Ma joie me semont

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Blondel de Nesle Page

The Blondel Button or "Coin"

Blondel, the traveling minstrel, stamped & tinted brass.
This is a photograph of a button that was stamped in the United Kingdom celebrating and in honor of the French Minstrel Blondel de Nesle

To hear a song written by Blondel de Nesle or dowload the midi file click on this site:

Blondel de Nesle & King Richard

    Blondel was attached to the court of King Richard (the Lion Heart) and traveled with Richard to the Holy Land on a crusade.  At any rate, while on their travels, Blondel and King Richard wrote a song together.
    En route from Jerusalem back to England, the King was shipwrecked, and attempted to make his way back to England. Unfortunately, he had made enemies with many of the Frankish (Germanic) princes due to his high-handedness, and was captured and held for ransom in Germany. But King Richard’s brother, John, was loathe to see Richard back in England. He was a greedy man, unwilling to follow the set rules of primogeniture, and he wanted to rule as King. So, he took his time raising the money to send to Germany, and claimed he couldn’t find out where King Richard was held captive.
    Angered by the way his liege Lord was being treated, Blondel went to Germany, his lute in hand. He went from castle to castle, singing for his supper after befriending the kitchen staffs. Of course, the song he sang was the one only King Richard knew, and when he heard a voice in a distant room singing along, he knew he’d found his friend. After that, it was a short time before King Richard was returned to his throne.

The following is a poem written by Blondel.  It was written in French so the English trnaslation is also included:

"Ma joie me semont"

("My joy summons me")
Blondel de Nesle
(fl. 1180-1200)
Language: French, Dialect: Picard
Ma joi me semont
De chanter au douz tens;
Et mes cuers li respont
Que droiz est que j'y pens;
Car nule riens el mont
Ne fas seur son deffens;
Dex, quel siecle cil ont
Qui i metent leur sens!

My joy summons me
to sing in the sweet season,
and my heart replies
that it is right for me to feel this way;
Because I do nothing at all               5
he surely raises in his resistance;
God, what times these are
When they suppose their direction there.

A la joie apartient
D'amer mout finement
Et quant li leus en vient
Li doners largement;
Encor plus i convient:
Parler cortoisement.
Qui ces trois voies tient
Ja n'ira malement.
Joy appertains
to love in a fine manner,                10
and, when the occasions arrive,
to give gifts generously;
One further thing concerns it:
to speak courteously.
He who holds to these three ways         15
will never fare badly.

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