Mille Regretz is a French chanson from the 15th century which in its 4 part setting is usually credited to Josquin des Prez. Josquin's version is in the Phrygian mode. Its plangent simplicity made it a popular basis for reworkings (such as the mass setting by Cristóbal de Morales, and the 6vv (SATTBB) chanson by Nicolas Gombert), the variations for vihuela known as "La Canción del Emperador" by Luis de Narváez, as well as more recent sets of variations and threnody. Translations of the song differ in their interpretation of the words 'fache/face amoureuse' in line 2. (variously 'amorous anger' or 'loving face'.)
Mille regretz de vous abandonner
Et d'eslonger vostre fache amoureuse,
Jay si grand dueil et paine douloureuse,
Quon me verra brief mes jours definer.
In Modern French:
Mille regrets de vous abandonner
et de m'éloigner de votre visage amoureux.
J’ai si grand deuil et peine douloureuse
qu’on verra vite mes jours prendre fin.
A thousand regrets at deserting you
and leaving behind your loving face,
I feel so much sadness and such painful distress,
that it seems to me my days will soon dwindle away.
The authorship of the original as by Josquin has been disputed.
The chanson was said to be a favorite of King Charles I of Spain.
- David Fallows, Who composed Mille regretz?, in Barbara Haggh, ed., Essays on Music and Culture in Honor of Herbert Kellman (Paris, 2001), 214-52