Lou queitivié d’aquéu marrit estable , (bis)
(The refuse of this poor cowshed)
Lyrics and music by Nicolas Saboly, known as Micoulau Sabòli. Traditional from Provence.
Tune Peut-on douter ? (May we doubt?)
Nicolas Saboly has proposed two versions for this Christmas carol, whose first one is on familiar tune Peut-on douter ? (May we doubt?)
This Christmas carol has been published on 1670 in the 4th book. It appears with number 27 in the Fr. Seguin’s new edition. It is part of the cycle entitled Histori de la naissenso dou Fis de Diou (History of God’s Son birth) made up of the seven carols from #25 to #31.
|Lou queitivié d’aquéu marrit estable|
A sant Jòusè fè sòuleva lou cor :
Ero tan sale e tan abouminable
Que lou paure ome pensè toumba mort !
| ||The refuse of this poor cowshed|
To saint Joseph makes his heart turn:
It was so dirty and so awful
That the poor man thought to fall dead!
|Lou desplesi, lou tracas, la tristesso,|
La pudentour, la nue, lou mauvai tèm,
La fam, la set, lou frech e sa feblesso
Fuguèron causo d’aquel aucidènt.
| ||Displeasure, worries, sadness,|
Stench, the night, the bad weather,
Hunger, thirst, the cold and his weakness
Were the cause of this accident.
|La tressusour mountè sus soun visage|
E chasque péu li fasié soun degout.
Sènso la Vierge, aurié perdu courage,
Que l’eissuguèt emé soun moucadou
| ||Sweat (1) was coming up to his face|
And each step was causing his disgust.
Without the Virgin, he would become discouraged,
[She] who was drying him with her handkerchief
|E li diguè : « Iéu qu’ai lou cor pu tèndre,|
Résiste à tout e noun me fau de rèn ;
Que vous fugués lou premié de vous rèndre,
Certo, Jòusè, que n’en diran lei gènt ? »
| ||And was saying: “Me who have got a more tender heart,|
[Who] overcome everything and who need nothing;
That you would be the first to surrender (2),
Indeed, Joseph, what will think people about that?”
|Tout aussitost Jòusè prenguèt aleno,|
Se remetèt e parlé quantecant.
Un pau après, sèns doulour e sèns peno,
Elo acouchè d’un fort poulit enfant.
| ||Straight away, Joseph got his breath back,|
Cheered up and talked a lot.
A few time after, without pain and without effort,
She gave birth to a very handsome boy.
1. Tressusour, tressuzour: sweat caused under duress of the state in which someone is.
2. Lou premié de vous rèndre: the first to surrender, understand “the first of our both to abandon faced with difficulties”.
|• ||Saboly (Nicolas), Histori de la naissenso dou Fis de Diou composado en noé (History of God’s Son birth composed in Christmas carols), Pierre Offray printer, Avignon, 1670, p. 6-7.|
|• ||Recueil des noëls composés en langue provençale (Collection of Christmas carols composed in Provençal language), reprint Fr. Seguin, printer and bookseller, Avignon, 1856, p. 31.|
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