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Carmina Burana ~ O Fortuna | Carl Orff (English Lyrics)

Carmina Burana ~ O Fortuna | Carl Orff (English Lyrics)

O Fortuna
velut luna (like the moon)
statu variabilis (you are changeable)
semper crescis (ever waxing)
aut decrescis; (and waning;)
vita detestabilis (hateful life)
nunc obdurat (first oppresses)
et tunc curat (and then soothes)
ludo mentis aciem, (as fancy takes it)
egestatem, (poverty)
potestatem (and power)
dissolvit ut glaciem. (it melts them like ice.)

Sors immanis (Fate — monstrous)
et inanis, (and empty)
rota tu volubilis, (you whirling wheel)
status malus, (you are malevolent)
vana salus (well-being is vain)
semper dissolubilis, (and always fades to nothing)
obumbrata (shadowed)
et velata (and veiled)
mihi quoque niteris; (you plague me too;)
nunc per ludum (now through the game)
dorsum nudum (I bring my bare back)
fero tui sceleris. (to your villainy.)

Sors salutis (Fate is against me)
et virtutis (in health)
michi nunc contraria, (and virtue)
est affectus (driven on)
et defectus (and weighted down)
semper in angaria. (always enslaved.)
Hac in hora (So at this hour)
sine mora (without delay)
corde pulsum tangite; (pluck the vibrating strings;)
quod per sortem (since Fate)
sternit fortem, (strikes down the strong)
mecum omnes plangite! (everyone weep with me!)
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«O Fortuna» is a medieval Latin Goliardic poem written early in the 13th century, part of the collection known as the Carmina Burana. It is a complaint about fate and Fortuna, a goddess in Roman mythology and the personification of luck.
In 1935—36, «O Fortuna» was set to music by the German composer Carl Orff as a part of movement «Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi» of his cantata Carmina Burana, which it opens and closes. It opens on a slower pace with thumping drums and choir that drops quickly into a whisper building slowly into a steady crescendo of drums and short string and horn notes peaking on one last long powerful note and ending abruptly.

Orff’s setting of the poem has become immensely popular and has been performed by countless classical music ensembles and popular artists. It can be heard in numerous movies and television commercials and has become a staple in popular culture, setting the mood for dramatic or cataclysmic situations.

«O Fortuna» topped a list of the most-played classical music of the past 75 years in the United Kingdom.

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