Ne Desperetis (“Don’t Stop Believin’” in Latin)

Allegra Forbes |

The Classic Don’t-Give-Up Anthem In the Language That Just Won’t Die

 

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[Editor’s Note: Any list of the most-downloaded songs of all time consists almost entirely of recent hits, from the likes of Pharrell, the Black-Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, or Adele. There’s one exception: Journey’s 1981 “Don’t Stop Believing,” which is still listed as the top-selling digital song from the entire 20th century — beating anything by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Elvis, or anyone else. It has had a similar popularity in the Latin-speaking community: since it was first translated by the indomitable Luke Henderson, it has remained a staple at spoken-Latin events, as a kind of rallying cry for all speakers of the language that has stared down long odds from the Vandals and Visigoths to Vatican II and beyond. Getting the entrances right is tricky on this one; it’s worth counting measures (“modos”) to give proper cues.]

 

DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ (Journey) (Cain, Perry, Schon)( tr. Henderson)[1981]

 

[introitus — VIII modos]

 

puella rustico sola et e parvo vico

nocturno tramine vecta quolibet.

et modo juvenis educatus Detroitensis

nocturno tramine vectus quolibet.

 

[cithara— VIII modos]

 

cantatur in taberna quæ

fumo, vino, unguentoque,

et Vener’ adnuente, redolet.

 

huc vagantes, ac illuc peregrinantes,

umbræ petunt quicquid nesciunt.

angiportus celant quærentes, errantes

tenebrosi, petentes!

 

(instrumentis IV modos)

 

vita est magnus ludus, luditur ab omnibus,

ad mensam arcessiti nos aleatum.

alii vincentur, alii victoriam ferent

sic et facit Fortuna ipsa, sic et fit vita.

 

huc vagantes, ac illuc peregrinantes,

umbræ petunt quicquid nesciunt.

angiportus celant quærentes, errantes,

tenebrosi, petentes!

 

(cithara)

ne desperetis — creduli fietis

vobis secundas res fore!

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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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