to atone for the ugliness of Pontius Pilate.]

The ugliness of Pilate.

H/T brother Ben Trovato for reminding me of Mots d'Heures: Gousse, Rames. An alternative translation of the song may be found here.


  1. Halles, les lieux y a, chie chie chie

  2. Dear Sir,

    Your mistranslation of the above mediaeval French carol includes this erroneous passage: "A girl from Iceland says he is lively, but she is a jester who drinks claret."

    Neither in Icelandic sagas nor French medieaval romances do we find female jesters. You are probably confusing the terms jester and natural fool. Mad women were quite often kept for amusement in the medieval court, but were not licensed jesters. Some mad women are still kept in modern households, e.g. your own Aunty Molly, but this is a rarity - also quite un-PC - and they should not stricty speaking be regarded as jesters, or indeed amusing on any level.

    A female jester is quite impossible, just as the idea of women priests in the Catholic Church, or the even worse cultural calamity, female Morris dancers.

    Yours etc.
    Professor Ernest Batty
    Temporarily resident at HM Secure Psychiatric Unit,