This song is one of the earliest examples yet found of a complete musical composition from the ancient world. Although other songs have been found that pre-date 'The Song of Seikilos' by many centuries, they only survive in fragments.
Seikilos carved the song on a grave pillar in dedication to his wife. The Grave was discovered in 1883, near Aydinion in Ionia. Archaeologists believe it dates between 200 BC and AD 100.
Seikilos also inscribed a poem on the gravestone, it reads:
“Οσον ζής φαίνου,
Μηδέν όλως σύ λυπού
Προς ολίγον εστί το ζήν
Το τέλος ο χρόνος απαιτεί”.
"As long as you live, shine, Let nothing grieve you beyond measure. For your life is short, and time will claim its toll." From the Atrium Musicae de Madrid directed by Gregorio Paniagua, recorded in 1979.