"Be Prepared" in Latin! Lion King "Duce Mē" (lyrics: Stefano Vittori)

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ScorpioMartianus
Published at : 10 Nov 2020
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Latin Lyrics Below! Audio file mp3 download available to my Patreon supporters here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/30151602

This translation and performance preserves the music's rhythm with corresponding correct Latin rhythm (long and short syllables), and even the rhymes!

BE PREPARED
DVCE ME
Translated by Stefano "RVMAK" Vittori; see his YouTube channel here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKsXlPwvq17rQ2tIcixwRZw

Vel in hōc genere est quod amētur
miserābiliter stolidō,
modo cōnsiliīs sociētur
ratiōciniōque meō,

retinentia, quantula cessat
in hebentibu' pectoribus
modo dogmata nostra capessat
logos est ubi mīrificus.

Licet hōs oculōs Libitīnae
dominent vacuae tenebrae,
neque vōs eritis necopīnae:
loquimur regimen patriae.

Redeunt Sāturnia rēgna!
Oritur nova prōgeniēs!

Spērāte futūrum
bis nōn reditūrum!
- Quidnam facientēs?
- Pārēre volentēs!

Ignōbile, certē:
tamen omnia ferte!
ea quae cupiam, mihi dā,
ea quae cupiēs, tibi habē
duce mē!

- Macte! Duce tē! Dūcās nōs! Dūcēs quō?
S- ad rēgis mortem
- Aegrōtatne?
S- Immō, nēquam! Interficiēmus, Simbam quoque
- Quidnī? Quid nōbīs cum rēgibus? Pereant rēgēs, pereant rēgēs! Bucca bucca bucca!
S- Stultī! Jam erit rēx!
- Quid quod dīxistī…
S- Ipse erō rēx! Mēcum estōte fameīque fīnem faxō!
- Euge, sophōs! Iō triumphe! Iō triumphe!

- Sibi sī datur optimu' prīnceps,
quis enim quid alid cupiat?
- Sibi sī dabit optima prīnceps,
quis enim quid eī invideat?

Licet accipiam mihi plūra,
mereās modo: plūrima dō.
quis in hōc fuerit sine cūrā?
Is ab hōc careat solidō!

Aderit jam tempus honōrum:
bona turba, favēte mihī!

Semper conjūrō, (conjūro)
per tempora dūrō: (perdūro)
semper rējectō (rējecto)
it palma profectō! (palma)

Dabitur majestās,
sine fīne potestās.
Meritō pete: jam dabitur!
Neque jam petitis timidē
duce mē!

Neque jam petimus timidē
duce tē!

*****

The translation is made in Leonine verses (i.e. verses with both quantitative structure and rhyme). The structure of the song consists of a strophe, an antistrophe, and an epode. The strophe and the antistrophe are each composed of two distichs, where the first verse is made of two anapaestic feet (two short and one long syllable) followed by an Ionic ā minōre (two short and two long syllables) and the second verse is made of three anapaestic feet - so it's basically the same metre of the first one, in a catalectic form. The rhyme scheme for each of them is ABAB.

This is also the scheme of the recitative strophe of the introduction. The epode is composed of three strophes:

1) a distich identical to the preceding ones, with rhyme scheme AB,

2) a strophe made of four verses consisting of an anapaestic foot followed by an Ionic ā minōre, with rhyme scheme AABB,

3) a strophe made of five verses, the first two with the same metre as the preceding strophe, the second two with the same metre as the even verses of the distichs of the strophe and antistrophe, and the last consisting of a unique anapaest, with rhyme scheme AABCC. This structure is repeated twice, the two iterations being separated by a recitative prosastic part. In the original English version, the structure is the same but with amphibrachys (a foot less popular in Latin) instead of anapaests (except for the distich in the epode, which has anapaests and Ionics as well).

Scar's Latin is of an educated, archaizing type echoing the register of the original English. Traits of this register are: the fall of final /s/ after short vowels before words with consonantal onset ("hebentibu'" - a popular trait, hence shared by hyaenas' "optimu'"), obsolete nominal and verbal inflected forms ("fameī", "faxō"), elevated Hellenisms ("dogmata", "logos" - in contrast with hyaenas' more trivial Hellenisms "euge", "sophōs").

As an anti-Augustan, Scar also wants to appear as an "optimus princeps" (a term typical of the Augustan propaganda) and cites in the distichs of the epode the most important Author of that propaganda, Vergil, in particular the most propagandistic piece, Eclogae IV ("redeunt Sāturnia rēgna / (oritur)(et) nova prōgeniēs", vv. 6-7; "aderit jam tempus(:) honōr(um)(ēs)", v. 48, as well as "bona turba, favēte mihī", where "favēte" echoes "casta favē, Lūcīna", v. 10). "Duce mē/tē" itself echoes "tē duce" of v. 13. "Per tempora dūrō" echoes Catullus' "obstinātā mente perfer, obdūrā" (8,10).

However, Scar's deepest nature is Epicurean. Hence, his true favorite poet is not Vergil, whom he uses only for political purposes, but Lucretius, as it's clear from his use of some of this poet's favorite terms, like "retinentia", and the S decidua itself.
_____
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