The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Ecce, nouvum gaudium

For Christmas

Latin Hymn for the Nativity
In Nativitate Domini

Author: Medieval Latin, Anonymous

Source: Guido Maria Dreves and Clemens Blume, Analecta Hymnica Medii Aevi. Vol. 45b. (Leipzig: O. R. Reisland, 1904), #162, p. 131.

1. Ecce, novum gaudium,
Ecce, novum mirum!
Virgo parit filium,
Quae non novit virum,
Sed ut pirus pirum,
Gleba fert papyrum,
Florens lilium.
Ecce, quod natura
Mutat sua iura!
Virgo parit pura
Dei filium.

2. Mundum Deus flebilem
Cernens in ruina,
Rosam delectabilem
Produxit de spina,
Natum de regina,
Qui est medicina,
Salus gentium.
Ecce, quod natura
Mutat sua iura!
Virgo parit pura
Dei filium.

3. Nequivit divinitas
Plus humiliari,
Nec nostra carnalitas
Magis exaltari,
Deo coaequari,
Caelo collocari
Per coniugium.
Ecce, quod natura
Mutat sua iura!
Virgo parit pura
Dei filium.

Note from Dreves & Blume:

Piae Cantiones 1582 fol. B 8a. (Klemming II, 12 sq. als: “Hymnus”.)

Editor's Note:

"Klemming II" refers to Gustaf Edvard Klemming, ed., Pić Cantiones. S. Trinitatas; Jesus Christus; S. Spiritus; S. Maria. Holmić. 1886.

Theodoric Petri, ed., Pić Cantiones Ecclesiasticae et Scholasticae Veterum Episcoporum. (Gyphisuualdić: Augustinum Ferberum, 1582)

Sheet Music and Notes from Rev. George R. Woodward, ed., Pić Cantiones. A Collection of Church & School Song, chiefly Ancient Swedish, originally Published in A. D. 1582 by Theodoric Petri of Nyland. (London: Printed at the Chiswick Press for the Plainsong & Medieval Music Society, 1910), Carol #7, pp. 9-10, Notes p. 214.

pc-009.jpg (55562 bytes) pc-010.jpg (55380 bytes) pc-214.jpg (82453 bytes)

See: The Christmas Songs in Woodward's Pić Cantiones (1910)

Note from Rev. Woodward:

VII. Ecce Novum Caudium. Reprinted by Klemming, II, p. 22; 'Anal. Hymnica,' XLVb, No. 162, p. 131. Origin and date unknown.

Neale's Here is joy for every age was suggested by this Cantio and expressly written for this tune. See 'Carols for Christmas-tide,' No. 1 [Here Is Joy For Every Age]; and No. 30 in 'The Cowley Carol Book' [Here Is Joy For Every Age].

An eighth mode or Hypo-MixoLydian air. Observe the flat seventh.

Editor's Note:

“Klemming II” refers to Gustaf Edvard Klemming, ed., Piae Cantiones. S. Trinitas. Iesus Christus. S. Spiritus. S. Maria.; Collectionum Nostri Aevi Supplementum e. Fontibus Sveticis Depromtum (Norstedt, Typographie Regii, 1886), pp. 22-3. Klemming is a primary source for many scholars, including Dreves, Woodward and others. This volume is available at Google Books.

"Anal. Hymnica,' XLVb" refers to Guido Maria Dreves and Clemens Blume, eds., Analecta Hymnica Medii Aevi, Vol. 45b. Cantiones et Motetten des Mittelalters. (Leipzig: O. R. Reisland, 1904).

Another translation is Here Is Joy For Every One, translation by Rev. Ronald Knox, from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933).

A third translation is Though They Cannot Palter | Ecce quod natura ("Ecce quod natura" is the first line of the chorus in this version). This is also from from Two Hundred Folk Carols.

Sources for Latin hymns in Pić Cantiones include:

Copies of many of these works are available at the Internet Archive and Google Books.

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