minstrel: Ecce Macdonaldus Senex

John LaTorre jlatorre at midtown.net
Thu Feb 10 11:59:22 PST 2000

Jessica Tiffin wrote:

> greetings, minstrels all.
> I emerge from lurk mode with an off-chance sort of query.  Our vocal
> group is currently working on a rather hysterical arrangement of "Old
> Macdonald Had A Farm," translated into Latin and with a pretty
> complex four-part harmony.

Those of you amused by such things might want to seek out a parody of "Chant" that
came out a few years back. It was released as a book/CD from Workman Publishing in
New York.

It's called "Grunt --Pigorian Chant from Snouto Domoinko de Silo -- Discovered,
Translated, Notated, and Illuminated by Sandra Boynton." All the animals sing in
Latin (except for the pigs, who sing in Pig Latin, of course). The "Aurora"
section has the farmyard poultry and cattle singing "Macdonaldus Senex fundum
habet" ... perhaps the source of your version.

ISBN 0-7611-0594-8. Check it out. It's a hoot. At an event, we had it playing on a
concealed solar-powered CD Boombox (rigged up by Lord Ayabe Ichiro, of whom his
lady says "It's like camping with the Connecticut Yankee.") From a distance, it
sounded like fairly straightforward Gregorian Chant, but the Latin speakers were
walking away with silly grins on their faces.

John LaTorre (Johann von Drachenfels)

"Always do right. It will gratify some people & astonish the rest."
--Mark Twain

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