Master of Seduction – Tale of the Troubadour

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The Troubadour was the most skilled and renowned seducer to ever live. He was a man that used not just words, but the song and poetry of the human voice, to romance the ladies of the French court. And romance them he did, beyond their wildest dreams!

When Madame Margaret, the Duchess of Bassano, challenged the Troubadour to make a woman fall in love with him, the Troubadour wasted not a moment in producing his lyre guitar and singing.

A feather falls upon thy floor,
each flower needs a bee.
A mighty sword will serve thee well,
and so you should sleep with mee.

This poetry caused eleven ladies of the court within earshot to immediately make love to the Troubadour. The Duchess of Bassano was so impressed with this feat of romance that she too made love to the Troubadour. Then she offered to make love to him at a future point in time.

Many platitudes of the old world originated from the Troubadour. “As many notches as there are on Monsieur Troubadour’s bedpost” was a common phrase that referred to any very enormous quantity. “As many ladies as have longingly gazed at Monsieur Troubadour” was another common phrase that meant “who even knows, man.” Why was the Troubadour so romantically successful? Historians debate the question to this day.

In 1371, The Viscountess of Burgundy asked the Troubadour to reveal the secret of his lovemaking prowess. The Troubadour immediately sang…

A question asked may not answer,
Questions leave you vexed.
Between the sheets I am a dancer,
I am really good at sex.

In response, the Viscountess immediately made love to the Troubadour four times. She then wrote him a sex recommendation letter, on official province of Burgundy stationary.

When the insatiable monarch Charles VI ascended the throne in 1380, the royal court threw the most elegant and monumental celebration France had yet seen. The walls of the court were festooned with silk and flowers. Birds of paradise flew amongst the revelers. Exotic fruits and chocolates punctuated the magnificent banquet room. Jugglers tossed flaming orbs, and their hands were singed. And amidst the pageantry and splendor, the King arrived on the back of a baby elephant that was itself standing on a larger elephant, both adorned with the golden-silk insignia of the King’s favorite animal: the elephant.

This was the Troubadour’s cue. He was to sing a tune of the highest nobility, praising the new King and setting the stage for his rule. And all this using signature wit and rhyming abilities.

France needs help, we need some wood,
A mighty liege ascends the throne.
Charles is fine, his crown is good,
But not as good as I do bone.

The ladies in attendance responded with a fervor that had never before been seen. The King, enraged at the Troubadour’s lascivious act of upstaging, had him beheaded the next day. The Troubadour’s headless carcass was then trampled by elephants for three days, and all French citizens were banned from singing any of his songs for the next 175 years.

What was the Troubadour’s secret? How was he able to transform the human voice into such a rousing instrument of love and seduction? The debate rages on.


Pierre-Henri Révoil licensed under public domain.

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Written by

Alex Baia is a humor writer and contributor to McSweeney’s and Slackjaw. He lives in Austin, TX.