Karl Orff’s Carmina Burana – Do you want to understand the in jokes but you don’t speak medieval German and Latin? I would hate for any singers or listeners to experience this great masterpiece as just a succession of nonsensical syllables set to music. There is so much more enjoyment to be had when you understand the words, and so I set out to write a set of commentaries to accomplish that goal. After an overall introduction there’s an individual essay for each section. My hope is that the voices and personalities of the lyrics will come alive for you so that you experience the huge range of emotions contained in these pieces. Even though the original authors lived many hundreds of years ago, we can identify with them if we understand what they’re actually saying. From the cries of a roast swan, to the weeping of someone broken by the turns of fate, to the joyful shouts of lovers, I hope you’ll gain a new understanding of them all. This material isn’t meant to be scholarly or definitive, but to be . . . fun.