Occitan is often described as the language of love (la lenga de l'amor). It is also a language of songs (una lenga de cancons) and today I have been working on Peire Vidal's Na Vierna for the Oxford Trobadors concert for the Oxford Proms on 12th August. As with so many medieval troubadour songs the poet sings of an inaccessible love, in this case Na Vierna who Peire Vidal had to leave behind when he was banished from Tolouse.
The poets have a closeness with their surroundings which often inspires them to sing. On hearing birds singing (La lauzet'e.l rossinhol...comenson premier lur chan) the poet is inspired to sing of his love (ieu chant d'amor de ma dona Na Vierna). It is also typical of many troubadour songs in being inspired by nature.
This is also true of many Occitan songs such as Se Canta (it sings). Se Canta is a major feature of Oxford Trobadors concerts. It is one of the most well known songs in Occitan (la cancon mai famosa). Our audiences will often join in singing the chorus.
Se canta, que canta - it's singing, ever singing
Canta pas per io - singing not for me
Canta per ma mia - singing for my loved one
Qu'es al leunh de io - who is far from me
Ray Noble is lead Tenor with the Oxford Trobadors
You may also be interested in the following articles:
The Oxford Trobadors, Occitan poetry and song
Battle for Regional Languages in France