Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Latin Language Version of "From Me to You" - with a Tribute to Eddie O'Hara

A fellow Latin teacher on Twitter told me about a man who, back in the 1960's already, had translated Beatles' songs into Latin in an effort to inspire students about the continued relevance of this ancient language. As I investigated further, I learned that the man in question, Eddie O'Hara, was no simple Latin teacher. He would eventually leave teaching to serve for twenty years as a Member of the British Parliament!


Without ever having had the privilege of corresponding with Eddie O'Hara personally, we are certainly kindred spirits. I also have dabbled in the translation of contemporary music into Latin in the hopes of making the study of the language more interesting to my students. Like him, I served my country in a war zone (I served in Iraq; Mr. O'Hara served in British occupied Cyprus and was the target of an attack, an irony since he would eventually champion the Greek Cypriot cause).

Since there is no evidence that anyone ever put Eddie O'Hara's translations to music, I decided that it was my duty to pay tribute to this great man by doing just that.

Below I offer a video which begins with a tribute to Eddie O'Hara, and then continues with a music video of "From Me to You," translation by the man himself and vocals and music performed by me. Following the video is a grammatical description of his translation. It is not woodenly literal, which I admit I tend toward in my own efforts, but delightfully dynamic. 

I also invite you to learn more about Eddie O'Hara in the obituaries that major news venues published about him.

The Guardian

The Telegraph

The BBC


 Tribute and Music Video of "From Me to You"




Grammatical Description of Eddie O'Hara's Translation


Latin
English
Parsing
Grammar Points
Si
If
Conj.
quid
anything
acc. sing. neut. pronoun
aliquis, aliquid; after “si” shortened to “quid”
habeo
I have
1st pers. sing. pres. act. ind. verb
habeō, habēre, habuī, habitus
quod
which
acc. sing. rel. pronoun
qui, quae, quod
cupis
you want
2nd pers. sing. pres. act. ind. verb
cupiō, cupere, cupīvī, cupītus
Si
If
Conj.
quid
anything
acc. sing. neut. pronoun
aliquis, aliquid; after “si” shortened to “quid”
opus
needful
acc. sing. indecl. noun
opus
auxilii
of help
gen. sing. neut. noun
auxilium, auxilii
Vocanti
to the one calling
dat. sing. pres. act. part.
vocō, vocāre, vocāvī, vocātus
me
me
acc. sing. pronoun
ego, mei
tibi
to you
dat. sing. pronoun
tu, tui
id
it
acc. sing. neut. dem. adj.
is, ea, id
mittam
I will send
1st pers. sing. fut. ind. verb
mittō, mittere, mīsī, missus
Amore
With love
Abl. sing. masc. noun
amor, amoris
a
from
Pres. + Abl.
me
me
abl. sing. pronoun
ego, mei
tibi
to you
dat. sing. pronoun
tu, tui
Bracchia
Arms
nom. pl. neut. noun
bracchium, bracchii
volunt
want
3rd pers. pl. pres. ind. verb
volō, velle, voluī
tenere
to hold
pres. act. inf.
teneō, tenēre, tenuī
Te
You
acc. sing. pronoun
tu, tui
ne
so that not
conj.
tu
you
nom. sing. pronoun
tu, tui
abeas
(you) may go away
2nd pers. sing. pres. act. subj. verb
abeō, abīre, abīvī, abitus
Et
And
Conj.
labra
lips
acc. pl. neut. noun
labrum, labrī
basiare
to kiss
pres. act. inf.
bāsiō, bāsiāre, bāsiāvī, bāsiātus
Dum
Until
Conj.
satis
enough
indeclinable noun
habeas
you may have
2nd pers. sing. pres. act. ind. verb
habeō, habēre, habuī, habitus

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