Saturday, December 22, 2007

Twas in the moon of wintertime...

The "Huron Carol" (or "'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime") is a Christmas hymn, written in 1643 by Jean de Brébeuf, a Christian missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Canada. Brébeuf wrote the lyrics in the native language of the Huron/Wendat people; the song's original Huron title is "Jesous Ahatonhia" ("Jesus, he is born"). The song's melody is a traditional French folk song, "Une Jeune Pucelle" ("A Young Maid"). The well known English lyrics were written in 1926 by Jesse Edgar Middleton.

This version performed by Heather Dale, and sung in Wendat (Huron), French and English.

Lyrics in English:
twas in the moon of wintertime / when all the birds had fled
that mighty Gitche Manitou / sent angel choirs instead
before their light the stars grew dim / and wand'ring hunters heard the hymn
Jesus your king is born / Jesus is born / in excelsis gloria

within a lodge of broken bark / the tender babe was found
a ragged robe of rabbit skin / enwrapped his beauty round
but as the hunter braves drew nigh / the angel song rang loud and high
Jesus your king is born / Jesus in born / in excelsis gloria

the earliest moon of wintertime / is not so round and fair
as was the ring of glory on / that helpless infant there
the chiefs from far before him knelt / with gifts of fox and beaver-pelt
Jesus your king is born / Jesus in born / in excelsis gloria

O children of the forest free / beloved of Manitou
the holy child of earth and heaven / is born today for you
come kneel before the radiant boy / who brings you beauty, peace and joy
Jesus your king is born / Jesus in born / in excelsis gloria

1 comment:

Paul said...

I have always loved this carol. JaneR pointed me this way and I want to thank you for sharing this with us all. Lovely.