3 "Olive Tree" caroles, on CD titled "Le Jeu D'Amour"
(The Game of Love): Anne Azema, voice; with Shira Kammen, viele, rebec,
harp; Jesse Lepkoff, flute, recorder; Robert Mealy, vielle, harp;
Margriet Tindemans, vielle, gittern, harp. and others. ERATO
(Listen to sound samples at Amazon)
From the notes by Anne Azema:
"Unlike the poetic texts of the South, in which certain
texts are signed by women, it is more than doubtful that any of the
trouvère texts which concern us here are actually by women authors.
Nevertheless by collecting texts which speak in the feminine voice, we
can get a glimpse of how women may have participated in the poetic,
musical and social life of medieval French society....
"Apart from the relatively 'liberated' role of married
women in the aristocratic courts, there was a moment during which rural
women and girls were relatively free as far as their actions and their
bodies were concerned: the May 'fetes'. One whole segment of trouvère
songs is steeped in this spirit of the loves of May, in their
permissiveness and in their playful quality. Such songs mirror real
goings-on current at that time in the lands around the courts. We know
little about the 'caroles' and 'rondels' (dances), except that these
short monophonic phrases derive from popular practice. The 'caroles'
were probably sung (perhaps by one voice with a group replying), and
danced by ladies and maidens, in procession, or in the round, inside as
well as outside 'under the green olive tree, in the fields.'"
Hand in Hand
Hand in hand...
in front of the tent, in a green meadow,
the maidens and the young men
began again to dance in the round.
A lady approached,
dressed in a scarlet surcoat,
and she sings first.
Under the Olive Tree
Under the olive tree do not have any regrets --
the spring gently gushes forth.
Do not have any regrets
for loving loyally.
It is Beneath the Olive Tree
It is beneath the olive tree in the meadows
Do you not feel at all the pains of love? --
that maidens and ladies go dancing.
Look at your arms!
Do you not feel at all the pains of love
as I do?
It is there Beneath the Olive Tree
It is there beneath the olive tree
that I shall lead my most sweet friend;
the little spring gently gushed forth.
I shall lead my most sweet friend
down to the meadows.
See also women's medieval circle dance songs from the
Carmina Burana and other sources, on CD titled "Garland Dances" by the
Renaissance Players, directed by Winsome Evans. WALSINGHAM 8006-2,
According to the notes, the Medieval garland, as well as
the dance circle itself, and the tambourine -- played by women, who
"throw their instruments up high, and as they fall, catch each in their
fair, soft finger tips, and never fail" -- are symbols of love, the
fertility of spring and female sexuality.