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England, English, Folk, Latin (Latina), United Kingdom

“O Caritas” (Cat Stevens)

“O Caritas” (YouTube)
Country: England, United Kingdom
Language: Latin, English
Genre: Folk,  Mediterranean

“O Caritas”
Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), Jeremy Taylor, Andreus Toumazis
Catch Bull at Four (1972)

Hunc ornatum mundi nolo perdere
Video flagrare, omnia res
Audio clamare, homines

Nunc extinguitur mundi et astorum lumen
Nunc concipitur mali hominis crimen

Tristitate et lacriminis, gravis est dolor
de terraque maribus, magnus est clamor

O caritas, o caritas
Nobis semper sit amor

Nos perituri mortem salutamos
Sola resurgit vita

This world is burning fast
This world will never last

I don’t want to lose it
Here in my time
Give me time forever
Here in my time

” Oh charity” (Original English Translation by ORS, 2011)

This  ornament of the world, I don’t want to lose
I see every thing burning
I hear men shouting

Now is extinguished, the  light of the world and stars
Now is conceived, the accusation of the evil of man

With sadness and tears, heavy is the pain
from Earth and seas, great is the noise

Oh charity, oh love
May love be with us forever

We, perishing, salute death
Only life resurges

Vocabulary and Etymology

perdere = (present active infinitive) to destroy completely, lose; from per (through) + dare (to give); related to English perdition, Sp./Po. perder, It. perdere, Fr. perdre

video = (1st person singular present indicative) “I see”; from verb videre (to see); Eng. vision, Sp/Po ver, It. vedere, Fr. voir

flagrare = (present active infintive) to flame, burn; as in “flagrant”

audio = (1st person singular present indicative) “I hear”; from verb audire (to hear); Eng. audition, Ital. udire

clamare = (present active infinitive) to  call,shout; Eng. clamor

concipitur = (3rd person singular, present passive indicative) “is conceived” from verb concipere (to take in, conceive) from com + capire (take in) as in “capture”

crimen = (noun; nominative singular; neuter, 3rd declension) charge, accusation, crime

tristitia* = (noun; ablative singular;  from tristitia, fem. 1st declension) sadness; Sp./Po. tristeza, Ital. tristezza, Fr. tristesse
*misspelled/misused in “O Caritas” as “tristitate”

lacriminis = (noun; ablative plural; from lacrima, fem., 1st) tear; Ital, lacrima, Sp. lagrima, Po. lágrima, Fr. larme

gravis = (adjective, masculine nominative singular; 3rd 2-termination) heavy, deep, serious; Sp. grave

dolor = (noun, masculine 3rd) pain, grief; Ital dolore, Sp. dolor, Po. a dor, Fr. la douleur

caritas = (noun, feminine 3rd; nominative and vocative form) dearness, costliness, affection, love, charity

perituri = (future passive participle, aka gerundive) “about to perish”; from verb perire (to perish); Ital perire, Fr. périre, Sp/Po. perecer
Grammar and other Topics

1.  Latin Pronunciation

Latin is an old Italic language from Latium (central west Italy) and Ancient Rome.  The history of the language can be categorized by time (Old/Ancient, Classical, Late, Medieval, Renaissance, and New) and use (Vulgar, Ecclesiastical) where various differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar emerge.

Some historians classify the Golden Age of Roman Literature (in Classical Latin) as between 80BC and 14AD, which includes the works of Cicero, Julius Caesar, Catullus, Cato, and Lucretius, and later Vergilius, Horatius, Livius, Ovidius, etc.

The pronunciation of Ecclesiastical and modern Latin generally resembles that of modern Italian, which is the pronunciation used in “O Caritas” by Cat Stevens.  However, the pronunciation of Classical Latin has certain features:

– hard “c” and “g” (instead of Italian palatization/softening before vowels “e” and “i”) and hard “t” (now palatized before “i”)
– full pronunciation of diphthongs “ae” and “oe” (reduced to “e” and “o” in modern language)
-“v” pronounced as “w”

2.  Using a Latin Dictionary

Because Latin words, particularly nouns, verbs, and adjectives, have various forms, using a latin dictionary can be confusing at first.  In general, dictionaries show multiple entries consisting of a basic form(s) followed by irregular forms.  Here are some brief instructions:

Nouns:  2 Forms, the Nominative Singular and then the Genitive Singular, followed by the Gender and the Declension (in parenthesis).  For example,

amor, amoris (m., 3rd declension) = love, affection, desire, passion

Latin noun have 7 cases, 3 genders, and 2 numbers.  The cases indicate “part of speech”, the genders are arbitrary linguistic categories, and the numbers are singular and plural.  Here are the cases:

Nominative – subject, doer; は、が
Genitive – possession, “of someone/something”, “something’s”; could be “de + Ablative”; の
Dative – indirect object; “ad + Ablative”; に
Accusative – direct object, object of preposition of motion towards; を、へ
Ablative – means, instrument; object of preposition of position and motion away; で、に、から
Locative – location or position; “in/ad” + Ablative”; に
Vocative – personal address

There are 5 paradigms of noun declensions.

Verbs:  Multiple forms, first the 1st Person Singular Present Active Indicative and then the Infinitive, and then the 1st Person Singular Perfect Active Indicative and Passive Indicative.  In parenthesis, they indicate the conjugation pattern.  For example,

amo, amare, amavi, amatus (1st conjugation) = to love
Latin verbs  have 3 moods (indicative, imperative, subjunctive), 2 voices (active, passive), 2 numbers (singular, plural), 3 persons (1st, 2nd, and 3rd), and 6 tenses.  The tenses are present, imperfect (continued in the past), future, perfect (completed in the past), pluperfect (past actions before other past actions), and future perfect (actions that are to be completed in the future).

There 5 main patterns or paradigms of verb conjugations.

:  The 3 genders are applied to adjectives, but in some cases some of the forms are the same.  There are, therefore, 3 patterns: 1st termination (all forms are the same), 2nd termination (masculine and feminine are the same, neuter is different), 3rd termination (all 3 forms are different).  Here are examples of the 2- and 3-terminations:

Gravis, grave = serious, heavy, deep
Malus, mala, malum = bad

Guitar Chords
1.  Intro: Dm A Gm A Dm
2.  “Hunc…” , “Nolo..”: Dm C A
3.  “Video..”, “Audio…”  : Dm Am Bb A Dm C Bb A (second time ending: A7 Dm)
4.   “Nunc..”: (same as intro)
5.  “Tristitate..”: G-C G-C G-C G-C  Bb Dm; repeat second time Em7 Am; repeat third time Bb  A;
6.  “Nos…”, “Sola..”: A A7 Dm
7.  “This world”: Dm C A
8.  “I don’t want…”:  (repeat “Audio..”)



3 thoughts on ““O Caritas” (Cat Stevens)

  1. I liked it very much. Please, make more of this, especially in Latin.

    Posted by Robeato | March 10, 2013, 1:24 pm
  2. ‘Tristitate’ is the ablative singular of ‘tristitas’, ‘sadness’ and is used correctly in the phrase ‘tristitate et lacrimis’. Also, the line ‘nos perituri, mortem salutamus’ (We, about to die, salute death) parallels what gladiators said to the Emperor in the coliseum: ‘Ave Caesar, qui, morituri, te salutamus’ (Hail Caesar! We, who are about to die, salute you)

    Posted by squidmaster | July 29, 2014, 1:48 pm
  3. Perfect !!!
    Please more.
    Thank you.

    Posted by puiseuxpuiseux | May 26, 2016, 2:51 am

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