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Henri IV - An unfinished reign

Listen to the the music tracks

Étant assis aux rives aquatiques

Guillaume Franc

Source : ‘Psaumes et chansons de la Réforme’; ensemble Clément Janequin; dir. Dominique Visse; Harmonia mundi HMA 1951672 (2000, 2007).


The melody composed by Guillaume Franc (ca. 1520–1570) for Clément Marot's translation of Psalm 137 (Vulgate Bible: Psalm 136, Super flumina Babylonis) is among the most beautiful in the Genevan Psalter. The complete version of the Psalter, with rhymed versions of all 150 Psalms, was published in 1562, and was quickly and unanimously adopted by all French-speaking Protestants. This version is harmonised with the organ, after a four-part version by the Huguenot composer Claude Goudimel (ca. 1520-1572).

Transcription (in French)

Estans assis aux rives aquatiques
De Babylon, plorions melancoliques,
Nous souvenans du pays de Sion.
Et au milieu de l’habitation,
Où de regrets tant de pleurs espandismes,
Aux saules verds nos harpes nous pendismes.

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