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Dear Jukebox DJ

Posted on 2015.04.06 at 20:36
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I really would prefer you to write the best story you can, and one you're happy with, rather than trying to do something that doesn't suit you to fit what I asked for - optional details really are entirely optional here. I'm most interested in what you make of the song. (Gen, m/f, m/m and f/f are all equally welcome. I have however asked for fic only this year.) I'm also Quillori on AO3.

J’ai vu le loup, le renard chanter
Traditional
YouTube

This is widespread song, found in many versions (the hare, for example, is sometimes a weasel). Le Poème Harmonique, who perform the version I’ve linked, provide an English translation in the liner notes:

I saw the wolf, the fox and the hare,
I saw the wolf and the fox carousing;
Unseen, I saw them.

I heard the wolf, the fox and the hare,
I heard the wolf and the fox singing;
And I sang with them.

I saw the wolf, the fox and the hare,
I saw the wolf and the fox dancing;
And I led the dance.


Ingriguing, isn’t it? Who is the singer, and what is their relationship with the wolf and the fox? Is the singer being seduced into joining them, or was the singer really in charge all along? Are the animals real animals, or nature spirits, or codenames in some espionage thriller? Nicknames for the players in some political game?

The lyrics as sung:

C'est dans neuf ans, je m'en irai
J'ai vu le loup, le renard chanter
J'ai vu le loup, le renard, le lièvre,
Jai vu le loup, le renard cheuler:
C'est moi-meme qui les ai rebueille.

Jai ouï le loup, le renard, le lievre,
Jai ouï le loup, le renard chanter:
C'est moi-meme qui les ai rechigneès

J'ai vu le loup, le renard, le lièvre,
Jai vu le loup, le renard danser:
C'est moi-meme qui les ai revirès

My attempt at a literal translation (before trusting it too much, bear in mind my non-existent French):

It is in nine years, I will go
I saw the wolf, the fox singing
I saw the wolf, the fox, the hare,
I saw the wolf, the fox drinking:
It was I that spied on them.

I have heard the wolf, the fox, the hare,
I have heard the wolf, the fox singing:
It was I that imitated them.

I saw the wolf, the fox, the hare,
I saw the wolf, the fox dancing:
It was I that made them dance.



Lili Marleen / Death is a master from Germany
Ute Lemper
YouTube

Although this particularly haunting and disturbing version of Lili Marleen is, naturally, about WWII, I am not asking for a literal interpretation, but rather something dealing with the broader themes of love and war and death, and taking its cues from the music: there's the love song aspect the Lili Marleen part (though that itself becomes rather martial in the introduction), the way the music veers off into horror, the quietly reflective and chilling Todesfugue section (and Celan's words are certainly evocative and ambiguous enough to inspire any number of interpretations)...

Lyrics in English

Underneath the lamplight, by the barrack gate,
Darling I remember the way you used to wait;
'twas there that you kissed me tenderly
and you loved me, you'd always be
my Lilli of the lamplight, my own Lilli Marlene.

Time would come for roll-call, time for us to part,
Darling I'd caress you and press you to my heart;
and there 'neath that far-off lantern light,
I'd hold you tight, we'd kiss goodnight,
my Lilli of the lamplight, my own Lilli Marlene.

Underneath the lamplight, by the barrack gate,
Darling I remember the way you used to wait;
'twas there that you kissed me tenderly
and you loved me, you'd always be
my Lilli of the lamplight, my own Lilli Marlene.

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at noon death is a master from Germany
we drink you at sundown and in the morning we drink and we drink you
death is a master from Germany his eyes are blue
he strikes you with leaden bullets his aim true
a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete
he sets his pack on to us he grants us a grave in the air,
he plays with the serpents and daydreams
death is a master from Germany.


Lyrics as sung:

Beid der Kaserne, bei dem großen Tor,
steht eine Laterne und steht si noch davor;
dann wollen wir uns weiderseh'n,
zu zweit bei der Laterne steh'n,
wie einst Lili Marleen.

Unsre beiden Schatten sah'n wie einer aus,
daß wir lieb uns hatten, das sah man gleich daraus,
und sollte dir ein Leid gescheh'n,
werd ich bei der laterne steh'n,
wie einst Lili Marleen.

Underneath the lamplight, by the barrack gate,
Darling I remember the way you used to wait;
'twas there that you kissed me tenderly
and you loved me, you'd always be
my Lili of the lamplight, my own Lili Marleen.

Unsre beiden Schatten sah'n wie einer aus,
daß wir lieb uns hatten, das sah man gleich daraus,
und sollte dir ein Leid gescheh'n,
werd ich bei der laterne steh'n,
wie einst Lili Marleen.

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at noon death is a master from Germany
we drink you at sundown and in the morning we drink and we drink you
death is a master from Germany his eyes are blue
he strikes you with leaden bullets his aim true
a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete
he sets his pack on to us he grants us a grave in the air,
he plays with the serpents and daydreams
der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland.



Le Roi d’Aquitaine
Kurt Weill
YouTube

A grey duck, a blue duck, a white duck...
The grey one walks behind the the blue one ahead.
The white one is the biggest, I'll sell it for twenty francs.
The blue one is quite small, I'll sell it for six francs.

The King of Aquitaine,
if he comes to the market
to serve the queen,
he'll send for me.
The King of Aquitaine
will take my hand.
Too bad for the queen,
tomorrow.

A grey prince, a blue prince, a white prince...
The white one has rubies, and the blue, diamonds.
The grey one has his crown and his sword at his side.
The blue loves me the best, and I love best the white.

The King of Aquitaine,
if he comes to the market
to serve the queen,
he'll send for me.
The King of Aquitaine
will take my hand.
Too bad for the queen,
tomorrow.


Surely this could be the base for a fascinating fairytale, whether you want to invent a traditional tale, or tell it at an angle: are the ducks enchanted princes, or do the princes share only the colour coding? Will the king put aside the queen for the duck seller, or does he want the duck seller for something else to the detriment of the queen? Perhaps this is only an incident in the story of one of the ducks/princes, or in the relationship of the queen and the duck seller? Or is the duck seller merely idly dreaming?

The lyrics as sung:

Un canard gris, un canard bleu, un canard blanc...
Le gris marche derrière et le bleu va devant.
C'est le blanc le plus gros, je le vendrai vingt francs.
Le bleu est tout petit, je le vendrai six francs.

Le Roi d'Aquitaine,
s'il vient au marché
pour servir la Reine,
m'enverra chercher.
Le Roi d'Aquitaine
me prendra la main.
Tant pis pour la Reine,
demain.

Un prince gris, un prince bleu, un prince blanc...
Le blanc a des rubis et le bleu des diamants.
Le gris a sa couronne et son épée au flanc.
Le bleu m'aime le mieux et j'aime mieux le blanc.

Le Roi d'Aquitaine,
s'il vient au marché
pour servir la Reine,
m'enverra chercher.
Le Roi d'Aquitaine
me prendra la main.
Tant pis pour la Reine,
demain.



Bele Doette as fenestre se siet
Chanson de Toile
on YouTube

The abbey the beautiful Doette founds, which becomes grand and powerful, is allegedly in honour of Saint Paul, and Doette speaks of mortifying herself with a hair shirt, but much of the emphasis seems to be on love, not religion: the feast false lovers are unable to enter, the gathering together of those who have suffered for love. I'd love more about the abbey and its beautiful abbess - I imagine it along the lines of some of the mysterious palaces that litter Arthurian legend. Perhaps a sort of chanson d'aventure where the protaganist ends up at the abbey? (If you happen to be interested in the trouvère tradition, or in courtly love of that period, this is definitely the place to indulge yourself as much as you like, but it's not at all necessary if your tastes don't tend that way.)

Lyrics in English

Bele Doette is sitting by a window
Reading a book, but her heart isn't in it:
She's remembering her friend Doon
Who has gone tourneying in other lands.
Ah, how great is my sorrow!

A squire stands at the foot of the stairs to the hall.
He dismounts, unfastens his baggage.
Bele Doette descends the staircase.
She doesn't think she'll hear bad news.
Ah, how great is my sorrow!

Bele Doette at once asked him:
"Where is my lord whom I have not seen for so long?"
The squire had such grief that out of pity he wept.
Then the beautiful Doette fainted.
Ah, how great is my sorrow!

Bele Doette raises herself again.
She sees the squire and addresses herself to him.
In her heart she is full of sorrow and anguish
For her lord, whom she will never see again.
Ah, how great is my sorrow!

Bele Doette began to ask him:
"Where is my lord, whom I do rightly love?"
"In the name of God, lady, I can hide if from you no longer:
My lord is dead, he was slain jousting."
Ah, how great is my sorrow!

Bele Doette began to mourn:
"How awful that you went there, fair noble Count Doon!"
For love of you I shall wear a hair shirt;
Nor on my body will there be fur cloaks."
Ah, how great is my sorrow!
For you I will become a nun in the church of Saint Paul.

For you I shall found an abbey such
That on the day the feast is announced.
If anyone comes who has betrayed his love,
He will not be able to enter the church.
Ah, how great is my sorrow!
For you I will become a nun in the church of Saint Paul.

Bele Doette began to build her abbey,
Which became very great, and now she will be abbess.
She will want to attract there all men and women
Who for love know pain and suffering.
Ah, how great is my sorrow!
For you I will become a nun in the church of Saint Paul.


Lyrics as sung:

Bele Doette as a fenestre se siet.
Lit en un livre, mais au cuer ne l'en tient:
de son ami Doon li resovient,
Q'en autres terres est alez tornoier.
E, or en ai dol!

Unes escuier as degrez de la sale
Est descenduz s'est destrosse sa male.
Bele Doette les degrez en avale:
Ne cuide pas oir novele male.
E, or en ai dol!

Bele Doette tantost li demanda:
- Ou est mes sires, que ne vi tel pieça?
Cil ot tel duel que de pitie plora.
Bele Doette maintenant se pasma.
E, or en ai dol!

Bele Doette s'est en estant drecie.
Voit l'escuier, vers lui s'est adrecie.
En son cuer est dolante et correcie
Por son signor, dont ele ne voit mie.
E, or en ai dol!

Bele Doette li prist a demander:
- Ou est mes sires, cui je doit tant amer?
- En non Deu, dame, nel vos quier mais celer:
Morz est mes sires, ocis fu au joster.
E, or en ai dol!

Bele Doette a pris son duel a faire:
- Tant mar is fustes, cuens Do, frans debonaire!
Por vostre amor vistirai je la haire,
Ne sor mon cors n'aura pelice vaire.
E, or en ai dol!
Por vos devenrai nonne en l'eglyse saint Pol.

Por vos ferai une abbaie tele:
Quant iert li jors que la feste iert nomeie,
Se nus i vient qui ait s'amor fauseie,
Ja del mostier ne savera l'entreie.
E, or en ai dol!
Por vos devenrai nonne en l'eglyse saint Pol.

Bele Doette prist s'abbaie a faire,
Qui mout est grande et adés sera maire.
Toz cels et celes vodra dedanz atraire.
Qui por amor sevent peine et mal traire.
E, or en ai dol!
Por vos devenrai nonne en l'eglyse saint Pol.



In General

Apart from that, this is my normal list for all other-people-writing-fanfic-for-me occasions. Things I like (provided only as indicative of my taste, not in any way as particular requirements of your story): established relationships, smart and competent characters, witty banter, slash, political intrigue, moral ambiguity, apparently simple conversations with a great deal going on under the surface, angst if done with restraint, difficult decisions with no right answer (I think I mentioned moral ambiguity?), metaphor, clever use of literary allusions, relationships where each party thinks the other has all the power. Endings can be happy, sad, ambiguous, or anywhere in between. Let's see, what else? Fierce loyalty (the tear the world apart for you variety, not the sit here passively putting up with anything variety), complicated love/hate relationships with lots of backstory, unflappable characters, arrogance if the party concerned has the requisite ability to back it up, committed partnerships between people who see the world at the same angle (even if they aren't always on the same side)...

Things I’d prefer you avoided: I’m not terribly keen on mpreg (or fpreg, come to that) or stories told in the 2nd person, and I do have something of an embarrassment squick. Oh, all right, I also don't tend to like issuefic, but I'm not sure that's something people generally set out to write deliberately - one person's issuefic is another's searingly honest portrayal.

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