Monday, December 17, 2012

Advent Day Sixteen: come kneel before the radiant boy


The Huron Carol

'Twas in the moon of wintertime when all the birds had fled,
The mighty Gitchi Manitou sent angel choirs instead.
Before their light the stars grew dim, and wandering 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 is born, In Excelsis Gloria!"

The earliest moon of wintertime is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory on the helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before him knelt with gifts of fox and beaver pelt.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, In Excelsis Gloria!

O children of the forest free, O sons 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 is born, In Excelsis Gloria!


***  

This carol is Canada's oldest Christmas song.  A Jesuit missionary wrote the words to the tune of a traditional French folk song, using native imagery to depict the Nativity.  It gives the Christmas story such a new, fresh perspective, and the melody is beautiful.

Listen to the Canadian Tenors' lovely, haunting rendition of this carol by clicking the link HERE.

2 comments:

  1. Jeannie, that last verse is the best, so soaked with the good news of the Gospel of Christ.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, every day I'm being reminded just how rich these carols are!

    Jeannie

    ReplyDelete

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