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Saturnalia Song

World / Ethnic • 1994 • Lyricist: David W Solomons • Alternative Title: Io! Saturnalia!

Saturnalia Song

10.00 USD

ZIP, 283.4 Kb ID: SM-000085703 Upload date: 10 Jan 2012
Flute, Oboe, Trombone, Trumpet, Gong, Cymbals, Mixed choir, Voice, Bass drum, Wood block, Bass Flute
Type of score
Full score, Parts
David W Solomons
A vivid and at times raucous celebration of Saturnalia, in Latin, for an ensemble of voices and instruments (including various percussion, woodwind and brass instruments).
The sound sample is a sung performance by the composer with an electronic preview of the instruments.

Further explanations:
Song for Saturnalia - a raucous and fun romp - in whole tones (since there is scant evidence of the types of scales used in those days - whole tones just seem to work in this context).

The Latin words make references to relatively modern times but the spirit of Saturnalia is timeless, after all. The "pileum" (also written "pilleum") is the little cap that slave wore during Saturnalia to show they were free men and women on that day - they would point to their cap and say "libertus sum" (I am a free person) and "omnes aequales sumus" (we are all equal).

The words (and translation - both by me) are as follows:

Saturnalia Song
Io Saturnalia! Hodie igitur dominus noster non es.
[Hooray, it’s Saturnalia, so today you’re not our boss]
Hodie omnes aequales sumus. Io!
[Today we are all equal, hooray!]

[spoof of USA Anthem]
Salve O Frutici
[Hi there, Bush]
Ecce meum pileum:
[Look, see my little cap of freedom]
libertus sum
[I’m a free man]

[spoof of UK Anthem]
Salve O Campestri
[Hi there, Blair]
Ecce meum pileum:
[Look, see my little cap of freedom]
libertus sum
[I’m a free man]

[spoof of German Anthem]
Salve O Candelari
[Hi there Brandt]
Ecce meum pileum:
[Look, see my little cap of freedom]
libertus sum
[I’m a free man]

Io Saturnalia, Io!
[Hooray, it’s Saturnalia, hooray!]

© D W Solomons

[Note on the invented names (used in the vocative in the song of course):
Fruticius is based on the word frutex a bush - it’s also used to mean “blockhead” in Roman comedies, but I can’t help that!.
Campestrius is based on “campester” - a plain or place of clear ground (Blair is the Celtic equivalent word - a forest clearing!)
Candelarius is based on candela - a taper or candle - ie something burning hence Brandt (yes, I know he’s earlier than the other two politicians, but, hey, it’s all a bit of anachronistic fun!)]
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