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In dulci jubilo, English

From "Carols for choirs I, fifty christmas carols, edited and arranged by Reginald Jacques and David Willcocks".

In dulci jubilo

Old German tune

The original melody employed, as a Cantus firmus, in the following composition, is to be found in an old German book published in the year 1570 - which, from its title and contents, appears to be have contained the ritual of the Protestant Congregations of Zweibrueken and Neuburg. Even there it is called "a very ancient song (uraltes Lied) for Christmas-eve;" so that there can be no doubt that it is one of those old Roman Catholic melodies that Luther, on account of their beauty, retained in the Protestant Service. It was formerly sung in the processions that took place on Christmas-eve, and is still in those remote parts of Germany where people yet retain old customs. The words are rather remarkable, being written half in Latin and half in the upper German dialect. I have translated them to fit the music, and endeavoured to preserve, as much as I could, the simplicity of the original. Of the melody there can be but one opinion; namely, that which in spite of religious animosity, secured it the approbation of the Protestant reformers, and that of the German people during many centuries.

Willsbridge, Gloucestershire, 31st of January, 1837. R.L.Pearsall.

In dulci jubilo / Let us our homage shew;
Our heart's joy recli- / neth in praesepio
And like a bright star shineth, / Matris in gremio.
Alpha es et O, / Alpha es et O.

O Jesu parvule! / I yearn for thee alway! [1]
Hear me, I beseech / thee, O puer optime!
My prayer let it reach thee, / O Princeps gloriae!
Trahe me post te! / Trahe me post te!

O Patris caritas, / O Nati lenitas!
Deeply were we stained / Per nostra crimina;
But thou hast for us gained / Coelorum gaudia.
O that we were there! / O that we were there!

Ubi sunt gaudia, / If that they be not there?
There are angels singing / - Nova cantica,
There the bells are ringing / In Regis curia:
O that we were there, / O that we were there.

[1] Pearsall's translation of this line was "My heart is sore for thee!"

Created: 2 December, 2005 - Last changed: 2 December, 2005 - Comments (0)