The first installment of women you should know (but probably don’t) is Beatritz de Dia (c. 1140- c. 1175).
More commonly known today as Countessa (or Comtessa) de Dia, she is the most remembered of the trobairitz (female troubadours), and wrote courtly love songs. Though it was rare for the music of the trobairitz or troubadours to be recorded at this time, we have evidence of Beatritz’s poetry and music. Below is a recording of “A chantar m’er de so qu’eu no vloria”. Her poetry for the song, which is about a betrayed love, shows her ultimate strength and sense of self-worth:
I must sing of that which I would rather not:
I am so aggrieved by him of whom I am the friend.
For I love him more than anything that be,
But pity and courtliness do not avail me with him,
Nor my beauty, nor my worth, nor my wits:
For I am thus tricked and betrayed
As I should be if I were ugly