Thursday, August 13, 2009

Don't step on my sandals of sky-blue leather

Following the last post I thought I would do a post on the translation of contemporary music into ancient languages.

I stumbled onto what looks like something I would love to hear, but i can't find any samples online. It looks so great though, that I wanted to do a post about it anyway. -
Dr. Jukka Ammondt, a literature professor at Jyvaskila University in Finland, who had previously recorded several Cd's of Elvis songs in Latin, decided to collaborate with Simo Parpula,, a professor of Assyriology at the University of Helsinki. Ammondt recorded a CD of three songs sung in Sumerian including "Blue Suede Shoes", translated by Parpula. It comes as close to the 1950's meet the 1950's B.C as is possible. Ammondt once met Carl Perkins, who wrote and recorded the original version of "Blue Suede Shoes".

Parpula was interviewed by Reuters in 1999, when the collaboration was in progress, He avoided the temptation to incorporate modern words and phrases into the translations. The rhythm and meter of English and Sumerian are similar enough so translating them wasn't a problem. "Blue Suede Shoes" translated as
"E-sír kusv-za-gìn-g-á"."on my sandals of sky-blue leather do not step". He thinks that Elvis's music would have fit in well with the cult associated with the Goddess Inanna

Here's the interview with Simo Parpula.

Some excerpts of Elvis songs sung in Latin.

Dr. Armont's Cd's seem to only be available from his website.

"Ur's answer to Elvis.

Another interesting article:

Here's Carl Perkins singing "Blue Suede Shoes"

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