stupid bitch that i am, i assumed that the lyrics to several bloodborne soundtrack songs that are widely available online were sourced from somewhere official. it turns out this is not true. what actually happened is that like 7 years ago, random people on gameFAQs attempted to listen to/transcribe the lyrics they heard and no one since has challenged these interpretations EXCEPT ONE PERSON who somehow did a worse job. we’re going to call one set of lyrics “FAQs lyrics” and the other “sheet music lyrics”.
here’s the problems with the FAQ lyrics:
- they do not know latin and are trying to transcribe it.
- they do not know latin pronunciation is different from modern english.
- they did not know there is a difference between ecclesiastical latin (which is what these lyrics are in) and roman latin (classic? i dont care).
- most of the words they heard are not even words that exist
- the translations are completely different from the original text and seemingly retrofitted to force “lore” into creation.
i am pissed. this is some of the sloppiest dipshit work i’ve ever seen and the fact that it was apparently accomplished by committee is even more infuriating. at no point did people think to do .01 second searches to even check if what they wrote down is a word in any language or to check a translation source other than just dumping it into google translate. the intellectual laziness on behalf of the original creators is bad enough, but seeing them reposted in a million different places as the real lyrics because no one bothered to check is depressing.
i did “hail the nightmare” myself after what felt like an eternity of listening to a song that is not a banger over and over and over and piggy-backing off the original in an attempt to create something that i can say fairly certainly is the most accurate version (not THE accurate version). i took a look at “laurence the first vicar” last night and it’s. goddamn it guys lol. goddamn.
but the thing is, here’s my problem:
- i also dont know latin
- i have a degree in drawing and a minor in english. at best my spanish is 3/5.
- im stupid.
- i cant hear shit.
my methodology is probably exactly the same as theirs: listen over and over until you want to die and try to determine what noises a chorus is screaming in a different language. then write down those noises and shuffle them around to make words. i use latin dictionaries and good old google translate because apparently every translation service now that uses them. but it’s the dictionary that makes the difference. and a latin translation guide. thank you so much to youtube nerds. what would we do without you.
this is the most author’s commentary i’ll get about the original guys who attempted to translate this but i would be seriously curious to know which, if any, had attended a catholic mass regularly at any point in their lives. we went on sundays when i was a kid and while the songs aren’t IN latin anymore, the musical structure of the hymns are the same. the original translators heard breaks in words where i heard none. i’ll try to explain more below.
if you want to try to follow along, here’s a guy with the wrong lyrics:
literally from 0:00 it’s wrong. the first line he has as “sic fili scite tibi vi sacramentum” which he’s translated as “so, you imposed the sacrament on the children”. wtf.
right off on “sic”, there’s no “c” sound to be heard (come on, you know “sic semper tyrannis”, the c is not silent) and while the next two are words that exist, they make no sense in the context of the rest of…uhhh. anything. there’s 0 clever little boys in bloodborne, they’re all stupid british people.
im pretty sure the word involved is actually “felix”, as in “lucky”. here’s where i fall apart: is it
- conjugated? because all those conjugations sound VERY similar.
- involve reflexive pronouns? these songs often address the listener so we get a lot of verbs that end with “-te”
- getting munched up with a bunch of prepositions?? (e, et, si, and everyone’s favorite cum)
my best guess is “si felici te” which im fairly certain is closer to “if you are lucky”. but in a church (ecclesiastical) context, it’s more like “blessed”.
if you’re catholic and listening to this maybe you can tell what i mean by “they hear breaks in words” where i don’t. this also leads to them assuming each line is an individual statement instead of all the lyrics being a complete thought.
anyway. “tibi” is a word, good job. i had to triple check here the difference between “vi” and “vis” and it turns out i don’t think “vi” is a thing lol. it turns out it is “vis”. as in “vis a vis”. “strength”.
oh yeah, about the sheet music lyrics. they are very rarely useful as anything but a backup for ideas. mostly because the guy managed to mishear “sacramentum” as
no notes on the next section except ummm you spelled praemium wrong op -_-;;; geeze op.
anyway, my final take is:
SI FELICI TE TIBI VI SACRAMENTUM.
ERIT PRAEMIUM SANGUINE SANCTUM.
IF YOU ARE BLESSED WITH THE STRENGTH FOR COMMUNION
YOU WILL BE REWARDED WITH HOLY BLOOD
finally something that makes some fucking sense. there’s no way my conjugations are correct but this literally feels like someone gave me sliced white bread and ketchup and told me to make spaghetti. i dont think i can do this for all of them.
but: my methodology is sound. understand my pain.