Home culture Hear Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Performed in Classical Latin

Hear Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Performed in Classical Latin

0
Hear Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Performed in Classical Latin

[ad_1]

By the ear­ly nine­teen-nineties, at least in the Unit­ed States, Latin instruc­tion in schools was­n’t what it had once been. Stu­dents every­where had long been show­ing impa­tience and irrev­er­ence about their hav­ing to study that “dead lan­guage,” of course. But sure­ly it had nev­er felt quite so irrel­e­vant as it did in a world of shop­ping malls, cable tele­vi­sion, and the emerg­ing inter­net. Thir­ty years ago, few stu­dents would have freely cho­sen to do their Latin home­work when they could have been, say, lis­ten­ing to Nir­vana. But now, in the age of Youtube, they can have both at once.

In the video above, the_miracle_aligner cov­ers “Smells Like Teen Spir­it” in a medieval (or “bard­core”) style, using not just peri­od instru­men­ta­tion but also a trans­la­tion of its lyrics into Latin. Since its release a few years ago, this Colos­se­um-wor­thy ver­sion of the song that defined grunge has drawn thou­sands upon thou­sands of appre­cia­tive com­ments from enthu­si­asts of Nir­vana and Latin alike.

As one of the lat­ter points out, “most Latin words rhyme because of con­ju­ga­tion,” and when they don’t, the lan­guage’s unusu­al free­dom of word order pro­vides plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ty to make it work. Still, the song con­tains more than its share of tru­ly inspired choic­es: anoth­er com­menter calls it “just immac­u­late” how “the ‘hel­lo, how low’ rhymes as ‘salvé, parve.’ ”

As tends to be the way with those of us here in the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry inclined to dig deep into a lan­guage like Latin, some take the oppor­tu­ni­ty to get into char­ac­ter: “I vivid­ly remem­ber the night Gaius Kur­tus Cobainius the Elder pre­miered this song at the Amphithe­ater of Pom­pey in the Sum­mer of 91AD. The plebs went nuts and were throw­ing Ses­ter­ti and Denari on the stage. I even saw a patri­cian woman lift her tunic! Oh how I miss those days.” In what­ev­er lan­guage it’s sung, the instant­ly rec­og­niz­able “Smells Like Teen Spir­it” will send any Gen­er­a­tion-Xers in earshot right back to the stren­u­ous slack­ing of their own youth. And the cry “Oblec­táte, nunc híc sumus” would have cut as sharply in the age of bread and cir­cus­es as it did in the MTV era — or, for that mat­ter, as it does now.

Relat­ed con­tent:



[ad_2]

Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here