What's all this fuss about?

Latin lyrics in Heavy Metal music are a common phenomenon. The darker the music, the more evil the band wanna be. What's better than using an old, mysterious, hardly understandable, cryptic, medieval and therefore almost satanic language? Unfortunately bands seldom know how to use this language properly. So, instead of evoking the demons of the realm of evil, they just evoke a hop-frog. Clatu verata nicto! - The most of you know what happened after this wrongly spoken spell.

Normally, two questions are the result of the fact that you've just read a latin phrase:
- What does it mean? (almost everybody)
- Is it correct? (just a few latin aficionados)

This page doesn't want to make fun of mistakes in latin lyrics. I wanna answer the first question to everybody who is interested. The second question is just for myself or for the two or three weird guys out there or for bands which are thinking about using a latin phrase as well. You can contact me if you want.

Mittwoch, 18. Juni 2008

Deathspell Omega - Obombration

Deathspell Omega - Obombration - Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum (2007)

First of all, the album's title means: divine law - go, you dispraised, into eternal fire.

The two songs "Obombration", which frame the whole album, contain Latin as well as ancient Greek words:

Hagios ho Theos, Sanctus Deus
Hagios Ischyros, Sanctus Fortis
Deus, judica me...
ut quid, Domine, recessisti longe?
Judica me... perinde ac cadaver

Deus, judica me
... et factus est sudor eius sicut guttae sanguinis decurrentis in terram.
Domine, in pulverem mortis deduxisti me
perinde ac cadaver.

holy God, holy God
Holy Power, holy Power
God, judge me
(as what), Lord, did you recede (such a long distance)?
Judge me... just as a cadaver.

 "Perinde ac cadaver" are words written by Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. He wanted to express the necessity of unquestioning obedience to the superior in the Jesuit's order.

God, judge me
... and his sweat was made as drops of blood running down to earth.
Lord, into the dust of death you guided me
just as a cadaver.

I didn't understand the meaning of the words in parentheses: "ut" is a conjunction which means "for that, so that, like, as soon as"; "quid" is a interrogative pronoun: "what?". The adverb "longe" means "a long distance" - whereas "diu" means "a long time" - maybe that's what the band wanted to express.
PS: Some day I got an advice from XB who told me that the band took the phrase from Psalm 10. It means Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? The psalm is written in Vulgar Latin, used in the late Roman Empire an early Medieval times - while I normally have the Classical Latin's grammar rules in mind, when I translate these texts. My mistake... thanx a lot, France!

The words "hagios ho theos" and "hagios ischyros" are ancient Greek.

Marduk - Accuser/ Opposer

Marduk - Accuser/ Opposer - Rome 5:12 (2007)

At the beginning of this song a man croaks some latin words. Here we have a perfect example of the use of latin language I mentioned in the blog's summary. These lines are part of the catholic exorcism ritual:

Exorcizo te, immundissime spiritus, omnis incursio adversarii, omne phantasma, omnis legio: in nomine Domini nostri eradicare, et effugare ab hoc plasmate Dei.
Ipse tibi imperat, qui te de supernis coelorum in inferiora terrae demergi praecepit. Ipse tibi imperat, qui mari, ventis, et tempestatibus imperavit.

I exorzise you, you filthiest spirit, you topmost run of the enemy, you total ghost, all legion:
in the name of our Lord, to eradicate and to get away from this representation of God.
He himself reigns you who commands you to vanish from the highs of heaven into the depths of the earth. He himself reigns you who reigned over the sea, the winds and the storms.

Sonntag, 15. Juni 2008

Funeral Mist - In manus tuas

Funeral Mist - In manus tuas - Salvation (2003)

The lyrics are completely in latin. Here we go:

In manus tuas, Domine,
commendo spiritum meum
Redemisti me, Domine Deus veritatis
Dele iniquitatem meam

"In your hands, O Lord,
I commend my spirit
You have redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth
blot out my transgression"

The first three lines are part of the Compline, a night prayer in the Christian tradition of canonical hours. The fourth one is from Psalm 51. The psalm continues:

Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea,
et a peccato meo munda me
Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco,
et peccatum meum contra me est semper
Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci
Ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis,
et vincas cum judicaris
Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum,
et in peccatis concepit me mater mea
Ecce enim verita tem dilexisti;
incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi
Asperges me hyssopo, et mundabor;
lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor
Cor mundum crea in me, Satanas,
et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis
Ne proiicias me a facie tua,
et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me
Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui, et spiritu principali confirma me
Docebo iniquos vias tuas, et impii ad te convertentur
Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus salutis meae,
et exultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam, Domine,
labia mea aperies, et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.

"Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity.
Cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions.
My sin is constantly before me.
Against you, and you only, have I sinned,
and done that which is evil in your sight;
that you may be proved right when you speak,
and justified when you judge.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity.
In sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts.
You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean.
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Create in me a clean heart, O Satan.
Renew a right spirit within me.
Don’t throw me from your presence,
and don’t take your holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation.
Uphold me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways.
Sinners shall be converted to you.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness,
O God, the God of my salvation.
My tongue shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
Lord, open my lips.
My mouth shall declare your praise."

Now it's your turn, reader: find the one word which is not originally part of the 51. Psalm...


...a hint: do the Christians pray to Jesus Christ or to Satan?

Funeral Mist - Agnus Dei

Funeral Mist - Agnus Dei - Salvation (2003)

Agnus Dei means "lamb of God". This song contains some latin lines which refer to the Apostles' Creed.
Qui tollis peccata mundi - you who clear the sins of the world
Crucifixus etiam pro nobis, sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est
Qui carne quondam contegi dignatus es pro perditis,
cujus latus perforatum unda fluxit sanguine

Cruxified also for us, under Pontius Pilatus, suffered and buried
You who once deigned to be clothed in flesh for the sake of the lost once
whose waist pierced, a wave of blood ran out

The second line "qui..." is from a 10th century hymn. It was used by Thomas Tallis (1505-1585) and by Morten Lauridsen (*1943) in his sacral piece "Lux eterna" from 1997.