Altas undas que venez suz la mar

For fun, I’ve written a singable translation of a little piece that has been attributed to my favorite troubadour, Raimbaut de Vaqueiras. It is almost certainly not by him, since it is not at all his style, but it is cute nonetheless.

Sadly, I cannot find any information about the original tune for this piece. It might not exist anymore. I was able to find a couple of recordings of people singing these lyrics to different tunes, however. Perhaps these tunes are composed by the performers?

Having given up on finding an extant 12th-century tune for these lyrics, I’ve decided to simply place them here, sans music. Here are the original lyrics, if you’d like to compare – as I said, they are very cute.


High-peaked waves that have come across the sea,
Blown here and there, so expansive and free,
Oh, any news of my love might there be,
Who crossed the sea? Will he return to me?
For love – God, relief!
At times it brings me joy and at times brings me grief!

Sweet breeze that comes from a land far away,
The land my love dwells in all night and day,
To me a goblet of his breath convey!
My mouth is panting for love that did not stay.
For love – God, relief!
At times it brings me joy and at times brings me grief!

If you love a foreign soldier, you burn:
Laughter and embraces to sorrowing turn.
I never thought honest love he would spurn;
I gave all the love for which he could yearn.
For love – God, relief!
At times it brings me joy and at times brings me grief!


Key Facts

  • Date: 12th century
  • Poet: attributed to Raimbaut de Vaqueiras (b. 1150-1160; d. 1207)
  • Original Language: Occitan
  • Genre: trobar

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