Gaudeamus Igitur!

I freely admit that this song has distinctly Fascist undertones – see ‘Tomorrow Belongs To Me’ from the film Cabaret. But like that song, the tune is very memorable, and I find it works well with the ironing. It’s also great for brushing up your Latin!

I first heard it sung at a Spanish university by the engineering students. At the time of Franco.  As I went to a redbrick establishment, I never heard it in England but somehow doubt that it is part of 21st century student life.

“De Brevitate Vitae” (“On the Shortness of Life”), more commonly known as “Gaudeamus Igitur” (“So Let Us Rejoice”) or just “Gaudeamus”, is a popular academic commercium song in many European countries, mainly sung or performed at university graduation ceremonies. Despite its use as a formal graduation hymn, it is a jocular, light-hearted composition that pokes fun at university life. The song dates to the early 18th century, based on a Latin manuscript from 1287.[1] It is in the tradition of carpe diem (“seize the day”) with its exhortations to enjoy life. It was known as a beer-drinking song in many ancient universities and is the official song of many schools, colleges, universities, institutions, and student societies.
Gaudeamus igitur,
Juvenes dum sumus;
Post icundum iuventutem,
Post molestam senectutem
Nos habebit humus.
Let us therefore rejoice,
While we are young;
After our youth,
After a troublesome old age
The ground will hold us.
Vita nostra brevis est,
Brevi finietur;
Venit mors velociter,
Rapit nos atrociter;
Nemini parcetur.
Our life is brief,
It will shortly end;
Death comes quickly,
Cruelly snatches us;
No-one is spared.
Ubi sint qui ante nos
In mundo fuere?
Vadite ad superos,
Transite in inferos
Hos si vis videre.
Where are those who before us
Existed in the world?
You may go up to the gods,
You may cross into the underworld
If you wish to see them.
Vivat academia,
Vivant professores,
Vivat membrum quodlibet,
Vivat membra quaelibet;
Semper sint in flore!
Long live the university,
Long live the teachers,
Long live each male student,
Long live each female student;
May they always flourish!
Vivat et republica
Et qui illam regit.
Vivat nostra civitas,
Maecenatum caritas
Quae nos hic protegit.
Long live the state
And those who rule it.
Long live our city,
And the charity of benefactors
Which protects us here.
Vivant omnes virgines,
Faciles, formosae!
Vivant et mulieres,
Tenerae, amabiles,
Bonae, laboriosae.
Long live all young women,
Easy and beautiful!
Long live wives as well,
Tender, loveable,
Honest, hardworking.
Pereat tristitia,
Pereant osores.
Pereat diabolus,
Quivis antiburschius
Atque irrisores!
Perish sadness,
Perish haters.
Perish the devil,
Whoever is against the student fraternity,
As well those who mock us!
Quis confluxus hodie
Academicorum?
E longinquo convenerunt,
Protinusque successerunt
In commune forum.
Who has gathered now
Of the university?
They gather from long distances,
Immediately joining
Our common forum.
Vivat nostra societas,
Vivant studiosi!
Crescat una veritas,
Floreat fraternitas,
Patriae prosperitas.
Long live our fellowship,
Long live the studious!
May truth and honesty thrive,
Flourish with our fraternity,
And our homeland be prosperous.
Alma Mater floreat,
Quae nos educavit;
Caros et commilitones,
Dissitas in regiones
Sparsos, congregavit.
May our Alma Mater thrive,
That which educated us;
Dear ones and comrades,
Who we let scatter afar,
Let us assemble.
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About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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2 Responses to Gaudeamus Igitur!

  1. hopeeternal says:

    This takes me back to school days when I studied music. One piece we studied in depth was Brahams ‘Academic Festival Overture’. Towards the end the pace becomes more sedate and is a tune for ‘Gaudeamus Igitur’ – if you listen you can fit in the words, at least of the first line. Here is a helpful wikipedia link I found as I double checked!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_Festival_Overture

    hopeeternal
    http://www.hopeeternal.wordpress.com

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