Gaudeamus igitur (Anonymous)

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  • (Posted 2015-02-26)   CPDL #34676:  Network.png
Editor: Casey Rule (submitted 2015-02-26).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 52 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:
  • CPDL #32666:   
Editor: Leighton H. Triplow (submitted 2014-08-11).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 143 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:
  • CPDL #27073:      (Finale 2011)
Editor: James W. Keefe (submitted 2012-09-02).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 54 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: in English
  • CPDL #10745:        (Sibelius 3)
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2006-01-15).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 108 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Included in the TUMS Busking Book. International students' song, in one of the more familiar SATB arrangements. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • CPDL #08889:  Network.png PDF, MIDI and ABC Pus available
Editor: Guido Gonzato (submitted 2005-08-15).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 21 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Misattrib. to Brahms. Arranged for SATB by Guido Gonzato
  • CPDL #00589:        (Finale 1998)
Editor: Rafael Ornes (submitted 1999-12-03).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 28 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Misattrib. to Brahms. For TTBB. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Gaudeamus igitur
Composer: Anonymous

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicings: SATB or TTBB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Languages: Latin, English
Instruments: A cappella

Published:

Description: Gaudeamus Igitur is probably the most popular of the surviving "drinking songs" associated with the members of the medieval universities. These universities sprang up in various centers of western Europe, largely in the 12th and 13th centuries. Many of them are still in exisence. The cliche, "wine, women, and song," is a reasonable description of the typical contents of their "drinking songs," which often, as in the above specimen, included a certain amount of ribaldry.

Gaudeamus Igitur gradually accumulated many more verses than the five that are in our version, in an entirely different order. Wikipedia includes in its encyclopedia a whole entry devoted to Gaudeamus Igitur. It includes all of the stanzas above, together with five additional new ones.

When the German composer, Johannes Brahms, was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Breslau in 1880, he showed his gratitude by composing his Academic Festival Overture, based on themes from medieval student songs. The climax of the work is a brilliant rendition of the traditional Gaudeamus Igitur theme.

External websites:

Text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

1  Gaudeamus igitur,
Juvenes dum sumus.
Post jucundam juventutem,
Post molestam senectutem,
Nos habebit humus.

2  Vivat academia,
Vivant professores,
Vivat membrum quodlibet,
Vivat membra quælibet,
Semper sint in flore.

3  Vivant omnes virgines,
Faciles, formosæ,
Vivant et mulieres,
Dulces et amabiles,
Bonæ, laboriosæ.

4  Vivat et republica,
Et qui illam regit;
Vivat nostra civitas,
Mæcenatum caritas,
Quæ nos hic protegit.

5  Vita nostra brevis est,
Brevi finietur;
Venit mors velociter,
Rapit nos atrociter,
Nemini parcetur.

Note: this song's popularity is worldwide: there are many more verses than the five here – usually one sees 3, 5, 7, or 10 verse versions, and the editor (of CPDL #10745) has 2 additional verses specific to his native city's Alma mater. Furthermore, there are many variant forms of the actual Latin texts, as well as a much larger number of metrical translations or transliterations, into a very wide range of languages.

English.png English translation

1  So, let us enjoy ourselves
While we are young.
After a pleasant youth,
After an unpleasant old age,
The earth will have us.

2  Hurrah for the university,
Hurrah for the professors,
Hurrah for each student,
Hurrah for the student body.
Forever may they flourish!

3  Hurrah for all the maidens,
Easy ones, beautiful ones.
Hurrah also for the wives,
Gentle, lovable ones,
Good hardworking ones.

4  Hurrah for the nation,
And for him who rules it.
Hurrah for our city,
For the generosity of the patrons
That protect us here.

5  Our life is short,
Shortly will it be ended.
Death comes quickly,
He carries us off horribly--
No one will be spared!
Translation by Paul Pascal

Alternative

1  Let us rejoice, therefore,
While we are young.
After a pleasant youth
After a troubling old age
The earth will have us.

2  Long live the academy!
Long live the professors!
Long live each student;
Long live the whole fraternity;
Forever may they flourish!

3  Long live the state as well
And he who rules it!
Long live our city
(And) the charity of benefactors
Which protect us here!