Carmina Popularia

Latin Translations of Some Popular Songs

Most of these songs were written in 1983 and 1984, when I was majoring in Latin at Randolph-Macon Woman's College -- where, by the way, I also wrote columns for the school paper, which interested parties can read here

In 1984, my senior year, I typed up a small booklet of these songs, photocopied it, and handed it out to friends, acquaintances, and anyone who seemed interested. In 1985, being lonesome for my college, I translated several more songs, typed up a new booklet ("Carmina Popularia: Nova Editio") and mailed it to friends.

The Web, however, allows wider distribution of esoterica like this. :) So I'm making a third collection, fifteen years after the last one. This time it's HTMLized and on the Web. And who knows, I may even be adding a few more songs to it.

Care has been taken to make these translations fit the tunes of the English originals. The back-translations, however, are not intended to be sung. They are near-literal translations of the Latin. I haven't tried to observe the rules of quantity, but almost all the stresses should be right when the pieces are sung. Elisions are marked in the text when they occur.

Please note: this isn't a traditional lyrics site. There are English lyrics here, but they are back-translations of my own translations, not the songs' original English lyrics.

This site currently contains translations of the songs listed below.
All translations and back-translations are by Meredith Minter Dixon.

Did you know that there are Latin translation groups online? The mailing list is an umbrella list shared by over a dozen groups reading various authors. Most are reading classical authors, but there's a Medieval Latin group and a NeoLatin group. Beginners' groups, at all levels of proficiency, share the list too!

For further information on latin@lists, click to go to Aspergonem!, my Latin splash page.

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