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The Counts of Toulouse and the Cross of Toulouse:  Occitan:  the Language Today: Poetry.



Se Canta (regional alternative titles: Se Chanta; Se Chanto; Aqueras Montanhas)

Traditionally attributed to Gaston Phoebus (Gaston III Fébus, 1331-1391), Count of Foix, and viscount of Bearn. Se Chanta is considered by historians and musical critics as being a love song, a nostalgic serenade to a woman far away. It was common in Languedoc, and is said to have conveyed to distant places by sailors. Each Occitan town and area made it its own by adding a different variant to it.

It has an official status in Val d'Aran (an autonomous Occitan territory in Spain) with the title Aqueras Montanhas.

Se Canta is an important part of Occitan culture. Most Occitan people identify with it. It has often been regarded as the unofficial anthem of Occitania and most people living in that region will know the occitan words to the first verse and chorus even if they are not native occitan speakers.

Occasions on which it has been sung include the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin on 10 February 2006 by L'Ange Gardien Chorus, and in the French National Assembly on 3 June 2003 by Jean Lassalle, in protest at a perceived slight on the Pyrenean village of Urdos by the then Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy).

The lyrics of the song are in the Occitan language. Several versions of the anthem are attested; that presented here is among the oldest ones in Standardized Occitan text with current spelling.

Dejós ma fenèstra
  Outside my window
I a un auselon
  There is a little bird
Tota la nuèch canta,
  Singing all night
Canta sa cançon
  Singing its song.
Se canta, que cante,
  If it sings, let it sing
Canta pas per ieu,
  It's not singing for me
Canta per ma mia
  It sings for my love
Qu'es al luènh de ieu.
  Who's far away from me.
Aquelas montanhas
  Those mountains
Que tan nautas son,
  That are so high
M'empachan de veire
  Keep me from seeing
Mas amors ont son.
  Where my love has gone.
Baissatz-vos, montanhas
  Lay down, o mountains
Planas, auçatz-vos
  And rise up, o plains
Per que pòsca veire
  So I may see
Mas amors ont son.
  Where my love has gone.
Aquelas montanhas
  Those mountains
Tant s'abaissaràn,
  Will lay down so low
Que mas amoretas
  That my lost love
Se raprocharàn.   Will get closer.



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