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.

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