I quote an ancient Latin hymn for St. John the Baptist's Day:
* queant laxis
*bii reatum, Sancte Joannes.
What syllables are missing?
What special meaning do they have?
Why was St.J. more suitable than some other saint?
<<<< SPOILER ALERT >>>>
Taking Ady's advice I did some Google (sorry 6 years of high school Latin, maybe next time).
The Hymn to St. John the Baptist is the origin it seems of the "do re mi" musical scale syllables, also called Solfege (with an accent grave on the first 'e').
The first stanza is:
<DL> <DD>Ut queant laxis
<DL> <DD>resonare fibris
,</DD></DL></DD> <DD>Mira gestorum
<DL> <DD>famuli tuorum,
</DD></DL></DD> <DD>Solve polluti
<DL> <DD>labii reatum,
</DD></DL></DD> <DD>Sancte Iohannes.
It may be translated: So that your servants may, with loosened voices, resound the wonders of your deeds, clean the guilt from our stained lips, O Saint John. "
"Ut" was later changed to "Do"; and "Si" was changed to "Ti".
You can also click to hear some of the song, at the above link.
Edited on November 29, 2010, 9:00 am
Posted by Larry
on 2010-11-29 08:59:23