Sunday, July 15, 2012

Monastic Workout

"In Faux Parts"

The challenge was to write a motivational workout song that would "pump up the listener". While I know the judges are thinking of songs like "Eye of the Tiger", I couldn't help but notice that in a shocking oversight, they forgot to define who the listener was! Everybody writes songs for the judges... most people write songs for themselves. I decided to write a song for an audience that's mostly overlooked these days.

So here I imagine a bunch of monks working out, singing. The rhythm is intended to be produced by the working tools of the monks, or by your feet... which is why I don't perform it... the silent rhythm is on purpose. This started out as a monophonic Gregorian chant, then I found I needed to step up the rhythm a bit because this is what I wanted to hear. So I re-worked it and added a counterpoint. This is therefore not  intended to follow any actual monastic tradition. Rather, these are "Hollywood monks" of my imagination.

The Latin, however, is real, and is an original composition. It's been a while since I've used Latin, so this probably stinks grammatically, but I think it's passable. I got it to rhyme where it matters and to get the meter where I wanted it. I have made NO attempt to put the English translation into similar shape. It's in Latin, and that's that.

Now, some folks might say this isn't properly motivational. The monks in this song sing of how crappy their lives are. They're tired, their robes itch, and they want a decent meal. But they exercise and push on because they love God. What else would motivate a monk? I hope you don't think I'm trying to motivate you, you selfish thing! No, my target audience consists of just 15 guys.

Musically, this is clocking in at a tempo of 106 beats per minute. For comparison, Monastic Workout is a little faster than Smash Mouth's So Insane (104bpm). It's ideal for running. According to jog.fm,  this pace will get you through a one-mile run in 14:24. Not too shabby. Other recommended exercises are weeding, hoeing, raking, plowing, and milking the cows.



There's an English translation after the Latin.

Excercere Monasticae  
===============================
Dolor et corporis infirmitate.
Ego sum ​​imperfecti.
Deo me vires exercere
Deo me vires perseverare
Lorem me perfectioris in conspectu tuo.

Ubi tempus erit mihi
Panem quotidianum.
Lorem fame pereant,
Ego comedent
equum.
Sum defessus satis mori.
Ego accubare hic moriar.

Vos me levare.
Et me currere.
Et me natare.
Et me salire.

Tunc me gerunt haec stolis maledictus.
Volo ad gerunt
BRACCIS
Ego trucidare cibum
IN VENERIS

Vos me levare.
Et me currere.
Et me natare.
Et me salire.

------------------------
contrapunctum:
------------------------
Gloria Patri
Gloria Fili
Et Spiritu Sancti
Gloria Maria
Gloria Deo
Gloria Deo


=============================== 
English Translation 
=============================== 
(Wracked with) pain and weakness of the body.
I am an imperfect being.
God give me strength to exercise
God give me strength to persevere
Please make me more perfect in thy sight.

Soon it will be time for lunch.
I'm hungry enough to eat a horse!
I'm tired enough to die.
I'm going to lie down here and die!

You lift me up.
And make me run.
And make me swim.
And make me leap.

Then I wear these damned robes.
And wish I had
PANTS!
I would kill for meat
on Friday!

You lift me up.
And make me run.
And make me swim.
And make me leap.

------------------------
The counterpoint:
------------------------
Glory to the Father
Glory to the Son,
And the Holy Spirit
Glory to Mary
Glory to God
Glory to God!

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