Bonum vinum (Anonymous)

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  • (Posted 2008-06-29)  CPDL #17387:        (Finale 2006)
Editor: Sabine Cassola (submitted 2008-06-29).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 53 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: File Sizes: MIDI: 4 KB, Finale 2006: 63 KB.

General Information

Title: Bonum Vinum
Composer: Anonymous
Source of Text: This text is a very brief excerpt from a popular Goliardic drinking song that appears in many versions.

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1480 in Glogauer Liederbuch, no. 215

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Bonum vinum cum sapore
bibit abbas cum priore,
sed conventus de peiore
semper solet bibere.
Bibit semper misere,
qui non habet solvere.

English.png English translation

The abbot drinks good flavorful wine
with the prior.
But the congregation is always used
to drinking worse stuff.
One always drinks miserably
if he doesn't have anything to pay with.
Translation by Paul Pascal

Note: This translation is rather free, to keep it appropriately colloquial. It does not try to preserve the original line breaks in English because of the freer word order of Latin. Also, "conventus" doesn't exactly mean "the congregation." It refers rather to the whole varied population of a monastery or a convent.