I wish to emphasize that I do not recommend the anime Elfen Lied. It is apparently really gorgeous, but also really really nastily violent, really really full of Akira-type psychics who explode heads, and has decided that normal anime fan service with naked women just isn’t naked enough, besides having some silly stuff about God sending mutant horned women to destroy the world. Some would say I shouldn’t judge this anime until I’ve seen it. Aehhhh…I say no. Bleaching images out of braincells is just too much work.
However, since the Anime Powers That Be have decided that the perfect theme song for this show is one with Latin chant, lyrics, translation, and annotation must be provided. The song is all in Latin.
OS IUSTI MEDITABITUR SAPIENTIAM
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom
ET LINGUA EIUS LOQUETUR IUDICIUM
And his tongue shall speak judgement
BEATUS VIR QUI SUFFERIT TENTATIONEM
Blessed the man who resists temptation
QUONIAM CUM PROBATUS FUERIT ACCIPIET CORONAM VITAE
For when proved he shall receive the crown of life
KYRIE, IGNIS DIVINE, ELEISON
Lord, Divine Fire, have mercy
O QUAM SANCTA, QUAM SERENA
O how holy, how serene
QUAM BENIGNA, QUAM AMOENA,
How benevolent, how comforting,
O CASTITATIS LILIUM
O Lily of Chastity.
“Os iusti meditabitur sapientiam et lingua eius loquetur iudicium” is from the Latin Vulgate translation of Psalm 36:30. “The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom: and his tongue shall speak judgment.”
“Beatus vir qui suffert temptacionem quoniam cum probatus fuerit accipiet coronam vite quam repromisit deus diligentibus se” is James 1:12. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for, when he hath been proved, he shall receive the crown of life which God hath promised to them that love him.” It’s also an antiphon used for the Common of One Martyr. More to the point, a setting of said antiphon was on the Dominican Monks of St. Silos’ album Chant. The first chapter of James has a similar theme to Psalm 36.
“Kyrie Eleison” is the old Greek words for “Lord, have mercy”. They are still occasionally used in the Catholic Mass, both in the vernaculars and in Latin Masses. However, the text “Kyrie, Ignis Divine” comes from Nicolas Melchior Cibenensis’ Alchemical Mass. If this sucker wasn’t heretical, it certainly wasn’t approved by canon law. Boy, and I thought they came up with pretentious liturgies in the seventies!
The final part of “Lilium” uses words from the sequence “Ave mundi spes Maria” (Hail Mary, Hope of the World). “O quam sancta, quam serena, quam benigna, quam amoena esse virgo creditur!” translates out as “O how holy, how serene, how benign, how comforting is this maiden who believed!” Then “O castitatis lilium, tuum precare filium, qui salus est humilium” is “O lily of chastity, pray to your son who is health to the humble”. (A more readable version is here, but it’s on a rather strange site….)
Presumably, the point of the song is that the “just man” (the kid who’s hiding the genetically engineered girl) has to undergo trials, while the mutant girl is being compared to Mary. Or possibly the producers just liked the tune.