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Early Modern Parisian Soundscapes


This song was sung at the time that Louis XIV, having abandoned his lover, Louise de la Vallière (1644-1710), took up with his new mistress, Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart, Marquise de Montespan (1640-1707). The joke contained within the song relates to Louis's Jesuit confessor. The Jesuits were preaching against habitual sins, and this idea is taken up in the song by Louis as an excuse for changing lovers.

Now read and listen to the song:


Chanson 1666 [Set to the tune “Mon Confesseur est rude”, with Louis XIV as the speaker]:  

Mon Confesseur est rude,

Et me dit fort souvent,

Qu’un péché d’habitude,

Est un crime fort grand,

Crainte de lui deplaire,

Je quitte la Valliere,

Et prens la Montespan.


[My Confessor is a brute,

And tells me very often,

That a habitual sin

Is a very great crime,

So out of fear that I might displease him,

I am leaving La Vallière,

And taking up La Montespan.]


Click on the link to hear the song: