The first song I remember thinking “that is incredible” about was a song called “Begin the beguine.”
I was transported into this place where the beguine was happening, whatever that was.
The beguine took no vows, could return to the world and marry if she so desired, and did not renounce her property.
The beguine, thereupon, advanced a few steps towards the queen, and bowed reverently before her.
Then, to make matters worse, there came that sad Affair of the beguine.
Anne of Austria, joining gesture to the threat, advanced a couple of steps towards the beguine.
Meanwhile it had grown dark, and the beguine Paulina brought in a two-branched candelabrum with burning candles.
The beguine, thereupon, advanced a few steps toward the queen, and bowed reverently before her.
Anne of Austria, joining gesture to the threat, advanced a couple of steps toward the beguine.
On the third day she rendered her, with her own hands, every service for which she had formerly needed a beguine's aid.
late 15c., from French béguine (13c.), Medieval Latin beguina, a member of a women's spiritual order said to have been founded c.1180 in Liege in the Low Countries. They are said to take their name from the surname of Lambert le Bègue "Lambert the Stammerer," a Liege priest who was instrumental in their founding, and it's likely the word was pejorative at first.
The order generally preserved its reputation, though it quickly drew imposters who did not; nonetheless it eventually was condemned as heretical. A male order, called Beghards founded communities by the 1220s in imitation of them, but they soon degenerated (cf. Old French beguin "(male) Beguin," also "hypocrite") and wandered begging in the guise of religion; they likely were the source of the words beg and beggar, though there is disagreement over whether Beghard produced Middle Dutch beggaert "mendicant" or was produced by it.
Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine" (1935) refers to a kind of popular dance of West Indian origin, from French colloquial béguin "an infatuation, boyfriend, girlfriend," earlier "child's bonnet," and before that "nun's headdress" (14c.), from Middle Dutch beggaert, ultimately the same word.