The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

De Drie Koningen

For Epiphany

Words: Old Flemish folk song, from fifteenth or sixteenth century Belgium

Source: Adolphe Richard Lootens, Jean Marie Eusèbe Feys, eds., Chants populaires flamands: avec les airs notés, et poesies populaires diverses (Desclée, De Brouwer & Cie, 1879), #18, pp. 30-31.

1. Laatst waren er drie Koningen wijs
Zij reisden alover het sneeuwwit ijs
Al over't land
G'heel triomphant,
Om Jesus te zoeken;
Dien weerdigen pand.
Zij kwamen met ketels en trommelen aan,
Zij kwamen met ketels en trommelen aan.

2.
De engel die sprak sing Joseph toe:
"Vlucht naar Egypten met Jesus zoet,"
Herodes die kwam
Met een groot gespan;
De ezel die vluchtte,
Maria die zuchtte,
Sint Joseph die troostte z'in hare droefheidl.

3.
Herodes ontbood kleen ende groot,
Alle die bloedjes ze slagen z'al dood.
Wie heeft ooit gehoord
Van zulk een' moord?
D'onnozel herten
Vol herten en smerten
Zij wierden in hunder bloed gesmoord.

Note:

Several sources report the first two lines only of a second verse:

2. Zig trokken daar Jerusalem uit,
Met trommels, trompetten en zoete geluid.
. . . . . . . . . .

Sheet Music from Adolphe Richard Lootens, Jean Marie Eusèbe Feys, eds., Chants populaires flamands: avec les airs notés, et poesies populaires diverses (Desclée, De Brouwer & Cie, 1879), #18, pp. 30-31.

De_Drie_koningen-Chants_populaires-n18-p30.jpg (45023 bytes)  De_Drie_koningen-Chants_populaires-n18-p31.jpg (42544 bytes)

Sheet Music from Charles Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol #750.

De_Drie_Koningen_750.gif (124153 bytes)

Sheet Music from Edmondstoune Duncan, The Story of the Carol (London: The Walter Scott Publishing Co., Ltd.; New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911), p. 118.

De_Drie_Koningen-E_Duncan-Story_of_Carol-118.jpg (86750 bytes)

Other Settings:

Translations include:

1. The Three Kings ("Late, three wise Kings afar off did go"); Translator unknown.

2. "Three kings are here, both wealthy and wise;" Translation by Robert Graves (1895-1985), Oxford Book of Carols (Oxford University Press, 1928, 1964). Because it is under copyright, this translation is not posted on this web site.

3. According to a post at the Mudcat Cafe, another copyrighted translation appears in A Book of Christmas Carols (Shekerjians, 1963), with the title "There were three kings, on journey did go." I haven't collected this translation, yet. Since it is under copyright, it would not be posted to the web site, either.

Note:

"Three kings are here" was recorded by Artistan, a folk trio, in 1994; it is said to have been first released on their Christmas CD  "Bygone Christmas," and is currently included on their CD "Christmas Is Come In."

You can find a MIDI file, an MP3 file, and another piece of sheet music at "English Concertina."

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window

If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.


Related Hymns and Carols