As usual, two things popped into my head simultaneously at today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt:
- The Carmina Burana’s “O Fortuna” track
- You’ve given me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it, I thank you all
We’ll see how we get on, but maybe today is going to be a music day, as they so often seem to be.
I love the Carmina Burana. It was one of my favorite albums to listen to in college when I was writing or studying. Not part of the core three though: those were – and are – the Conan Soundtrack, Enya (whatever album that has Orinoco Flow on it), and U2’s Rattle and Hum. Anyone who’s watched action movies or especially fantasy/sci-fi themed movies will have heard “O Fortuna.”
It’s big and noisy and depending on how it’s used in the film, can feel uplifting, impending doom, or a crescendo of action.
I can’t recall all of the lyrics, but they reminded me of when I had to read Boethius, a mid-Medieval period philosopher who wrote . . . something about chance and fortune. The specifics escape me, but the ideas of fate versus fortune, chance versus pre-destination were themes covered.
I’ve always been a believer, if that’s the right word, that our lives are made up of a series of chance encounters and happy (or unhappy) accidents. Of course, we have agency and can increase our odds of happy/unhappy events in our lives, but chance and luck play a large part of how our lives turn out.
I think people like fate because that takes the onus off of use for owning our own lives and places it somewhere else. If it’s not your responsibility for making something happen in your life, it’s easier to just blame where you are on the odds or fate or your situation.
We all struggle with those internal demons of being an active participant in our lives versus coasting through. I suspect most of us flip between both at various points in our lives.
Huh, a philosophy digression, meh, enough of that.
My favorite song in the Carmina Burani is “In Taberna.” It’s a drinking song and, as they lyrics go, “everyone drinks.”
For those unfamiliar, the Carmina Burana is a bunch of poems/writings from a sect of monks or poets or something in Austria from 1200ish and then turned into an orchestral and choral performance by Carl Orff, a composer, sometime in the 1800s. I’m adding this link for anyone interested in exploring more. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmina_Burana
In Taberna always reminds me that people are people and have been since someone in the Fertile Crescent decided that raising grain in one spot was easier than roaming from place to place – and that it was easier to make booze if you stayed in place. The “bibit” part which is a rundown of who drinks — EVERYONE (well, except some Christian idiots who don’t believe in alcohol, but who do also believe the Bible is to be taken literally. Except for the whole Jesus and water to wine thing. Lord spare us from the overly pious!) — always gives me a giggle.
This isn’t SoC, but I wanted to get the end lyrics right:
Six pennies don’t last very longIn taberna quando sumus, Carmina Burana
Where without moderation,
All drink without measure
But drinking makes the mind merry
So everyone scolds us,
And we are poor.
He who scolds, let him be shamed,
And let him not be recorded among the just.
A reminder that we’ve had buzzkills amongst us for millennia – though shalt not have fun doing things that I object to. I shall refrain from a rant.
Chaucer’s Tales has also always reminded me of that too. I mean, The Miller’s Tale would have made one hell of an episode of that shitty show “Cheaters.” The basic love triangle of young bride, old husband, and viral young stud banging the hot young bride is timeless.
Why that tale hasn’t made the screen more times eludes me. Dude winds up with a hot poker in his ass.
The other song is, of course, “We Are the Champions” by Queen. I’ve had the great good fortune to have seen Queen in concert at Merriweather. Adam Lambert did a damn good job singing the Freddie Mercury parts (though he’s no Freddie Mercury, who is?).
Brian May has truly epic 70s rock star hair.
I’ve about hit my time and I’ve got things to do. I don’t know if this is fate or fortune, but I’m going to be “bibit ista” (this one drinks) tomorrow for the Super Bowl. Go Bengals