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by Anonymous / Unidentified Author
Translation © by Peter Low

On a dit mal de mon ami
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
On a dit mal de mon ami, 
Dont j'ai le coeur bien marri, 
Qu'ont-ils affaire quel il soit, 
ou qu'il soit beau ou qu'il soit laid, 
Quand je lui plais et qu'il me plait ? 

Un médisant ne veut onc bien : 
Quand le cas ne lui touche en rien, 
Pourquoi va-t-il médire ? 
Il fait vivre en martyre 
Ceux qui ne lui demandent rien. 

Quand j'ai tout bien considéré, 
Femme n'est de quoi n'est parlé. 
Voilà ce qui m'avance 
De prendre ma plaisance. 
Aussi dit-on bien que je l'ai. 

Plût or à Dieu qu'il fut ici 
Celui que j'ai pris et choisi, 
Puisqu'on en a voulu parler ! 
Et, dussent-ils tous enrager, 
Je coucherais avecque lui !


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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), adapted by Louis Pomey (1835 - 1901) [an adaptation] ; composed by Pauline Viardot-García.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Peter Low) , "They've spoken ill of my lover", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2017-06-02
Line count: 20
Word count: 118

They've spoken ill of my lover
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
They've spoken ill of my lover,
and this has distressed my heart.
Is it their business what he is like,
or whether he's handsome or ugly,
when he likes me and I like him?
A slanderer is never well-meaning:
when the matter doesn't affect him at all,
why does he speak ill?
He creates a life of misery
for people who ask nothing of him.
All things considered,
there are no women who aren't talked about.
That is what encourages me
to take pleasure.
So people rightly say that I do.
Now would to God that the man were here
whom I have taken and chosen,
given that folk have wanted to talk of him!
And, even if they all get angry,
I would lie with him!


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2017 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: 2017-08-11
Line count: 20
Word count: 127