Web Opera

A Greek Slave
Chorus of Saturnalia and Tarantella

Song No. 20

Io! Saturnalia!

Play MIDI File MIDI File 35K, 3 min. 51 seconds. MIDI Karaoke Version


(During long musical introduction, some slaves rush out from the Villa, line the parapets, look over and throw flowers to the unseen procession of Saturnalia. Melanopis and Archias are decked out in flowers. Slaves come in holiday dress, men with caps, on the terrace, throwing flowers over the parapet, laughing and jesting)


Hail Saturnian
Pour Falernian
In libations!
All sobriety
Is impiety;
Quaff potations!
Io! Saturnalia!
Io! Saturnalia!

Mistress merrily
Now the maid is,
Slaves are verily
Lords and ladies!
Wit and knavery
Strut in bravery
Laughing slavery
Down to Hades!

Io! Saturnalia!
Io! Saturnalia!
Io! Saturnalia!

To-day the world is festal,
From Cæsar to the clown.
The Pontiff and the Vestal
To folly bow them down!
Then Io, Saturnalia!
We raise the sacred shout;
And drain the skin till wine is in,
And merry wit is out.

To-day's the time of laughter,
The happy holiday;
The working days come after,
But now the world's at play!
So Io, Saturnalia!
And join the merry rout —
The days begin when wine is in,
And merry wit is out!

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Page created 21 November 2001