La morre est jeu pire (Orlando di Lasso)

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  • (Posted 2020-04-13)  CPDL #57978:       
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2020-04-13).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 59 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2015-02-22)  CPDL #34644: 
A4 size:        
Letter size:      
Editor: Pothárn Imre (submitted 2015-02-22).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 61 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Original pitch (chiavi naturali) and note-values. Alto part is in tenor clef. French spelling modernised.

General Information

Title: La morre est jeu pire
Composer: Orlando di Lasso
Lyricist: Clément Marot

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

Language: French
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1564 in Premier livre des chansons a 4 et 5 parties, no. 10
  2nd published: 1570 in Mellange d'Orlande de Lassus, no. 26

External websites:

Original text and translations

French.png French text

La morre est jeu pire qu'aux quilles,
ne qu'aux échecs ne qu'au quillart
à ce méchant jeu Coquillart
perdit sa vie et ses coquilles.

English.png English translation

Morra is worse than nine-pins,
Worse than chess and worse than billiards
At this nasty game Coquillart*
Lost his life and his fortune.

*Guillaume Coquillart was a French poet much admired by Marot who was said to have died of grief after losing his fortune in a game of morra. “Coquillart” means “pilgrim” and “coquille” means “shell”, so the last two lines are also a pun referring to the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela, the symbol of which is the cockleshell.

Translation by Thomas Daughton