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Medieval Music Database

Amours me fait desirer

Three-voice ballade by Guillaume de Machaut


New York: Wildenstein Collection, fol. 24v (text), 306 (3/1);
Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 843, fol. 191v (text), 240 (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1584 (MachA), fol. 201 (text), 463v (3/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1585 (MachB), fol. 41v (text), 304 (3/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1586 (MachC), fol. 145 (text), 186v (3/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1587 (olim 612), fol. 30v (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 9221 (MachE), fol. 152 (2/1), 155 (3/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 22546 (MachG), fol. 62 (text), 140v (3/1);
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Library, French MS 15, number 115 (text).


1. Guillaume de Machaut: Musikalische Werke. Erster Band: Balladen, Rondeaux und Virelais, edited by Friedrich Ludwig, Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1926, p. 20.
2. The Works of Guillaume de Machaut, Second Part, edited by Leo Schrade, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1956. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century III, p. 92.
3. La Louange des Dames, edited by Nigel Wilkins, Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1972, New York: Barnes and Noble, 1973, p. 123 (NYw).

Text Editions

Guillaume de Machaut: poésies lyriques, 2 vols., edited by V. Chichmaref, Paris: 1909, p. 160.


1. PRESTON, Raymond. 'Chaucer and the "ballades notées" of Guillaume de Machaut', Speculum, XXVI (1951), pp. 617-618., pp. 617-618.
2. MACHABEY, Armand. Guillaume de Machault, 130?-1377: La vie et l'oeuvre musicale, 2 vols, Paris: Richard-Masse-Editeur, 1955. Bibliothèque d'études musicales, p. 33.
3. GÜNTHER, Ursula. Der musikalische Stilwandel der französischen Liedkunst in der zweiten Hälfte des 14. Jahrhunderts, dargestelt an Virelais, Balladen und Rondeax von Machaut., Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hamburg: 1957, Chapter 4.1.
4. SALOP, Arnold. 'The secular polyphony of Guillaume de Machaut', [chapter 2 of his] Studies on the History of Musical Style, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1971, pp. 68-69.
5. SWARTZ, Anne. 'A new chronology of the ballades of Machaut', Acta Musicologica, XLVI (1974): 192-207.
6. ARLT, Wulf. 'Aspekte der Chronologie und des Stilwandels im französischen Lied des 14. Jahrhunderts', Forum Musicologicum (Aktuelle Fragen der musikbezogenen Mittelalterforschung), vol. III, Basel: Amadeus Verlag, 1975, pp. 258-261.
7. REANEY, Gilbert. 'La tonalité des ballades et des rondeaux de Guillaume de Machaut', Guillaume de Machaut, poète et compositeur. Colloque - Table Ronde, 1978, p. 298.
8. GÜNTHER, Ursula. 'Contribution de la musicologie à la biographie et à la chronologie de Guillaume de Machaut', Guillaume de Machaut, poète et compositeur. Colloque - Table Ronde, 1978, pp. 95-116.
9. KEITEL, Elisabeth. 'La tradition manuscrite de Guillaume de Machaut', Guillaume de Machaut, poète et compositeur. Colloque - Table Ronde, 1978, pp. 75-94.
10. REANEY, Gilbert. 'A consideration of the relative importance of words and music in composition from the 13th to the 15th century', Musik und Text in der Mehrstimmigkeit des 14. und 15. Jahrhunderts, Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1984, p. 182.


1. Dances of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Zurich Ricercare Ensemble, Lionel Rogg, directed by Michel Piguet, Rene Clemencic: Harmonia Mundi HMU 2472(2) (FRA).
2. [Machaut], Deller Consort, Ancient Instrument Ensemble of Zurich, directed by Alfred Deller, Austin Miskell: Harmonia Mundi HMU 34917.
3. [Guillaume de Machaut], Illinois Collegium Musicum, Thomas Binkley (lute), directed by George Hunter (1956): Westminster XWN 18166.
4. Ballades, Rondeaux & Virelais from the 14th and 15th Centuries, Ancient Instrument Ensemble of Zurich, directed by Austin Miskell (1967): Odyssey 32 16 0178.
5. [Machaut], Capella Instrumentalis et Psallette de Genève, directed by Pierre Pernoux (1968?): Guide International du Disque SMS 2423.
6. Guillaume de Machaut. La Messe de Notre Dame, Virelais, Rondeaux, Ballades, Lai, The Purcell Choir, directed by Frank Ll. Harrison, Grayston Burgess (1969): Oiseau-Lyre SOL 310 (GB) [ZTT-717-IG].
7. Guillaume de Machault. Balladen - Motetten - Rondeaus - Virelais, Capella Lipsiensis, directed by Dietrich Knothe (1971): Philips 6580 026.
8. The Art of Courtly Love. Vol. I. Guillaume Machaut and His Age [Contemporaries], Early Music Consort of London, directed by David Munrow (1973): HMV SLS 863(3) (GB).
9. The Mirror of Narcissus: Songs by Guillaume de Machaut, Gothic Voices, directed by Christopher Page (1983): Hyperion A66087 (GB).
10. Machaut and his time, Alba Musica Kyo (1994): Channel Classics CCS 7094.


Amours me fait desirer
Et amer;
Mais c'est si folettement
Que je ne puis esperer
Ne penser
N'ymaginer nullement
Que le dous viaire gent
Qui m'esprent
Me doie joie donner.
S'amours ne fait proprement
Que je l'aie sans rouver.

S'ay si dur a endurer
Que durer
Ne puis mie longuement;
Car en mon cuer weil celer
Et porter
Ceste amour couvertement.
Sans requerre aligement.
Qu'a tourment
Weil mieus ma vie finer.
Et si n'ay je pensement
Que je l'aie sans rouver.

Mais desirs fait embraser
Et doubler
Ceste amour si asprement
Que tout m'en fait oublier.
Ne penser
N'ay fors a li seulement;
Et pour ce amoureusement
Langui sans joie gouster.
S'en morray, se temprement
Ne s'assent
Que je l'aie sans rouver.


Love makes me desire
And love;
But so foolishly
That I cannot hope
Or think
Or imagine at all
That the sweet lovely face
That strikes the spark of love within me
Might give me joy.
If love does not do his work
So well
That I might have her without asking.

I have such hardship to endure
That I can scarcely
Live much longer.
For in my heart I wish to hide
And bear
This love secretly.
Without asking for relief.
For in torment
I would rather end my life.
And so I have no thought
That I might have her without asking.

But desire inflames
And redoubles
This love so fiercely
That it makes me forget everything for it.
Nor do I have
Any thought but for her alone;
And therefore lovingly.
I languish without tasting joy.
And I will die of it, unless soon
She agrees
That I might have her without asking.

Text revision and translation © Jennifer Garnham

Content Approved by: MMDB Director
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2003

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