Effundo Preculam (Aretha Franklin's "I Say a Little Prayer" in Latin)

Allegra Forbes |

A Latin Tribute to the Queen of Soul

 

 

 Aretha Franklin in 1968, when she recorded “I Say a Little Prayer.”
Aretha Franklin in 1968, when she recorded “I Say a Little Prayer.”


[Editor’s Note: Jon Meyer put together this little tribute to the Queen of Soul after hearing of her passing on August 16, 2018. Originally intended by lyricist Hal David to represent a woman thinking of her lover abroad during the Vietnam War, it speaks more universally to the experience of love and absence — including that absence created by death. Meyer uses “mel” for “babe” and “exorare” for “hear my prayer.”]

 

EFFUNDO PRECULAM (“I Say a Little Prayer”) (Aretha Franklin) (Bacharach/David)(tr. Meyer)[1966]

 

(effundo tibi preculam)

 

Cum surgo e toris

non addito cultu oris

effundo tibi preculam

dum pecto mi comam

et penso quam gestem stolam

effundo tibi preculam

 

[chorus]

in saecla saeclorum manebis mecum

et te amabo

in saecla saeclorum aberis numquam

ut te amabo

ess(e) una in saecla debemus saecli

si te carebo

cordolium erit mihi

 

Raedam consequor, mel

in raeda nos meditor, mel

effundo tibi preculam

 

districta otior

caffeam dum exhaurio

effundo tibi preculam

 

[chorus]

in saecla saeclorum manebis mecum

et te amabo

in saecla saeclorum aberis numquam

ut te amabo

ess(e) una in saecla debemus saecli

si te carebo

cordolium erit mihi

 

in saecla saeclorum manebis mecum

et te amabo

in saecla saeclorum aberis numquam

ut te amabo

ess(e) una in saecla debemus saecli

si te carebo

cordolium erit mihi

 

[pons]

ocelle, mi crede

(mi crede)

non amo alium quam te

sis, me ames

depereo te

(exorare)

exorare, mel

(exorare)

dic t(e) amare me

(exorare)

exorare, mel

(exorare)

 

 

in saecla saeclorum manebis mecum

et te amabo

in saecla saeclorum aberis numquam

ut te amabo

ess(e) una in saecla debemus saecli

si te carebo

cordolium erit mihi

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Allegra Forbes

In Medias Res is the online magazine for lovers of Latin and Greek, published by the Paideia Institute.

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