Mental Floss

Hear the Pop Song "Pompeii" Sung in the Language of Pompeii

Arika Okrent

A couple of years ago, an English band named for a French fortress had a big hit with a song about a Roman city. The song “Pompeii” by Bastille inspired a host of cover artists on YouTube who posted everything from a cappella covers to Mad Men style covers to cup song covers. The best cover, however (which I just discovered), was the Latin language translation cover by Heleen Uytterhoeven.  After all, as she says, “a song with a title of ancient Roman city deserves a Latin translation."

Not only is it positively lovely, it will help you learn to say things like Sed si tu claudis oculos, sentit paene quasi nihil tranformavit? (But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all?) and Quomodo ero optimi animi? (How am I gonna be an optimist about this?). This is certainly something to be optimistic about. Pop songs in Latin! Latin lives!