Smash Mouth's 'All Star' translated to Aramaic and back becomes 'beautiful poetry'

Smash Mouth's 'All Star' translated into Aramaic then back to English is surprisingly beautiful.
Photo credit: Smash Mouth / Isaac Mayer

The lyrics of Smash Mouth's hit 'All Star' translated back to English from Aramaic have become a sensation online, and are being described as "beautiful poetry".

Released in 1999, the pop song has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years as a meme, but it's now taken on what could be mistaken for biblical significance.

"Hey now, you're an all-star, get your game on, go play," put through the translation comes back as: "Behold currently! You are entirely a star child! Begin your power! Go! Laugh!"

Isaac Mayer is behind the Aramaic version of 'All Star' and explains in a blog post the painstaking method he used, emphatically stating he did not use an online auto-translator.

"I worked on this translation the old-fashioned way - for four damn hours with Jastrow's Aramaic dictionary in one hand and Frank's Judeo-Aramaic grammar book in the other," writes Mayer.

He also insists that, despite what Facebook's God says, his translation is not how Jesus Christ would sing 'All Star'.

"Aramaic is dramatically different depending on place and time, and the fourth-century Babylonian Judeo-Aramaic I used was about as different from Jesus' first-century Galilean Aramaic as modern-day Italian and Spanish are from each other."

Smash Mouth's 'All Star' lyrics, translated to English from Aramaic by Isaac Mayer:

There was one who said unto me that the universe was going to cause me to tremble,

That I am not the sharpest cutting implement in the storehouse.

She had the appearance unto me as a stupid one,

With her finger and her thumb

In the frame of a Greek gamma upon her forehead.

Behold, the years begin coming, and do not cease from coming.

Fed unto the axioms, and I fell upon the earth and ran.

It was not acceptable if not to live for the sake of pleasurable things.

Your brain increases its wisdom, but your heart increases its stupidity.

A great amount to do, a great amount to see,

Therefore, there is no difficult problem if we take the streets of the backside.

You will not know if you do not go.

You will not shine if you do not glow.

Behold currently! You are entirely a star child! Begin your power! Go! Laugh!

Behold currently! You are a master of the music! Begin your singing! Acquire your wages!

All that sparkles is gold!

Comets alone shatter the frame!

Although Mayer carried out the translation, it was other people tweeting it that got more attention.

Jennifer Maglio racked up nearly 70,000 likes and 23,000 retweets of her copy of it, while @ApocalypseStn landed 30,000 likes and 12,000 retweets with the same screenshot.

Mayer's lyrics were described by Nerdist as "beautiful poetry".

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