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  Mille regretz de vous abandonner
  Et d'eslonger vostre face amoureuse 
  J'ay si grand dueil et paine douloureuse
  Qu'on me verra brief mes jours deffiner
or in English:
  A thousand sorrows from leaving you
  and no longer seeing your loving face
  I have such great sorrow and aching pain
  that my days will soon be seen to end

The four-part setting of this love song written by Josquin des Prez, published by Pierre Attaignant in Paris in 1533, was among the most popular and revered songs of the century, and still is. In those days they didn't work with record sales, but the song appeared everywhere: just to mention one example, Cristobal de Morales, no mean composer in his own right, and certainly working in a different country, wrote a holy mass around this theme.

This song is said to have been much loved by of the emperor Charles V, who was among the most powerful men of his time, and no doubt did a lot to elevate its composer into the level of superstardom he enjoyed later in life, when he was considered among the foremost men of arts, with the likes of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

It is also, of course, among those few pieces of music that bring tears to my eyes just when I think of them.

To summarize, if you don't know this song, you're missing out. A short but interesting introduction to its music can be found at


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