The Song of the Sibyl is a prophetic chant and ancient poem popularized in the Middle Ages. It announces the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Final Judgment and the End of the World.
The song is said to be a prophecy of the Sibyl (likely the Erythraean Sibyl), one of the virgin prophetesses of Greek antiquity. It is a liturgical drama based on an acrostic poem first recorded in Greek, which spells out: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior Crucified for Us.
French author Dr. Jean-Frederic Brun explains:
"The Fathers of the Church frequently recalled the testimonies of the Sibyls, whose oracles had been, probably during the last third of the third century, written in Greek and collected in 14 books or songs, many of which were certainly Christian interpolations... Attributed to the Eritrean Sibyl, this fragment was cited by the Emperor Constantine in his speech Ad sanctorum coetùm, then translated into Latin and introduced in a sermon De Symbolo, the author of which was long passed to be none other than St. Augustine himself.
"We know how this famous sermon took early, in the Latin Church, a place in the liturgy: It was recited in many places, on Christmas Day, at Matins; soon, the sibylline fragment was sung in the form of a versus either in procession, or accompanying a "game" or "mystery" or, more often, after one of the lessons of the 2nd Nocturne. M. Marius Sepet, moreover, has shown how the liturgical drama emerged from this sermon, famous throughout Christendom. For the artists of the Middle Ages, the Sibyl became the profound symbol of the expectation of the Gentiles; a place was reserved for her at the portal of cathedrals, and the inspired mysterious [prophetess] still haunted the imagination of poets for a long time."
The song was popularized throughout Christendom, until performance of the Song of Sibyl was banned in the Council of Trent (the prohibition of the chant is unclear, and seems to more of a circumstantial character rather than content-related). Nevertheless, performances still continued in Mallorca, and a revival of the chant has become especially popular in Mallorca, Catalonia and the Spanish-speaking world in recent years.
The Song of the Sibyl is the Latin version translated by St. Augustine of Hippo, and is here interpreted by the TFP Choir, at a time when Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, eminent Catholic layman & founder of TFP, was still alive and directing the Group in the fulfillment of its mission to fight the Revolution in the Church and Society (more on that here and here).
Note: This version is an abridged adaptation of the chant (we have included the sung text below in red), but we have included the entire text and translation below.
Audite quid dixerit Sibilla:
1. Iudicii signum tellus sudore madescet
E celo Rex adveniet per secla futurus
Scilicet in carne presens ut iudicet orbem.
2. Unde Deum cernent incredulus atque fidelis
Celsum cum Sanctis enim iam termino in ipso.
3. Sic anime cum carne aderunt, quas iudicat ipse
Cum iacet incultus densis in uepribus orbis.
4. Reicient simulacra uiri cunctam quoque gazam
Exuret terras ignis pontumque polumque.
5. Inquirens tetri portas effringet Auerni
Sanctorum sed enim cuncte lux libera carni.
6. Tradetur Sontes eterna flamma cremabit
Occultos actus retegens tunc quisque loquetur.
7. Secreta atque Deus reserabit pectora luci
Tunc erit et luctus [bonum] stridebunt dentibus omnes.
8. Eripitur solis iubar et chorus interit astris
Volvetur celum lunaris splendor obibit.
9. Deiciet colles valles extollet ab imo
Non erit in rebus hominum sublime vel altum.
10. Iam aequantur campis montes et cerula ponti
Omnia cessabunt tellus confracta peribit.
11. Sic pariter fontes torrentur fluminaque igni
Sed tuba tum sonitum tristem demittet ab alto.
12. Orbe, gemens facinus miserum variosque labores
Tartareumque chaos monstrauit terra dehiscens.
13. Et coram hic Domino reges sistentur ad unum
Reccidet e celo ignisque et sulphuris amnis.
English translation (2):
Hear what the Sibyl said:
1. As a sign of Judgment, the earth will be drenched with sweat.
A King will come down from Heaven for the ages to come,
[A King] come in the flesh to judge the world.
2. The unbelievers and the faithful will see God,
Raised with the Saints, at the end of time.
3. Souls will come with their mortal bodies to be judged,
While the uncultivated globe lies, among thick brambles.
4. Men will reject appearances and all treasure.
The fire will scorch the earth, the air and the sea.
5. In pursuit of Him, he will break through the gates of dark Hell,
But, in fact, the light frees the flesh of all the saints.
6. The wicked will be handed over & eternal flame burn them,
And each one of them will speak, revealing his hidden acts.
7. And God will bring to light [what is] most hidden [in] His chest
[For the good.] There will be crying, and great gnashing of teeth.
8. The sun will darken, the chorus of stars will be extinguished.
The sky will stir, the moon will lose its radiance.
9. He will bring down the hills, the valleys rise from the bottom.
There will no longer be anything sublime or elevated in humanity.
10. The mountains, plain & the immensity of seas will be equal,
All things shall cease, & the cracked earth will disappear.
11. Likewise, springs and rivers will be dried up by fire.
From on high, the trumpet will sound a sad sound.
12. The world lamenting its miserable crime and all its efforts,
The open land will show the deep chaos of Tartarus.
13. Here, before the Lord, kings will present themselves as one.
Fire and a torrent of brimstone will fall from the sky.