Somnio Candidum Diem

The words and music to "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" are by Irving Berlin, and I've found two delightful Latin translations online! The song was written by Berlin in 1940 and was made famous by the 1942 film "Holiday Inn," in which Bing Crosby sings the song. It was a massively popular success, topping the Billboard charts for 11 weeks, and going on to become the best-selling Christmas single of all time, and Bing Crosby's best-selling record. There is an exhaustive list at Wikipedia of the many musical artists who have done their own recordings of the song.

I found this Latin translation at several websites, but with no attribution. Does anybody know who translated "White Christmas" into Latin?

Som-nio candidum diem,
simil'eis quos noveram.
Ecce! lucet arbor,
natorum ardor,
tintinnabul'n nive.

Som-nio candidum diem,
Dum omnem chartam inscribo.
Dies tui ut clarescant,
Candidae Nativitates sint.


I also found a version at this unattributed translation:

Diem Christi album somnio
Persimilem praeteritis,
Ubi arbores nitent
Natique ardent nolis trahae nivosis.

Diem Christi album somnio
Ut in omni charta scribo,
Dies sint festivi tibi
Et festa nivalia Christi.


4 comments:

Janet said...

In the seventies when I was in Catholic school translation of this was a class assignment for latin class. Who translated it? Hundreds of St. Joseph College School girls for certain.

Laura Gibbs said...

If only we had had the Internet back then so that all the translations could have been collected and passed on!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

I learned the "White Christmas" Latin version--"Diem Christi albam somnio..." etc., in my first year of Latin, 1945-46. I don't know where our teacher found it. A few years ago I wrote it out to check it with a friend who had taught Latin and Greek at Rhodes College. I had written the third word as it is here, "album," but he changed it to "albam." My Latin dictionary gives "Dies" as feminine in the singular. I don't recall Latin well enough to speak on these fine points of grammar. But I notice "album" here.

Fred

Anonymous said...

I learned the "White Christmas" Latin version--"Diem Christi albam somnio..." etc., in my first year of Latin, 1945-46. I don't know where our teacher found it. A few years ago I wrote it out to check it with a friend who had taught Latin and Greek at Rhodes College. I had written the third word as it is here, "album," but he changed it to "albam." My Latin dictionary gives "Dies" as feminine in the singular. I don't recall Latin well enough to speak on these fine points of grammar. But I notice "album" here.

Fred