The Lyrics of Henry VIII/En frolyk weson (Barbireau, Incipit)

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Lyrics  |  Manuscript  |  Authors and Composers
The Lyrics of Henry VIII
Appendix 1: Lyrics by Occasion/Theme  |  Appendix 2: Textual/Musical Witnesses  |  Appendix 3: Bibliography

Alles regretz uuidez dema presence Pastyme with good companye

[ff. 6v-7r]

En frolyk weson

Textual Commentary[edit | edit source]

This piece appears as an incipit in H, in all three voices each with small initial block capitals, though with little room left among the musical notations for text. “En folyk weson” is listed in H’s table of contents as the fourth work. Here anonymous, the piece is widely attributed to composer Jacob Barbireau. The music of this piece was circulated with a number of texts, among them [1] “Se une fois avant que mourir,” which is implied by incipits in RG27 (f. 9v / f. 16v) and P10660 (f. 47r), with a fuller text found in LCA.xxvi (ff. 4v–5r); [2] “Qu’en dictes vous,” which appears with text twice in C1848 (373, 418); [3] the German “Ein frolich wesen,” which appears in SG462 (ff. 28v–29r), SG463 (#153), and Tu26 (f. 26v); [4] “Mes ieuix ont veu une plaisant figure” which, found in PBLiv (D1r–D2v), is a relatively close and literal translation of the Flemish text listed next; [5] the Flemish text “Een vraulic wesen,” found in T/Br (ff. 15v–16r; ff. 26v–27r) and elsewhere.[1]

The Flemish and German texts provide incipits compatible with that found in H. The fuller German text, as given by Stevens (MCH8 4; after Bournoulli and Moser, eds.), is as below:

Ein frölich wesen
hab ich erlesen
und seh mich um
wo ich hinkum
in fremde land                                         5
wirk mir bekant
mer args dann gut
durch senens flut
gliech heur als ferd
auf dieser erd                                        10
tu ich mich gliech erkennen.

Wo ich dann lend
lang als behend
mit grosser gir
begegnet mir                                         15
manch wunder da
wie ich umscha
gilt es mir gleich
in allem reich
kum war ich well                                    20
kein gelt kein gsell
doch tu ich mich nit nennen.

Wann es nun kem
das mir gezem
ging wie es wolt                                     25
tet was ich solt
recht willig gern
in zucht und ern
in zucht und ern
für mein person
auf guten won                                        30
in treuer pflicht
on args geschicht
doch kummert mich gross senen.

The Flemish text, according to Stevens (MCH8 101; after R. Lenaerts [87]) is as follows:

Een vraulic wesen myn oogskins saghen,
wien ic ghetrauwicheyt moet thoe scriuen,
al wilt my haer jonst vvt liefden driuen,
nae dese gheen ander om my te behagen.

“En frolyk weson” is reprinted in Stevens MCH8 (4, 101), Atlas (ed. 1.67–68), Meier (ed. Barbireau 2.ii), Bournoulli and Moser, Lenaerts (87), and elsewhere.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. For a detailed discussion of the settings and the variant texts, see Fox ("Barbireau" 90-92, 100-101) and Atlas (ed. 1.67-78) and, for a small list of musical concordances, Meier (ed. Barbireau 2.ii).