Mario Lanza - Gaudeamus igitur (De brevitate vitae) (English translation)

English translation

Let us have fun then (On the Shortness of Life)

So let us have fun then
while we're still young.
After the delightful young age of liveliness
after the scornful old age of grumpiness,
the dust will bite us
Where are the ones before us
can they be found in the world?
Rush to the heavens,
cross over to hell
should you want to see them
Our life is brief
briefly it will be hindered
Death comes speedily
and snatches us brutishly
sparing no one
Long live the academy!
Long live the professors!
Long live each male member whoever he may be!
Long live all of the female members whatever they may be!
May they flourish for ever
Long live all the maidens
easy going, handsome.
Long live the women too
breezy going, lovesome.
seemly going, toilsome
Long live the houses of commons too
and whoever's running them
long live our membership in the community
the benefactors' affection
that protects us here
Let sadness vanish,
let haters vanish,
let devil vanish,
any penny-pincher ¹
together with the mockers
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Submitted by evfokas on Fri, 31/05/2013 - 15:29
Author's comments:

Mario Lanza in this performance is singing only the first verse, the rest of the verses are sung likewise
This is a playful song and I've read some translations good, bad and irrelevant, but all tend to oversee the obvious fact that such a playful song must have playful wordplays in it, probably most people think that latin was spoken by tedious scholars and not by common folk. That being said and whilst the ceremony was reaching at the peak of flatness the actress whispered her version to the bishop's agog ears caressing them gently and rested her case howbeit unrested some other member bored by the ceremony...
De brevitate vitae used as an alternate title of the song is an essay by Seneca pinpointing how life's wasted. The song was written in the 18th century (based on a Latin manuscript dated back to 1287). When sung the first two lines and the last line of each verse are repeated once.
academia: also euphemism for brothel (for obvious reasons), the latin expressions in the verse strengthen my belief (see quodlibet and membrum below or even better just read my cockamamy translation and not my bloody comments)
res publica: meaning obviously republic-democratic government but literally public affairs and also public/common things, here's again a euphemism for entertainment places, such as taverns-gambling dens-brothels-games-blood sports etc, and in conjuction with the next line maybe also a mockery to "democratic governance" since it maybe read in different ways "long live democracy a boat without a captain" or "long live democracy and it's tyrant", since rego beyond the main meaning here "to rule/lead" means among other things to control, run something, keep straight, excercise authority etc Mind you that a typical hail in latin would have been Vivat res publica! Vivat Imperator/Rex (noster)! And may I ask you who the heck would hail women before the state or hail the King with "qui"?
quodlibet/quaelibet: whoever he/she(plural and it plural) is/may be: has the writer forgotten his latin? One better way to express the same thing in a definite manner would have been the use of unusquisque/unaquisque (each and every male/female) so again the intention was not to be accurate but to play with words. Let me also stress the fact that although I don't know when the first college for women was established I know co-educational colleges and universities weren't available at the time the song was written
membrum: surely not your standard latin word for a student or graduate
diabolus: it's surprising how often one can encounter this sneaky bastard among details
¹ (anti)burschius: not found in a dictionary and I think translated erroneously in the translations I saw, I can only guess from the latin root burs (and chius meaning metaphorically luxurious) that it is related with pouch and money and it may well mean a penny-pincher, one who's against putting his hand in his pouch/wallet (or opening his pouch). I've also read the Wikipedia explanation of the word that originates from the german Bursch(fellow) which is root to Burschenschaft(fellowship-fraternity) but I don't find it convincing since the pronunciation is different, so I think it maybe just another wordplay. The english counterpart of the word would be anti-chios-walleted where Chios the home of many famous shipowners and merchants, so again this maybe a mockery to tight-walleted benefactors mentioned earlier, since mockers are mentioned in the next line with no apparent reason. Even if this verse was added later on I consider it as elaborate as the former.
irrisores: didn't I stress the word apparent or haven't you been reading carefully, this word for obvious by now reasons puts a full stop to the song and it would be distasteful to go on singing but then again whilst the ceremony was going up to the nadir of it's flatness the unrest member was placing itself on apogee, a lowdown that didn't escape the actress's keen eye, or her pointed nous that affirmed her membership was nigh
And please don't ask me I was an abutting member


Gaudeamus igitur (De brevitate vitae)

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Ignatius    Sun, 02/06/2013 - 03:20

Your lyrics do not correspond at all to the video. If you are using Mario Lanza's rendition of the song, you should attempt to follow his lyrics, don't you think?

evfokas    Sun, 02/06/2013 - 08:12

Thank you for your remark and I've updated my comments accordingly