As long as you live, be bright
Don’t be sorrowful;
Short is life
The end time requires.
Tant que tu vis, brille !
Ne t’afflige absolument de rien !
La vie ne dure guère.
Le temps exige son tribut.
The following is a transliteration of the original words of the Seikilos epitaph which are sung to the beautiful melody: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUkabSGrK7I
Hoson zēs, phainou
Mēden holōs sy lypou;
Pros oligon esti to zēn
To telos ho chronos apaitei
“The Seikilos epitaph is the oldest surviving example of a complete musical composition, including musical notation, from anywhere in the world. The song, the melody of which is recorded, alongside its lyrics, in the ancient Greek musical notation, was found engraved on a tombstone, near Ephesus (in today’s Turkey). The find has been dated variously from around 200 BC to around AD 100.
Also on the tombstone is an indication that states:
“I am a tombstone, an icon.
Seikilos placed me here as an everlasting sign of
While older music with notation exists (for example the Delphic Hymns), all of it is in fragments; the Seikilos epitaph is unique in that it is a complete, though short, composition”.