Omnes Virgines (Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" in Latin)

Allegra Forbes |

Yes, It Exists.

 

 Beyonce and some of her single ladies. (Wikimedia Commons/thekrisharris Flickr).
Beyonce and some of her single ladies. (Wikimedia Commons/thekrisharris Flickr).

[Editor’s note: Charley McNamara realized that “all the single ladies” could be rendered literally and perfectly with “omnes virgines,” which was all Jason Pedicone, translator of this song and President of the Paideia Institute, needed to know. It’s worth taking a look at the English to admire the ingenuity of the Latin: “gloss on my lip, man on my hip” becomes “minio picta, viro cincta.” The verses require practice, but the chorus is gloriously easy to sing and very satisfying.]

 

 

ALL THE SINGLE LADIES (PUT A RING ON IT) (OMNES VIRGINES)(Beyonce)

(Stewart/Nash/Harrell/Knowles)(tr.Pedicone)[2008]

 

Omnes virgines

(Omnes virgines)

Nunc manus sursum

 

In taberna, modo relicta,

nugas agebam

me neglegis, nunc vexaris

quia alius est obviam

Ille amat, ego amo

Ne tu animum intendas

triennium

conquesta sum

non vexari debes

 

Si placebat erat femina ducenda

Si placebat erat femina ducenda

Ne vexeris tibi non sum habenda

Si placebat erat femina ducenda

 

o, o, o etc.

 

Minio picta, viro cincta

quam fortiter teneor

bacchor ego, vino posito

te non iam moveor

sum libera nonne fata:

“Ne tu animum intendas”?

quia aderas, et nunc discas

pati me absente

 

Si placebat erat femina ducenda

Si placebat erat femina ducenda

Ne vexeris tibi non sum habenda

Si placebat erat femina ducenda

 

o, o, o etc.

 

[pons, voce elevata]

Ne mihi haec dona mundi donaveris

non sum puella talis

amorem et malo et mereo

et virum qui faciat et habeat

et obferat et fato et morti et caelis

tene me bracchiis

ut ames, facito

aut ut umbra abero

 

Omnes virgines

(Omnes virgines)

Nunc manus sursum

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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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