Approche toy (La Prise du Havre) (Guillaume Costeley)

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Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2020-09-29).   Score information: A4, 20 pages, 767 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download. An whole tone bove published pitch.

General Information

Title: Approche toy (La Prise du Havre)
Composer: Guillaume Costeley
Lyricist: Anon

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularChanson

Language: French
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1570 in Musique de Guillaume Costeley

Description: Chanson in the genre of Janequin's "Bataille de Marignan" written to commemorate the repossession of Le Havre from the English, 1563. See also Costeley's similar La Prise de Calais

External websites:

Original text and translations

French.png French text

Approche toy, jeune debonnaire,
Du fier Angloys por la prendr'à mercy
Et s'il ne veut pou a coup le deffaire,
Laisse marcher le fort Mommorency,
Ne scay il pas s'il n'est trop endurcy,
Qu'injustement en ton havr'il repose?
Si donc il veut tenir contre cecy
C'est à bon droit qu'a ruin'on l'expose.
Rentoy Angloys, Le Roy te vient sermondre,
Car entrer veult là dedens sans sejout.
Tu ne veux donc que bravades respondre?
Or voirras tu tes murs et rampars fondre,
Avant qu'il soit la longeur de ce jour.
Chaque tabour frappe a son tour,
Fiffres sifflez, cornetz enflez,
Sonnez clerons, tonnez canons.
Entrons soldatz, les murs sont bas,
La tour est esbranlée.
Prenons ces loupz, tuon les tous,
Ilz sont à nous,
Leur gloire est escoulée.
A mort, traistres, à mort.
De rien ne vousser votr'effort,
Vous fiez en vos murailles,
Et nous au grand Dieu des batailles,
Lequel en faveur de sa loy
Donne victoyr'à notre Roy.
Helas seigneurs, ayez compassion
De l'innocent en son affliction;
Ne meurtrissez le Francoys Catholique
Pour le forfait du rebell'et inicque,
Car tres loyaux avons tous jours esté.
Voycy le Roy des Roys magnificque,
Cantique donc en soit a Dieu chanté,
Loué soit Dieu, notre Roy souhaité
Vient entre nous pour les siens recongnoistre,
Arriere donc le Prince seducteur,
Car cestuy là n'est point le vray Pasteur
Qui veut ceans entrer par la fenestre.

English.png English translation

Draw near to the English garrison, young and generous King,
To extend them mercy.
And if they will not ask for terms,
Let loose mighty Mommerency.
I am not sure that they are tough enough
to remain without right in your haven.
If they wish to hold out against Mommerency,
they will be exposed to ruin.
Have a care, English, the king is coming to chastise you,
and will brook no delay.
If you reply only with bravado,
you will see your walls crumble
before the day is out.
Fifes whiffle, drums dub,
cornetti sing.
Sound trumpets, fire cannons.
Enter soldiers: the walls are ours,
the tower is shaken.
Let us take the curs and kill them all:
they are ours,
their glory is past.
Die traitors. Your labour
will profit you nothing.
You put your trust in your walls,
but we put our trust in the God of Battles,
who in accordance with his laws
gives unto our King the victory.
Alas, milords, have mercy on the innocent
in their affliction;
do not kill them for the crimes
of the rebels and the iniquitous,
for we have ever been loyal.
Here is the magnificent King.
Songs be sung to God; praised be the Lord.
Our blessed sovereign comes amongst us
to acknowledge his own.
Get thee behind us, Satan.
Thy efforts are as nought, since the Good Shepherd
wishes to enter by the window.

(trans. Timmi O'Danaos & Donna Ferrentes)