To see these lyrics in the original Latin, click here.
At an inn, in the early evening
The usual people are here.
Near me, an old man is drinking wine,
And fondling his tankard like this.
He says, "Boy, sing those songs.
I forgot their words long ago,
But they're soft and they're sweet;
I knew all their words
When I was a boy like you."
Indeed, sing songs of joy.
Sing songs, singer.
We feel a need to escape.
Sing to us of freedom.
My master the innkeeper often laughs,
And refills my glass to the brim.
Making a living is easy for him, but I know
He doesn't want to be here.
He says, "Boy, this is grinding me down."
When he speaks, he isn't laughing.
He returns once more to the cups,
And pours out the liquor again.
Marcus is a well-known merchant.
Business hinders love.
Now he's talking to Gnaeus,
Who is a foot-soldier,
And will be for fifteen years.
Solitude is a bitter poison,
Which is drunk by the crowd.
A cup like that tastes bad,
But it is better than thirst.
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