...the oldest musical composition to have survived in its entirety is a first century A.D. Greek tune known as the “Seikilos Epitaph.” The song was found engraved on an ancient marble column used to mark a woman’s gravesite in Turkey. “I am a tombstone, an image,” reads an inscription. “Seikilos placed me here as an everlasting sign of deathless remembrance.” The column also includes musical notation as well as a short set of lyrics that read:
“While you live, shine / Have no grief at all / Life exists only for a short while / And time demands its toll.”
Wise, and well-translated, as it preserves the feeling and a rhyme.