The Warrior's Anthem

The song starting with the words Qoy qeylIS puqloD is sometimes referred to as The Warrior's anthem. In Klingon, the song is called SuvwI' van bom (1). It was first heard in the 1996 game Star Trek: Klingon and afterwards sung in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine "Soldiers of the Empire" which first aired on 29 April 1997.

History

KCD executive producer Keith Halper explains how the song was written:(2)
The way that was written that Hilary [Bader] wrote something in English, then she faxed it out to Marc Okrand. Then Okrand translated it to Klingon and put his literal translation below the Klingon verses. The literal translation is always skewed a bit, so if you send him 'Row, row, row your boat,' you'll get back 'Propel, propel, propel your craft.'

The actors who sing this song in KCD pronounce the first word of the fourth line as SeymoHchu'. Both versions make sense, and the actors would be likely to mispronounce Say' as Sey. The correct version has Say' (3). Although Okrand translated the song, it appears that he didn't coach the actors, who relied on someone's phonetic transcription, probably directly from the script.

The song appeared on the Simon & Schuster website promoting the Star Trek: Day of Honor series of novels. That website is long gone, but it also included the original English lyrics by Hilary Bader, and a back-translation from Klingon into English by Dr. Okrand. (see below)

The text of the song also appears in a few Keith R. A. DeCandido novels.(4)

Lyrics

Original Lyrics by Hilary Bader

Hear! Sons of Kahless.
Hear! Daughters too.
The blood of battle washes clean
The Warrior brave and true.
We fight, we love, and then we kill.
Our lives burn short and bright,
Then we die with honor and join our fathers in the Black Fleet where
we battle forever, battling on through the Eternal fight.

Translation by Marc Okrand

Qoy qeylIS puqloD
Qoy puqbe'pu'
yoHbogh matlhbogh je SuvwI'
Say'moHchu' may' 'Iw
maSuv manong 'ej maHoHchu'
nI'be' yInmaj 'ach wovqu'
batlh maHeghbej 'ej yo' qIjDaq
vavpu'ma' DImuv
pa' reH maSuvtaHqu'
mamevQo'. maSuvtaH. ma'ov.

Okrand's literal back translation

Hear! sons of Kahless.
Hear! daughters.
The battle blood perfectly cleans the warrior who is brave and loyal.
We fight, we're passionate, and we kill perfectly.
Our lives are not long, but they're very bright.
We certainly die, and we join our fathers in the Black Fleet.
There we always really continue fighting.
We won't stop. We continue fighting. We compete.

Grammatical issues

The third line (yoHbogh matlhbogh je SuvwI') breaks a rule of word order, adding a conjunction for nouns (je) at the end of two -bogh verbs. The grammatically correct phrase should read yoHbogh 'ej matlhbogh SuvwI'.

Marc Okrand has said somewhere in an interview (not sure, but likely at qepHom 2011) that he had tried to preserve the flavour or spirit of Hilary Bader's English lyrics in the translation, or something to that effect. While that doesn't explicitly explain the grammar of this sentence, it seems to mirror the archaic grammar of the English: "warrior brave and true", as opposed to the standard "brave and true warrior". So we can assume that saying yoHbogh matlhbogh je SuvwI' rather than yoHbogh SuvwI' 'ej matlhbogh in Klingon is like saying "warrior brave and true" rather than "brave and true warrior" in English. People will understand what you mean, but it sounds odd outside of poetry, song, or ritualised speech.

Closed Captions

Closed captions from the DSN episode.

Thanks to Steven Boozer for providing this entry, 5/29/1998.

First, as they enter warp at the start of their mission:

[Worf begins by pounding fist rhythmically on console]

KOI KEH LESS POOK LOAD

[Dax joins in]

KOI POOK BEH POO 
YOCH BOW MATH BOW JE SHUV WEE 
SAY MOACH CHU MAY EW 
MAH SHOOV MAH NONG EJ MA CHOCH CHEW

[crew joins in]

NEE BEH YIN MAHJ ACH WOV COO 
BATH MA CHETH BEJJ EJ YO KEEJ 
DAHK VAV POO MA DEE MUV 
PA RECH MA SHOOV TACH KOO 
MA MEV KO MA SHOOV TACH MA OV 
KOI KEH LESS POOK LOAD 
KOI POOK BEH POO...

[fade out]

Second, as the crew prepares to cross the Cardassian border:

[Tavana begins by pounding fist rhythmically on console]

KOI KEH LESS POOK LOAD

[All]

KOI POOK BEH POO 
YOCH BOW MATH BOW JE SHUV WEEE 
SAY MOACH CHU MAY EW...

[Martok orders, "Mahk-cha!" (Engage)]

MAH SHOOV MAH NONG EJ MA CHOCH CHEW 
NEE BEH YIN MAHJ ACH WOV, COO! 
BATH MA CHETH BEJJ EJ YO KEEJ DAHK 
VAV POO MA DEE MUV PA RECH MA SHOOV TACH 
KOO MA MEV KO MA SHOOV TACH MA OV

[laughter]

KOI KEH LESS POOK LOAD 
KOI POOK BEH POO 
YOCH BOW MATH BOW JE SHUV WEEE 
SAY MOACH CHU MAY EW 
MAH SHOOV MAH NONG 
EJ MA CHOCH CHEW 
NEE BEH YIN MAHJ ACH WOV, COO! 
BATH MA CHETH BEJJ EJ YO KEEJ DAHK 
VAV POO MA DEE MUV PA RECH MA SHOOV TACH 
KOO MA MEV KO MA SHOOV TACH MA OV.

[fade out]

See also

References

1 : Klingon for the Galactic Traveler, p. 175

2 : 1996, Star Trek: Klingon, the novelization, p. 212

3 : Marc Okrand at qepHom 10, 11/11/2011

4 : Search result on Google Books

External Links

Category: Music    Latest edit: 27 Mar 2021, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 03 Mar 2014 by LieVen
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