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Re: medieval Latin translation help needed/ Re: Carmina Burana (was help with medieval Latin)

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 12, 2006, 17:12
----- Original Message ----- > on 7/11/06 7:47 AM, Sally Caves at
scaves@FRONTIERNET.NET wrote:
> >> I love Carl Orff's musical rendition of these poems. My favorite one is >> about the forlorn swan ("Olim lacus colueram!) once beautiful, who has >> been >> killed and cooked, served by the dapifer, and who now approaches the >> gnashing teeth. Oh where is my LP? With all the lyrics? >> >> The collection combines sin and love (stetit puella!) in the most >> exquisite >> way, and medieval German and Latin. > > > Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't most of these texts/songs/poems by > defrocked monks & nuns?
They were written by wandering theology students or clerics (goliards), who often snubbed their nose at the Church. The clerics (sort of like graduate students in theology or philosophy) took holy orders, but if literature says anything true about life, they were not always sanctimonious. Clerks in medieval literature are often mischievous, lecherous, and sinful (Chaucer's Miller's Tale, Reeve's Tale, "Dame Sirith," and any number of fabliaux.) You'll find in this thirteenth century lyrics songs mostly about secular life and gambling, but also about the joys of spring and tender love. John Quijada wrote:
> My personal favorite is > the drinking song in the tavern: "Bibit hera, bibit herus, bibit miles, > bibit clerus..." Hilarious!
I love that, too! There is a kind of humorous urgency to it, as though everybody in the town has got to drink up before they close the tavern. Orff does a wonderful job of conveying in contemporary tones the kind of barbaric, life-loving, raunchy experiences of these young men. For instance, the opening that Ray so kindly translated for us is very ominous... you think it expresses a life's philosophy of doom and gloom, the treacherousness and monstrosity of Dame Fortune--whose turning wheel, as the song comes to crescendo, brings emptiness and wanhope--only to find that it's monstrous and treacherous and empty for the gambling man who risks his back in a striptease game! Here are the lyrics for my favorite song, "Cignus ustus cantat" TheRoasted Swan sings. I know all these tunes by heart. I think the tenor is supposed to sound like a castrato: Olim lacus colueram! Once I inhabited lakes Olim pulcher extiteram! Once I looked beautiful. Dum cignus ego fueram! When I was a swan. Miser, miser! O wretched me! modo niger! now black et ustus fortiter! and thoroughly roasted! Girat regirat garcifer. The servant turns and turns again [the spit] Me rogus urit fortiter. the pyre burns me strongly. Propinant me nunc dapifer! The dish-bearer offers me up now! Miser, etc. Nunc in scutella iaceo. Now I lie on the platter. Et volitare nequeo. And I am unable to fly. Dentes frendentes video. The gnashing teeth I see! Miser, miser! modo niger! et ustus fortiter! And then the most lovely love-lyrics. But my favorite is the triumphant, ardent refrain in Tempus es iocundum (It is a joyful time): O, O, O! Oh, oh oh! Totus floreo! I am blossoming all over! iam amore virginali With virginal, first love totus ardeo! do I burn completely! novus novus novus amor est, it is new new new love Quo pereo, quo pereo, quo pereo!! from which I perish, perish, perish! (Orff adds the repeats!) Now this is a test. Will this show up for me? Get to the list? Somebody who sees this, translate it into your conlang! A new challenge! Sally Tehwo sema brondilaz oba il hea nomai pendo "Summer like a white sword hangs over the land."