Saturday, April 26, 2008


This is for the students out there who will be graduating this year: three versions of the medieval song of student life and academia, "Gaudeamus Igitor." I love this song. Find out if it's on the agenda for your graduation ceremony and if it's not then get it there, even if you and a few friends have to sing it yourselves.

Here's (above) Mario Lanza's version. It's very beautiful but a little strange since the song is meant to be sung by a group. You could argue that it's best sung by earnest amateurs. Very often academics would sing this in informal ceremonies to honor one of their own. It would be a high honor indeed since it indicates that your peers believe that you somehow exemplify a tradition, that you've kept alive the spirit of something that's vital to everyone in the room. It reminds me of the ceremony of the pens in the Russell Crowe film about the mathematician.

Of course no graduation ceremony should be completely solemn and it's fitting to end with a second version of Gaudeamus, something like the one above. you can see why this has to be the closing number... no serious business will be conducted after a song done like this.

Here (below) are the lyrics to Gaudeamus, which is always sung in Latin. I love the part that wishes long life to mature women and the state.

Latin English
Gaudeamus igitur

Juvenes dum sumus.
Post jucundam juventutem
Post molestam senectutem
Nos habebit humus.
Let us rejoice therefore

While we are young.
After a pleasant youth
After the troubles of old age
The earth will have us.
Ubi sunt qui ante nos

In mundo fuere?
Vadite ad superos
Transite in inferos
Hos si vis videre.
Where are they

Who were in the world before us?
Go up to heaven
Or cross over into hell
If you wish to see them.
Vita nostra brevis est

Brevi finietur.
Venit mors velociter
Rapit nos atrociter
Nemini parcetur.
Our life is brief

It will be finished all too soon.
Death comes quickly
We are cruelly snatched away.
No one is spared.
Vivat academia!

Vivant professores!
Vivat membrum quodlibet
Vivant membra quaelibet
Semper sint in flore.
Long live the academy!

Long live the teachers!
Long live each student!
Long live all the students!
May they always flourish!
Vivant omnes virgines

Faciles, formosae.
Vivant et mulieres
Tenerae amabiles
Bonae laboriosae.
Long live the virgins

Easy and beautiful!
Long live mature women also,
Tender and lovable
And full of good labor.
Vivant et res publica

et qui illam regit.
Vivat nostra civitas,
Maecenatum caritas
Quae nos hic protegit.
Long live the state as well

And he who rules it!
Long live our city
[And] the charity of benefactors
Which protects us here!
Pereat tristitia,

Pereant osores.
Pereat diabolus,
Quivis antiburschius
Atque irrisores.
Let sadness perish!

Let haters perish!
Let the devil perish!
Let whoever is anti-student
Who laughs at us, perish!


The Jerk said...

at my graduation they played the imperial march from Star wars. that didn't strike me as particularly solemn ;-)

Josh "Just What the Doctor Ordered" Heisie said...

While Mario Lanza was surely the most talented, the third one wins. So sue me.

The cameraman in the first video sure must have though he was doing some fancy cinematography.

We didn't get that song at graduation, but we did get Pomp and Circumstance, which sounds pretty snazzy if you're coming down the stairs in a tuxedo with a fancy lady hanging on your arm.

The Horns and the Hawk said...

so two things.

1. the organ intro makes this sound like an old church song being played by someone's 80 year old grandma at a methodist church.

2. i graduated from a "christian" (they apply the term loosely and liberally to an almost libelous fashion) school, so there was nothing cool about my graduation, except that i didn't have to see these mooks again. i would have appreciated a little gaudeamus igitor, although i'm sure they would have said latin is offensive or something.

Booo Tooons Ltd. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jesse Oliver said...

Hi Eddie'


I know you're a busy man, But do ya think you'll ever get your own myspace website?

Just curious.

It would be awesome if ya had a myspace website! :)

your friend'


Booo Tooons Ltd. said...

Booo Tooons Ltd. said...
That last one was ruined by the brunette on the left. She was waving her gown open and you knew she was nekkid underneath before the big reveal.

I don't know what that last video was titled, but a good suggestion would be: When Spice Girls Graduate.

By the way, can you tell me what a Latin accent sounds like?

Because Eddie Izzard bloody well can't.

- trevor.