The song of the troubadour should not be recognized without mention of the female equivalent, the Trobairitz. These Occitan aristocratic females of the 12th and 13th centuries composed secular music revolving around topics such as courtly love. The most famous of which is Beatriz de Dia (aka Comtessa de Dia), wife of William II of Poltlers. The following is the original text and English translation of La Comtessa de Dia’s song “Estat ai en greu cossirier:”
Estat ai en greu cossirier per un cavallier q’ai agut, e vuoil sia totz temps saubut cum eu l’ai amat a sobrier. Ara vei q’ieu sui trahida car eu non li donei m’amor don ai estat en gran error en lieig e qand sui vestida.
Ben volria mon cavallier tener un ser en mos bratz nut, q’el s’en tengra per ereubut sol q’a lui fezes cosseillier; car plus m’en sui abellida no fetz Floris de Blanchaflor; eu l’autrei mon cor e m’amor, mon sen, mos huoills e ma vida.
Bels amics, avinens e bos, cora.us tenrai en mon poder, e que iagues ab vos un ser, e qe.us des un bais amoros? Sapchatz gran talan n’auria qe.us tengues en luoc del marit ab so que m’aguessetz plevit de far tot so qu’eu volria.
I have been sorely troubled about a knight I had; I want it known for all time how exceedingly I loved him. Now I see myself betrayed because I didn’t grant my love to him; I’ve suffered much distress from it in bed and fully clothed
I’d like to hold my knight in my arms one evening, naked, for he’d be overjoyed were I only serving as his pillow, and I am more pleased with him than Floris with his Blanchaflor. To him I grant my heart, my love, my mind, my eyes, my life.
Fair, agreeable, good friend, when will I have you in my power, lie beside you for an evening, and kiss you amorously? Be sure I’d feel a strong desire to have you in my husband’s place provided you had promised me to do everything I wished.
A recording of the song can be found here:
Not only does this music have a distinct texture, it also demonstrates the strength of this women to express her desires for a man who is not her husband. I find this music very powerful and emotional. The Trobairitz seems to be a special strong and courageous member of medieval society.