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Mater Tenebrarum - Inferno (1980) Lyrics

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Published on Dec 26, 2012

I had a look around and couldn't find more complete lyrics to Keith Emerson's "Mater Tenebrarum" from Dario Argento's 1980 film Inferno.

I've transcribed what I believe to be the lyrics in Latin after listening to Keith Emerson's original version and a live version performed by Claudio Simonetti/Daemonia as it had a couple of clearer sections of the vocals not covered by instruments.

Some of the English word choices do need to be explained slightly:

Some of the words like "dominae" are actually a plural of "domina" meaning lady/head of the house, so it refers to each one individually but also all of them together so I have chosen to write it down as "mistress" and dominarum to be the absolute plural grouping all of The Three Mothers together.

Fire, garments (Suspiria: nightgown, Inferno: black cloak, Mother of Tears: black cloak and a tunic), loss of one's friends have all been part of what will have caused the downfall of The Three Mothers and once they are gone people will truly be free of their control.

This song actually included the answer about how Mother of Tears would be dealt with when her part of the trilogy actually came out.

Inferorum/infernorum can be read as the damned, of hell and the like - either way it represents them stating themselves to be death incarnate.

Mother of Sighs was killed in Suspiria, Mother of Tears showed up a couple of times in Inferno but the focus of Inferno was on Mother of Darkness, who is set in motion to destroy The Three Mothers books and to keep herself and Mother of Tears hidden away from nosy people but in the end... Mother of Darkness is killed and the only one that remains at the time of the song is Mother of Tears.

The instructress line is regarding The Three Mothers returning, such as Mother of Tears being awoken and all of the witches flock to join her coven to be the strongest witches.

Mother of Darkness doing something in general is foreboding because she is the cruelest of the three. Mother of Sighs was the oldest and the wisest, Mother of Tears was the most beautiful of the three.

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