Greetings to the singers, poets, drinkers, and wits of the East Kingdom! Lady Aildreda de Tamwurthe issues unto you a convivial challenge for the festival season, to be answered at Twelfth Night in the Barony of Concordia of the Snows.
The cheerful poets of Beuern have left us many jolly songs and poems about the simple pleasures of drinking and good cheer, and one of the most familiar is “Bache Bene Venies”. Like all good drinking songs, it has many many verses – each long enough to be clever, but short enough to let everyone who only knows the refrain sing it often and boisterously.
My challenge to you – write me a NEW verse! It can be in Latin, it can be in English – the only requirement is that it scan to the original and that it address the same subjects of pastimes in good company. We can sing it together, or with any like-minded friends, or I can sing it *to* you – and in the spirit of the song, if you bring me a new verse, I will buy you a drink from the fine establishment that is hosting our Twelfth Night revel. (If you prefer not to drink spiritous libations, fret not – I am certain that we can work out an appropriate exchange in the moment!)
A recording of the tune for reference is included below; it is one of *many*, so do feel free to go out and find any that you love.
And here are a few verses and the chorus, to give you a sense (general translation provided also):
1. Bache bene venies gratus et optatus
per quem noster animus fit letificatus
Welcome, Bacchus, pleasing and desired,
through whom our spirits are made joyful.
R: Istud vinum bonum vinum vinum generosum
reddit virum curialem probum animosum
This wine, good wine, kindly wine,
makes a man noble, honest, spirited.
2. Iste cyphus concavus de bono mero profluus
siquis bibit sepius satur fit et ebrius
This hollow cup overflows with good wine;
of anyone drinks often he will be sated and drunk.
3. Bachus venas penetrans calido liquore
facit eas igneas Veneris ardore.
Bacchus entering their veins with hot liquor
sets them afire with the heat of Venus.
Ooh! I look forward to hearing your merry words! And if you have any questions, please contact me at this address.
- Aildreda de Tamwurthe, Dean of Belles Lettres, East Kingdom College of Performers