by Clément Marot (1496 - 1544)
Translation © by Peter Low

Changeons propos, c'est trop chanté...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Changeons propos, c'est trop chanté d'amours,
Ce sont clamours, chantons de la serpette:
Tous vignerons ont à elle recours,
C'est leur secours pour tailler la vignette;
Ô serpillette, ô la serpillonnette,
La vignollette est par toy mise sus,
Dont les bons vins tous les ans sont yssus!

Le dieu Vulcain, forgeron des haultz dieux,
Forgea aux cieulx la serpe bien taillante,
De fin acier trempé en bon vin vieulx,
Pour tailler mieulx et estre plus vaillante.
Bacchus la vante, et dit qu'elle est seante
Et convenante à Noé le bon hom
Pour en tailler la vigne en la saison.

Bacchus alors chappeau de treille avoit,
Et arrivoit pour benistre la vigne;
Avec flascons Silenus le suyvoit,
Lequel beuvoit aussi droict qu'une ligne;
Puis il trepigne, et se faict une bigne;
Comme une guigne estoit rouge son nez;
Beaucoup de gens de sa race sont nez.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Peter Low) , title 1: "Let's change the subject, that's enough singing of love", copyright © 2001, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 21
Word count: 145

Let's change the subject, that's enough singing of love
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Let's change the subject, that's enough singing of love. 
It's empty noise, let's sing of the pruning-knife. 
All wine-growers make use of it;
they need it for cutting their vines. 
Oh tiny knife, oh cute little cutter,
with your help they trim and train the young plants
which produce good wines every year. 

The god Vulcan, the blacksmith of Olympus,
wrought in heaven that good keen blade
out of fine steel soaked in good old wine
to make it sharper and more valiant. 
Bacchus praised it, declaring it a fit
and ideal tool for good father Noah
to use in the vine-pruning season. 

At that time Bacchus wore a vine-leaf hat
and used to come to bless the vines. 
Bearing flagons Silenus followed -
he used to drink standing straight as a die,
and then stagger about and bump his head. 
He had a nose as red as a cherry
and many folk are his descendants.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2001 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 21
Word count: 156