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"Translation for "O varium fortune" lyrics." Topic

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8,110 hits since 30 Nov 2011
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Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2011 8:42 a.m. PST

Just for the halibut, I was listening to Corvus Corax performing "O varium fortune".
I spent about 20 minutes trying to hunt down a rough translation into English of the Latin lyrics.
My Google-fu failed me.

Here are the Latin lyrics:
O varium fortune lubricum
Dans dubium tribunal iudicum,
Non modicum paras huic premium,
Quem colere tua vult gratia.

Et petere rote sublimia,
Dans dubia tamen, prepostere
De stercore pauperem erigens,
de rhetore consulem eligens.

Edificat Fortuna diruit;
Nunc abdicat quos prius coluit

Here is a performance, BTW:
YouTube link

Lookie there, Mildred! That poor peacock has a soprano shoved up its butt!

I might add that translating from Latin into German helps me very little. grin

mad monkey 130 Nov 2011 8:47 a.m. PST

That's some wierd Bleeped text.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian30 Nov 2011 8:56 a.m. PST

Could be they chose the words based on sound

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2011 9:01 a.m. PST

Could be they chose the words based on sound..

These are directly from Latin manuscripts ~1200AD.
The same manuscripts that Orff used for his own Carmina Burana.
One link that I ran into said that a VERY loose translation of the first 3 words could go "Life really sucks."
I would like something a bit more … accurate.
The nuns did not preparre me adequately to translate this, I fear.

Connard Sage Inactive Member30 Nov 2011 9:06 a.m. PST

It's part of the Carmina Burana. Unfortunately, it's not the parts that Orff chose to use.

The first line is 'O! Slippery vagaries of fortune'

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2011 9:18 a.m. PST

If Allen were here, he would chide me and tut-tut unmercifully.
He would also have some pointed remarks about Orff's character. grin

Sane Max Inactive Member30 Nov 2011 9:27 a.m. PST

How is your German?

O, wechselhaftes, unsicheres Glück
du stellst ein zweifelhaftes Gericht zusammen,
gibst demjenigen nicht wenig,
den deine Gunst verehren will.

und die Höhen des Rades erstreben lässt.
doch schenkst du Zweifelhaftes, verdrehst alles,
hebst den Armen aus dem Dreck,
Ernennst den Redner zum Konsul.

Das Glück baut auf und ruiniert,
sagt sich jetzt von jenen los, die es eben noch verehrten

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2011 9:35 a.m. PST

My German is not good.

Sane Max Inactive Member30 Nov 2011 10:00 a.m. PST

well, you are more likely to find someone on here with decent German.

But here is what BABELFISH says it says.

O, changeful, uncertain luck
you arrange a doubtful court
do not give that little
that your favour to admire wants.
and the heights of the Rades first vines leaves
but you give doubt
change everything
lift the arms from the dirt
Appoint the speaker to the consul
luck Builds and ruins
says itself now of those loosely
which even still admired it

Oh,and John? Your Hovercraft is full of Eels.


Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2011 10:05 a.m. PST

I called my Hovercraft Eel Extrminator Service, but they are very busy this time of year.

Farstar Inactive Member30 Nov 2011 1:12 p.m. PST

How would the currently accepted pronunciation guides have us say "Fortune" in Latin? The 'e' means it probably isn't "for tuna" (now I'm hungry) but probably more… Canadian ("For toon, eh"). The difference at standard speech speeds will be subtle at best.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2011 5:11 p.m. PST

In the video, they pronounce it "for TOO nay".

Since they claim to be scholars, particularly the ones that look like Captain Jack Sparrow and Dilbert's boss, I go along with them.

PzGeneral30 Nov 2011 5:49 p.m. PST

Here is the translation my Google Translator came up with:

Oh slippery variety of fortune
And he gave no doubt the tribunal of judges,
Not prepare this a little reward,
Whom he wishes to worship thy grace.
Heights of the wheel and to ask,
And he gave doubtful, however, prepostere
With the dung of the poor to set up,
choosing the Rhetor consul.

Thanks for posting that video John, I may have to look this band up….

New painting music?
Fortune demolished to build;
Now renounced by whom he first served

Graycat Inactive Member30 Nov 2011 7:11 p.m. PST

Somehow this reminds me of the SF TV series 'Lexx'. Has the same sort of lighthearted cheerfulness to it.

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