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Carl Orff: In Taberna Quando Sumus – Kurt Eichhorn

“Here no-one fears death,
but they throw the dice in the name of Bacchus…
May those who slander us be cursed
and may their names not be written in the book of the righteous.”

Precisely my sentiment.

When we’re in the tavern

In taberna quando sumus
non curamus quid sit humus,
sed ad ludum properamus,
cui semper insudamus.
Quid agatur in taberna
ubi nummus est pincerna,
hoc est opus ut queratur,
si quid loquar, audiatur.
Quidam ludunt, quidam bibunt,
quidam indiscrete vivunt.
Sed in ludo qui morantur,
ex his quidam denudantur
quidam ibi vestiuntur,
quidam saccis induuntur.
Ibi nullus timet mortem
sed pro Baccho mittunt sortem:

Primo pro nummata vini,
ex hac bibunt libertini;
semel bibunt pro captivis,
post hec bibunt ter pro vivis,
quater pro Christianis cunctis
quinquies pro fidelibus defunctis,
sexies pro sororibus vanis,
septies pro militibus silvanis.

Octies pro fratribus perversis,
nonies pro monachis dispersis,
decies pro navigantibus
undecies pro discordaniibus,
duodecies pro penitentibus,
tredecies pro iter agentibus.
Tam pro papa quam pro rege
bibunt omnes sine lege.

Bibit hera, bibit herus,
bibit miles, bibit clerus,
bibit ille, bibit illa,
bibit servis cum ancilla,
bibit velox, bibit piger,
bibit albus, bibit niger,
bibit constans, bibit vagus,
bibit rudis, bibit magnus.

Bibit pauper et egrotus,
bibit exul et ignotus,
bibit puer, bibit canus,
bibit presul et decanus,
bibit soror, bibit frater,
bibit anus, bibit mater,
bibit ista, bibit ille,
bibunt centum, bibunt mille.

Parum sexcente nummate
durant, cum immoderate
bibunt omnes sine meta.
Quamvis bibant mente leta,
sic nos rodunt omnes gentes
et sic erimus egentes.
Qui nos rodunt confundantur
et cum iustis non scribantur.

When we are in the tavern,
we do not think how we will go to dust,
but we hurry to gamble,
which always makes us sweat.
What happens in the tavern,
where money is host,
you may well ask,
and hear what I say.

Some gamble, some drink,
some behave loosely.
But of those who gamble,
some are stripped bare,
some win their clothes here,
some are dressed in sacks.
Here no-one fears death,
but they throw the dice in the name of Bacchus.

First of all it is to the wine-merchant
the libertines drink,
one for the prisoners,
three for the living,
four for all Christians,
five for the faithful dead,
six for the loose sisters,
seven for the footpads in the wood,
Eight for the errant brethren,
nine for the dispersed monks,
ten for the seamen,
eleven for the squabblers,
twelve for the penitent
thirteen for the wayfarers.

To the Pope as to the king
they all drink without restraint.
The mistress drinks, the master drinks,
the soldier drinks, the priest drinks,
the man drinks, the woman drinks,
the servant drinks with the maid,
the swift man drinks, the lazy man drinks,
the white man drinks, the black man drinks,
the settled man drinks, the wanderer drinks,
the stupid man drinks, the wise man drinks,
The poor man drinks, the sick man drinks,
the exile drinks, and the stranger,
the boy drinks, the old man drinks,
the bishop drinks, and the deacon,
the sister drinks, the brother drinks,
the old lady drinks, the mother drinks,
this man drinks, that man drinks,
a hundred drink, a thousand drink.

Six hundred pennies would hardly
suffice, if everyone
drinks immoderately and immeasurably.
However much they cheerfully drink
we are the ones whom everyone scolds,
and thus we are destitute.
May those who slander us be cursed
and may their names not be written in the book of the righteous.

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