Friday, 6 October 2017

Calling all Dawns

Album cover, copyright Christopher Tin
Calling all Dawns in an album by video game composer Christopher Tin. I first discovered it through the Grammy award winning track "Baba Yetu", which is the title music for Civilization IV.

Each track on the album features lyrics from a different text in a different language, and the album melds diverse musical styles into the overall classical framework.

Looking around I could not find anywhere that collected all the different lyrics and their sources and meanings in one place. I started adding that information to the Wikipedia article, but it turns out that Wikipedia doesn't want to become a repository for song lyrics. So instead, I present them to you here. I hope you find them interesting.

This post is a work in progress - better to have incomplete information than none! Feel free to contribute things I've missed in the comments. I haven't done all the songs on the album yet.

Baba Yetu (Swahili)

The song's title means "Our father" and the text is a Swahili translation of the Lord's Prayer.[*]

Swahili English
Baba yetu, yetu uliye
Mbinguni yetu, yetu amina!
Baba yetu yetu uliye
M jina lako e litukuzwe.

Utupe leo chakula chetu
Tunachohitaji, utusamehe
Makosa yetu, hey!
Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe
Waliotukosea usitutie
Katika majaribu, lakini
Utuokoe, na yule, muovu e milele!

Ufalme wako ufike utakalo
Lifanyike duniani kama mbinguni.
Our Father, who art
in Heaven. Amen!
Our Father,
Hallowed be thy name.

Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us of
our trespasses,
As we forgive others
Who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from the evil one forever.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Mado Kara Mieru (Japanese)

The song's title can be translated as "Through the window I see". The lyrics are sung in Japanese, and are "based around a series of five Haiku, each corresponding to the changing seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter and ending on spring."[*]. The authors of the original haiku are Hattori Ransetsu, Yamaguchi Sodo, Kaga no Chiyo, and Masaoka Shiki.[*]

Dao Zai Fan Ye (Mandarin)

The text is from Chapter 40 of the Dao De Jing, which reads as follows. It's not easy to translate, but you can read more about what Christopher Tin intended by his use of the text here.

fan zhe dao zhi dong
ruo zhe dao zhi yong
tian xia wan su sheng yu you
you sheng yu wu

Se É Pra Vir Que Venha (Portuguese)

The title means "Whatever Comes, Let It Come".

Rassemblons-Nous (French)

The title means "Let Us Gather". "The second of two original lyrics, Rassemblons-Nous has dual meanings. On one hand it gives voice to the French tradition of revolution--indeed, it is inspired both by the 1789 French Revolution, as well as the 2005 riots of the poor ethnic minorities in the Parisian suburbs. But its greater meaning is that it abstracts these struggles into a song about a metaphysical revolution, where men and women march against the darkness of death. Though fate is inevitable, they still resist it; one by one they join in the struggle, and rather than going gently (as in Se É Pra Vir Que Venha), they choose to rage against the coming of the night." [*]

Some of the lyrics:

French English
Au même moment
Nos mille visages
Sur un écran
Pour déclarer
D'une seule voix
Faut pas nous soumettre
Faut pas disparaître

Mon sort, mon sang
Au fond
Des ténèbres
Malgré ma peur
D'y renoncer
Pour me soulever
Au moment
De vérité
Faut pas nous soumettre
Faut pas disparaître
Let us gather
At the same time
Our thousand faces
On one screen
To declare
With a single voice
We mustn't yield
We mustn't disappear

My fate, my blood
Leads me
Into the deepest
Despite my fear
Of giving up
I go forward
To rise up
At the moment
Of truth
We mustn't yield
We mustn't disappear

Lux Aeterna (Latin)

This song uses two lines from the communion text of the Requiem Mass of the Catholic Church. They are:

Latin English
Lux æterna luceat eis, Domine
Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine
May everlasting light shine upon them, O Lord
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord

Note that in the original text there are other lines in between these two.

The title itself simply means "Everlasting light".

Caoineadh (Irish Gaelic)

"Caoineadh" means a lament. It can also mean keening, weeping and crying[*].

The text of this song is one verse from the poem Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire:

Latin English
Mo chara thu is mo chuid!
A mharcaigh an chlaímh ghil,
éirigh suas anois,
cuir ort do chulaith
éadaigh uasail ghlain,
chuir ort do bhéabhar dubh,
tarraing do lámhainní umat.
Siúd í in airde t'fhuip;
sin i do láir amuigh.
Buail-se an bóthar caol úd soir
mar a maolóidh romhat na toir,
mar a gcaolóidh romhat na sruth,
mar a n-umhlóidh romhat mná is fir...[*]
My friend and my heart's love!
Oh Rider of the shining sword;
Arise up,
Put on your garments
Your fair noble clothes;
Don your black beaver,
Draw on your gloves;
See, here hangs your whip,
Your good mare waits without;
Strike eastward on the narrow road,
For the bushes will bare themselves before you,
For the streams will narrow on your path,
For men and women will bow themselves before you...[*]

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