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Medieval Music Database

Douce dame jolie

virelai by Guillaume de Machaut


New York: Wildenstein Collection, fol. 323v (1/1);
Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 843 (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1584 (MachA), fol. 482v (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1585 (MachB), fol. 321v (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1586 (MachC), fol. 149v (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 9221 (MachE), fol. 159 (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 22546 (MachG), fol. 155 (1/1).


1. Guillaume de Machaut: Musikalische Werke. Erster Band: Balladen, Rondeaux und Virelais, edited by Friedrich Ludwig, Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1926, p. 71.
2. REESE, Gustave. Music in the Middle Ages, New York: W. W. Norton, London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1940, p. 105.
3. 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. 168.
4. Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377), p. 3.

Text Editions

Guillaume de Machaut: poésies lyriques, 2 vols., edited by V. Chichmaref, Paris: 1909, p. 584.


1. 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. 178.
2. 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 4.3.
3. 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. 267-268.
4. KEITEL, Elizabeth A. 'The musical manuscripts of Guillaume de Machaut', Early Music, V/4 (1977), p. 471.
5. WILKINS, Nigel. 'Guillaume de Machaut, 1300-1377', Consort, XXXIII/2 (1977), p. 218.
6. HATTEN, R. S. 'Towards a unified theory: the music of Machaut', Indiana Theory Review, II/1 (1978), p. 10.
7. WILKINS, Nigel. Music in the Age of Chaucer, Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1979. Chaucer Studies I, p. 20.
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. VOISÉ, Waldemar. 'Guillaume de Machaut en Pologne', Guillaume de Machaut, poète et compositeur. Colloque - Table Ronde, 1978, pp. 49-54.


1. Music of the Trouveres and the Troubadours, Les Musiciens de Provence Instruments Anciens: Arion ARN 34217 (FRA)/ ARN 334022(3) (FRA)/ ARN 90413/ 413 (ITA).
2. A Tapestry of Music for King Wenceslas and His Page, St. George's Canzona, directed by John Sothcott: Enigma K53552 (GB).
3. [Machaut: Douce dame jolie], Lambert Murphy (T), Francis Lapitino (harp), Carline (lute) (1915): Victor 45083 [78rpm. mx.B 15594-4].
4. Recorded History of French Song, vol. 1, Pierre Deniau (T); instrumental ensemble (1947): Lumen 2.50.001 (33405) [78rpm.].
5. [Machaut: Douce dame jolie], Roland Hayes (T), Reginald Boardman (piano) (1954): Vanguard VRS 448.
6. Chansons Poétiques. Recital no. 1, Jacques Douai (T), J. Liebrard (guitar) (1954): Boìte a Musique LD 306.
7. [Guillaume de Machaut], Illinois Collegium Musicum, Thomas Binkley (lute), directed by George Hunter (1956): Westminster XWN 18166.
8. [Machaut], Joseph Sage (C-T) (1961): Studio S.M. 45-71 [45rpm.].
9. Ah Sweet Lady: The Romance of Medieval France [Medieval Roots], New York Pro Musica, directed by John White (1967): Decca 9431/ DL 79431/ DL 79438.
10. Guillaume de Machaut. La Messe de Notre Dame, Virelais, Rondeaux, Ballades, Lai, The Purcell Choir with instrumental ensemble, John Caldwell, directed by Frank Ll. Harrison, Grayston Burgess (1969): Oiseau-Lyre SOL 310 (GB) [ZTT-717-IG].
11. An Audio Visual History of Music. Part I: From the Beginnings Through the Middle Ages, compiled by Henry W. Simon (1970): EAV LE7801 (USA).
12. 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).
13. Douce Dame: Music of Courtly Love from Medieval France and Italy, The Waverly Consort, directed by Michael Jaffee (1973): Vanguard VSD 71179.
14. The Art of Guillaume de Machaut, Ars Antiqua Paris, directed by Michel Sanvoisin (1974): Arion ARN 38252 (FRA)/ ARN 90814 (USA).
15. Guillaume de Machaut: 1. The Musical Art of Machaut. 2. Le Remède de Fortune. 3. Veoir Dit., Ensemble Guillaume de Machaut of Paris (1975-1977): Adés 7078 (3 discs).
16. The Mirror of Narcissus: Songs by Guillaume de Machaut, Gothic Voices, directed by Christopher Page (1983): Hyperion A66087 (GB).


Douce dame jolie.
Pour Dieu ne penses mie
Que nulle ait signourie
Seur moy fors vous seulement.

Qu'ades sans tricherie
Vous ay et humblement
Tous les jours de ma vie
Sans vilein pensement.
Helas! et je mendie
D'esperance et d'aie;
Dont ma joie est fenie.
Se pite ne vous en prent.

Douce dame jolie...

Douce dame jolie...

Mais vo douce maistrie
Mon cuer si durement
Qu'elle le contralie
Et lie
En amours tellement
Qu'il n'a de riens envie
Fors d'estre en vo baillie;
Et se ne li ottrie
Vos cuers nul aligement.

Douce dame jolie...

Douce dame jolie...

Et quant ma maladie
Ne sera nullement
Sans vous, douce anemie.
Qui lie
Estes de mon tourment.
A jointes mains deprie
Vo cuer, puis qu'il m'oublie.
Que temprement m'ocie.
Car trop langui longuement.

Douce dame jolie...


Sweet pretty lady.
For God's sake do not think
That any one has authority
Over me but you alone.

For ceaselessly without falsehood
I have cherished you.
And humbly
All the days of my life
I have served you
Without unworthy thoughts.
Alas! and I must beg
For hope and aid;
So my joy is ended
If you do not take pity.

Sweet pretty lady...

Sweet pretty lady...

But your sweet mastery
My heart so harshly
That it torments it
And binds it
In love so much
That it desires nothing
But to be in your service;
And yet your heart grants it
No relief.

Sweet pretty lady...

Sweet pretty lady...

And since my malady
Will not be
Cured at all
Without you, sweet enemy.
Who are glad
At my torment.
With folded hands I pray
To your heart, since it forgets me.
That it should kill me quickly.
For I languish too long.

Sweet pretty lady...

Text revision and translation © Jennifer Garnham

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

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