1. Huron Carol

From the recording Apples in Winter

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This haunting song was the first Christmas carol written in the New World. Father Jean de Brebeuf was a Jesuit missionary living with the Huron people in what is now Canada during the 1630s and 40s. Having been unable to teach the Huron people the existing Latin hymns, Father Brebeuf wrote this carol in their own language, using an older French carol tune "Une Juene Pucelle." It has since been translated into both French and English. The version we are using was translated by Father Kierans S.J. (Society of Jesus).


Let Christian men take heart today
The devil's rule is done;
Let no man heed the devil more,
For Jesus Christ is come
But hear ye all what angels sing:
How Mary Maid bare Jesus King.
Jesu est ne. Jesus is born.
In excelsis gloria!

Three chieftains saw before Noel
A star as bright as day,
"So fair a sign," the chieftains said,
"Shall lead us where it may."
For Jesu told the chieftains three:
"The star will bring you here to me."
Jesu est ne. Jesus is born.
In excelsis gloria!

The chieftains gave him gold and all,
When Jesu they did see;
And told Him tales of near and far
With joy and courtesie,
Now, come ye all, sing Jesukin,
Who hears the prayers of holy men.
Jesu est ne. Jesus is born.
In excelsis gloria!