Carmina Popularia

Latin Translations of Some Popular Songs

The majority of these songs, and certainly most of the better ones, were written in 1983 and 1984, when I was an upperclassman majoring in Latin. In 1984, as graduation neared, I typed up a small booklet of these songs, photocopied it, and handed it out as a souvenir to friends, acquaintances, and anyone else who seemed interested. In 1985, feeling lonesome for my college, I translated several more songs, typed up a new booklet ("Carmina Popularia: Nova Editio") and mailed it to friends.

In 2000, I realized the possibilities of the Web. I digitized "Carmina Popularia: Nova Editio" and added a couple of songs to it. At the time I'd planned to add a few songs a year, but that hasn't happened, at least not yet.

Care has been taken to make these translations fit the tunes of the English originals. The back-translations, however, are not intended to be sung. They are near-literal translations of the Latin. I haven't tried to observe the rules of quantity, but almost all the stresses should be right when the pieces are sung. Elisions are marked in the text when they occur.

Please note: this isn't a traditional lyrics site. There are English lyrics here, but they are back-translations of my own translations, not the songs' original English lyrics.

This site currently contains translations of the songs listed below. All translations and back-translations are by Meredith Minter Dixon. Please don't steal my work and turn it in to your teacher as your own; I've already heard of that happening once, and I'd just as soon it didn't happen again.