Fate can be a Meany Mean Jerk-Face

October 21, 2016 at 10:30 am

Fate can be a meany mean jerk-face sometimes! Poor Carl Orff  had an established career as a composer and was well known for his work with children’s music education. When he was 40, he composed his great oratorio Carmina Burana, and after it became so popular, he asked his publisher to destroy all his previous work, so that Carmina would mark the beginning of his career.

Nope. Sorry. Your fate has already been decided. You will only be known for this one composition.

But what a composition it is! It’s everywhere – you can find it in movies, video games, commercials, sports events, and flash mobs (I was there!) It’s an awesome romp through the carnal pleasures of life – some of the poems are quite erotic, some philosophical, some are brutal mockery, some are just plain weird, and yes, there are even fart jokes.

But since we’re ramping up to Halloween … let’s pass on those and stick to scary old fate.

English translation from Carl Orff himself:

O Fortune, like the moon of ever changing state, you are always waxing or waning; hateful life now is brutal, now pampers our feelings with its game; poverty, power, it melts them like ice.

Fate, savage and empty, you are a turning wheel, your position is uncertain, your favour is idle and always likely to disappear; covered in shadows and veiled you bear upon me too; now my back is naked through the sport of your wickedness.

The chance of prosperity and of virtue is not now mine; whether willing or not, a man is always liable for Fortune’s service. At this hour without delay touch the strings! Because through luck she lays low the brave, all join with me in lamentation!

I mourn the blows of Fortune with flowing eyes, because her gifts she has treacherously taken back from me. Opportunity is rightly described as having hair on her forehead, but there usually follows the bald patch at the back.

On the throne of Fortune I had sat elated, crowned with the gay flower of prosperity; however much I flourished, happy and blessed, now I have fallen from the pinnacle, deprived of my glory.

The wheel of Fortune turns; I sink, debased; another is raised up; lifted too high, a king sits on the top; let him beware of ruin! Under the axle we read, Queen Hecuba.