NaPoTraMo 3: Everyone Drinks
Today’s translation is from the medieval Carmina Burana, a collection of songs best known for containing “O Fortuna” (“To Fortune”) as famously set to music by Carl Orff. Orff also scored the rest of the Carmina, but they are far less famous owing to being generally less epic.
Some of them are, however, very funny, as one might expect of a collection largely composed by vagabonds, satirists, and students. The meat of the Carmina is all about the drinking, singing, gambling and seduction. The following translates two verses of “In taberna quando sumus” (“When we are in the tavern”), an ode to the universal pleasures of alcohol.
The original rhymes in couplets; the translation is somewhat looser, attempting to fit some rhyme in without altering the order of the drinkers named.
Drinks the lord and drinks the lady,,
Drinks the soldier, drinks the churchman,
Drinks the man and drinks the woman,
Drinks the housemaid and the footman;
Drinks the nimble, drinks the lazy,
Drink the dark and drink the pale;
Drinks the constant, drinks the fickle,
Drinks the learned, drinks the lay.
Drinks the sickly and the mean,
Drinks the stupid and the exile,
Drinks the boy and drinks the elder,
Drinks the prelate and the dean;
Drinks the sister, drinks the brother,
Drinks the crone and drinks the mother,
Drinks the housewife, drinks the husband,
Drink a hundred, drink a thousand!
Translates verses 5 and 6 of “In taberno quando sumus”; Latin text can be found here.