Tete Numquam Relinquam (Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," in Latin)

Allegra Forbes |

Now you can “Rickroll” your Latin friends.

 Rick Astley singing at Tivoli Gardens (that’s the Horti Tiburtini, for you Latinists) (from Wikimedia Commons).
Rick Astley singing at Tivoli Gardens (that’s the Horti Tiburtini, for you Latinists) (from Wikimedia Commons).

[Editor’s note: I realized the Latin-speaking world needed a Latin version of this song, and I sat myself down and wrote one in about five minutes. The long polysyllabic verses in the song lend themselves immediately to Latin translation. I always admired the song’s ambivalence — it always sounded like “then I’m gonna” rather than “never gonna” — and I’ve maintained that in the translation with the “non numquam,” which, depending on punctuation, can mean, “no, never,” or “at some point.” Now the question is how to say “rickroll” in Latin. Wikipedia tells me the Esperanto is “rikroli,” the Finnish “rickrollata,” and the Turkish “rickrollamak.” So impurists can just tack a Latin verb ending and say rickrollare. But Classicists will have to settle for the mouthful Ricardovolvere. — Kuhner]

 

TETE NUMQUAM RELINQUAM/NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP (Rick Astley)(Waterman) (Trans. Kuhner)[1987]

 

Amoris sumus periti

Leges noscis necnon ego

Devotionem plenam intendo

Hanc non habebis ex ullo alio

 

[pons]

Communicare volo tibi quod sentio

Intelligendum tibi est

 

[chorus]

Tete numquam relinquam

tete numquam deseram

tibi ero desultor non numquam

Faciam non flere te

Nec dicam valere

mendax vulnerabo non numquam

 

Te cognovi tam diu

Cor tuum dolet, at timidior quin dicas

Intus nos ambo scimus quid fiat

Ludum callemus et nos ludemus

 

Et si rogas me quomodo sentiam

Ne dicas te tam caecam esse

 

Tete numquam relinquam

tete numquam deseram

tibi ero desultor non numquam

Faciam non flere te

Nec dicam valere

mendax vulnerabo non numquam

 

[pons]

Deseram deseram non numquam

Deseram deseram non numquam

 

Te cognovi tam diu

Cor tuum dolet, at timidior quin dicas

Intus nos ambo scimus quid fiat

Ludum callemus et nos ludemus

 

Communicare volo tibi quod sentio

Intelligendum tibi est

 

[chorus ad finem]

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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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