And now for something completely different

Here is something different to start, or to continue your day.

A crusader song of the 12th century.

The text is by one of the earliest troubadours, Marcabrus, and is – I think – in Old Occitan.

There is a mesmerizing quality to this piece. One can imagine it being sung of a night around a fire off the edge of a road on the way to Spain, men adjusting their gear, leaning on elbows with the light flickering off metal and eyes, everyone joining in the chorus.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Pingback: And now for something completely different – Via Nova Media

  2. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I’ve heard the song before, but I don’t think I’ve seen a translation, or at least not a side by side translation.

    It’s pretty clever, because Marcabru runs through various connotations for “lavador,” from simple washing to Baptism and Confession, and finally to Jesus on the Cross and defending the faith. There’s focus on helping, serving one’s Lord, and opportunity, vs. missing out and losing reputation and honor.

  3. M.D. says:

    May the Bishops of Ukraine and Poland lead the way of the faithful to counter the beast.

  4. JabbaPapa says:

    It’s not Occitan, it’s a more northern dialect — I’d guess Gascon or similar. The lyrics suggest that too, as there is clear reference to liberating Spain from the pagans (Muslims) which is referent to the Way of Saint James and the Sanctuary of the Apostle at Compostela. And that was an affair of France and Navarre, not Occitania nor Catalonia.

    BTW I’m back on my own Camino in April — Hooray !! And please pray that it may be blessed …

  5. adriennep says:

    Beautiful. I am fascinated to learn more about Old Occitan. Did not know that Dante wrote lines of it in the Divine Comedy. This video describes that plus the division of France and its culture.

  6. Sue in soCal says:


  7. Andreas says:

    Of the forty-two poems composed by Marcabru (c. 1127 – 1148) four along with their music are extant, one of which being heard here. According to Switten (2022; ref:, “Marcabru’s vocabulary is very rich and includes a number of words he probably invented. He handles with consummate skill the traditional weapons of the satirist…..(and) attacked what he considered to be false love and false lovers, errant nobles who did not live up to his ideals of true love (fin’amor) and civilized behavior”.

    This song along with a host of other 12th and 13th century works associated with the Crusades can be found on the Decca CD ‘Music Of The Crusades’. The Early Music Consort Of London is directed by the David Munrow, who was (and remains) one of the foremost British authorities on the performance of Medieval and Renaissance music.

  8. JT says:

    How about this beautiful music:

    [I embeded that. However, please don’t post “bare” links without explanations. That could have been anything. I had to click on it to watch it to see if it was okay for this blog and then… I wouldn’t be able to UNSEE it. Please don’t do that to me. The alternative was deleting your comment.]

  9. JT says:

    Sorry, Father. That didn’t occur to me.

  10. Alas, in the past more often than today, whenever I would post something about the pro-sodomy (often Jesuit nexus) on the blog, I would receive a battery of emails and comment attempts here with the most horrid things imaginable.

    That’s how they roll. Evil is slimy.

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