Posted in Ancient Rome, film scores, History, movies, music, writing

Now We Are Free

Next on the list of things I’m obsessing about:

This video pulls together three tracks, “Honor Him”, “Elysium” and “Now We Are Free”  from the movie “Gladiator.” It’s bittersweet, but somehow celebratory. “Gladiator” is one of my favorite movies ever. I would follow Maximus into Hades if he asked.

These particular pieces were composed by Lisa Gerrard and Klaus Badelt, and Hans Zimmer. The vocals are all Lisa (of Dead Can Dance, who are touring again).  Don’t try to understand or translate the lyrics, they’re in a language that Lisa made up and started using around the age of 12, when she would talk to God (technically known as ‘idioglossia’, an idiosyncratic language). I love the idea of this. You have to listen at a heart level, there’s no direct translation into English. This site gives what is apparently a phonetic rendering of the words. I have no idea how accurate it is, but it seems about right. Some of the rest of the soundtrack is classic Hans Zimmer, you can hear foreshadowing of “Pirates of the Caribbean” in one segment, but these three tracks are all Lisa. Has she been called a mystic? I don’t know, but she seems to fit the description. Yes I know the movie came out twelve years ago, but I didn’t obsess about things back then the way I do now. I was reminded of it several months ago when I ran across someone claiming Enya sang it, then I had to know everything (you know how I get).

Idioglossia seems to differ from glossolalia in that it is something children seem to use more than anyone else, not always in context of religion or religious fervor, the way glossolalia is. Glossolalia is also known as the language of angels, or ‘speaking in tongues.’  There’s also something called xenoglossia where someone is able to speak or write a language they never learned by natural means.

I had always associated glossolalia with Charismatic and Pentecostal Christians, I had no idea the phenomenon was so widespread. James Joyce’s book Finnegan’s Wake was written using an idioglossia. No wonder no one can read it. It’s like writing your diary in a secret code and wondering why no one can read it (like  Beatrix Potter). Interesting phenomenon among creative people.

Ave atque vale, Maximus.



Writer of vampire stories and science fiction. First novel, "Revenants Abroad", available now at Amazon. If you like a vampire you can go out drinking with and still respect yourself in the morning, I think you'd like Andrej.

11 thoughts on “Now We Are Free

  1. Thanks! I’m kind of test driving it, not entirely sold on it, but needed a fresh look.

    I’ll have to at least flip through FW, I ran across my copy the other day scrounging up books for the book spine poems 🙂


  2. This post is made of aaaaaaawe-soooooooome! I’ll be right behind you when we invade Hades. And we already have a soundtrack picked out 🙂

    (I _thought_ things looked different, but then I can’t always trust my memories of things… It looks GOOD.)


  3. Haha! I’ll have our swords sharpened right away. 😉

    “If you find yourself alone, riding in the green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you’re already dead!”

    re: the new look – Thanks. I’m not entirely sure I like all the red, I may try out another theme.


  4. Fascinating subject, and funny timing. I was just revising a bit of my manu where a side character is speaking in tongues.

    Regarding foreign languages, there was a case not too long ago of some woman (or man?) who awoke from a coma speaking their new country’s language fluently, but having totally lost the ability to speak their native language.


  5. ‘Language of Angels,’ I love that. I forgot about The Gladiator. I remember seeing it opening day after being such a RC fan after LA Confidential.
    Dark Shadows opens May 11th. I know, what does that have to do with xenoglossia? Nothing, just reporting.


  6. I can’t watch Gladiator too often, it really tugs at my heartstrings, but it is amazing.

    Sadly, Jonathan Frid, the original Barnabas, passed away on April 13 (yes, Friday the 13th. Well played, Mr. Frid) so he won’t be here for the premiere. It looks very funny, but with that cast and crew what could it be besides a comedy? Someday I would like to see a creepy, atmospheric version of it.


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