If Turkeys could sing …

November 25, 2015 at 8:55 am

… they would sing this little aria out of Carl Orff‘s drunken oratorio, Carmina Burana.

You’ve heard Carmina Burana before – everyone has, thanks to the opening chorus. People can’t get enough of this one. You can find it in movies, video games, commercials, sports events, and flash mobs (I was there!) But unless you’ve gone to a performance of the complete work, you probably haven’t heard this selection.

It’s sort of the swan-song of, well, a swan – a swan who was roasted and eaten. Just pretend it’s a turkey and it’ll work fine for tomorrow’s “gobble till you wobble” meal.

While the performance below is okay, I wasn’t able to find a video of a performance that I really liked. This aria is written in a horrible range for a tenor to sing in – it was written to sound drunken and terrible. All the videos I found had singers who sounded too good, and the effect is lost. The awkward, silly bassoon solo at the begins sets the mood for some trashy singing. Perhaps tomorrow, after I feast on bird, I will record myself singing this, and post it tomorrow so you can hear what it should sound like.

I wish you safe travels if you are on the road or in the air today. Happy Thanksgiving!

When I was a swan, I was beautiful; I lived on the lakes.
O how miserable! Now I am charred and fiercely roasting! 
The servant turns me on a spit; I burn upon my pyre; the waiter serves me for dinner. 
O how miserable! Now I am charred and fiercely roasting!  
I lie upon a plate; I will never fly again; all I see are gnashing teeth. 
O how miserable! Now I am charred and fiercely roasting!