Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Carol for Christmas

My favorite carol should probably be one from Germany or England, or possibly Ireland, to honor my ancestors. Maybe next year my favorite will be a traditional German or English carol, but the music that twirls through my brain this year is a French carol, "Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella." It is the beautiful music that has drawn me to love it so. It wasn't until last night that I knew more than the first two lines of the lyrics.

It seems that there are several variations in the lyrics but the performance that I like the best has the least common variation. I can't understand all the words they sing but I do hear them singing with excitement about the birth of The Child, encouraging all the villagers to awake and come and see Him, to follow Him, and to tell the world that Jesus is the Savior. This performance, in my opinion, is full of life and enthusiasm for the Christ Child whose birth we celebrate at this season.

Below is one variation of the lyrics translated from the French. Rhythmically they don't seem to go with the music (to my not very musical ears, anyway).
Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabella!
Bring a torch, to the stable run
Christ is born. Tell the folk of the village
Jesus is born and Mary's calling.
Ah! Ah! beautiful is the Mother!
Ah! Ah! beautiful is her child

It is wrong when the child is sleeping,
It is wrong to talk so loud.
Silence, now as you gather around,
Lest your noise should waken Jesus.
Hush! Hush! see how he slumbers;
Hush! Hush! see how fast he sleeps!

Softly now unto the stable,
Softly for a moment come!
Look and see how charming is Jesus,
Look at him there, His cheeks are rosy!
Hush! Hush! see how the Child is sleeping;
Hush! Hush! see how he smiles in dreams!

This is my first year to participate in "Blog Caroling" as hosted by footnoteMaven. Thank you, Maven. The image at the top of this post is "A Young Singer" by Georges de La Tour from ArtCyclopedia. The lyrics are from Wikipedia where you can learn more about the history of the carol and alternate lyrics.

Merry Christmas!


  1. I like this one too. I guess they are singing one translation and you have the alternate words there. i am so sleepy i can't go back right now and look! why am i up at 1am listening to christmas carols??

  2. What a beautiful carol and I love the dancers too. So pretty.


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