The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Il est ne, le divin Enfant

Words: Traditional French Lyrics

Music: Traditional French

Chorus:
Il est ne, le divin Enfant,
Jouez, hautbois, resonnez, musettes;
Il est ne, le divin Enfant;
Chantons tous son avenement!

1. Depuis plus de quatre mille ans,
Nous le promettaient les Prophetes;
Depuis plus de quatre mille ans,
Nous attendions cet heureux temps. Chorus

2. Ah! qu'il est beau, qu'il est charmant,
Que ses graces sont parfaites!
Ah! qu'il est beau, qu'il est charmant,
Qu'il est doux le divin Enfant! Chorus

3. Une etable est son logement,
Un peu de paille, sa couchette,
Une etable est son logement,
Pour un Dieu, quel abaissement! Chorus

4. O Jesus! O Roi tout puissant!
Tout petit enfant que vous etes,
O Jesus! O Roi tout puissant!
Regnez sur nous entierement! Chorus

In another version, the "chorus" is performed as the first verse.

Translations Include:

* Items marked with the asterisk are not contained on this site. I have been unable to locate a copy on the World Wide Web (March 29, 2003) or in my personal collection of hymnals and carol anthologies.

See also He is Born, the Child Divine (Link opens in a new window at Sally DeFord Music)

Earthly Delights: Xmas Carols:

The tune for this carol can be found in R. Grosjean's Airs des noÍl lorrain (1862), where it is called 'Ancien air de chasse', and it is indeed the case that an old Normandy hunting tune 'TÍte bizarde', though in 6/8, is melodically very similar. The Shorter New Oxford Book of Carols editors postulated that the tune is an 18th century composition in a rustic style. The text of this carol was first published in Dom G. Legeay's NoÍls anciens (1875-6). An English version of the lyric in Geoffery Brace's Carol for Carol Singers, Cambridge University Press, 1991, goes:

Sing aloud the child is born, / This is a time for celebrating
Sing aloud the child is born / Now the day at last is here

We have waited four thousand years, / Now the day is at last upon us.
We have waited four thousand years, / Now the day at last is here.
Chorus

In a stable poor he lay, / Only a manger for a cradle.
In a stable poor he lay, / Only a bed of straw and hay.
Chorus

Shepherd and kings from lands afar / Join the joyful celebration.
Shepherds and kings from lands afar, / Guided by the shining star.
Chorus

Such is the international popularity of this catchy tune that there is even a Mohawk version 'Rotonni NiioRoie Mia', collected from Harriet and Carol La France of the St. Regis Mohawk reservation at Rogensuburg in the U.S.

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