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Court Gossip

This medley contains a group of songs set to the jaunty popular tune “Il a battu son petit frère”, evoking the gossip and double standards of court and salon life. The medley begins with a piece about how the King has banned the singer from performing the very song she is singing, “Lanturlu”, before moving on to the songs below:

La galante occupation

De caqueter dans les ruelles,

Fera de la confusion,

La galante occupation,

La maudite tradition

N’enseignera plus aux femelles

La galante occupation

De caqueter dans les ruelles.

(The saucy occupation of gossiping in the salons will cause confusion, the saucy occupation, the accursed tradition will no longer teach women the saucy occupation of gossiping in the salons.)

Cette pudique honnesteté,

Qui faisoit l’honneur de nos meres

Est en cour un nom inventé,

Cette pudique honnesteté

L’on y dit qu’avec la beauté

C’est un songe plein de chimeres,

Cette pudique honnesteté.

(This bashful restraint which used to preserve the honour of our mothers is an invented word in the world of the court, this bashful restraint is said to be a complete fabrication where beauty is concerned, this bashful restraint.)

Ce qu’on nomme un crime à Paris,

En Cour n’est que bagatelle;

Les favoris y sont permis;

Ce qu’on nomme un crime à Paris,

En Cour si l’on se fait maris

Jamais on n’epouse pucelle.

Ce qu’on nomme un crime à Paris,

En Cour n’est que bagatelle.

(What is called a crime in Paris is but a trifle in Court; Favourites are allowed there; What is called a crime in Paris, If in Court you become a husband, Never marry a virgin. What is called a crime in Paris, Is but a trifle in Court.)

Now listen to the song, sung by Katie Bray and performed by Badinage by clicking here:

To follow Jonathan Rees’s arrangement of the song, click here:

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