The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

To Us A Little Child Is Born

Parvulus nobis nascitur

For Christmas

Words and Music from Michael Praetorius' Musae Sionae, 1609

English Translation by the Rev. J. O'Connor

Compare: To Us A Little Child Is Born, English Translation of a Dutch Carol

Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #143, pp. 12-13.

1. Parvulus nobis nascitur,
De virgine progreditur
Ob quem laetantur angeli,
Gratulemur nos servuli,
Trinitati *gloria
In sempiterna saecula.

1. To us a little Child is born
Of mother maid before the morn,
For Him today are angels gay,
Shall we poor servants have no lay?
Glory to the Trinity
throughout all the ages yet to be.

2. Regem habemus gratiae
Leonemque victoriae,
Unicum Dei filium
Lustrantem omne saeculum.
Trinitati gloria &c.

2. Now we have grace's living spring
Now the victorious lion-King
God's own and sole begotten Son
Restores a world by sin undone
Glory to the Trinity
throughout all the ages yet to be.

3. Ut redderet Deo caros
Nos et a morte liberos,
Sanaret saeva vulnera
Dradonis fact' astutia.
Trinitati gloria &c.

3. That He might make us dear to God,
And free from death's all-smiting rod,
And heal the gaping wounds of guile
Hell's cunning serpent dealt erstwhile
Glory to the Trinity
throughout all the ages yet to be.

4. Huic omnes infantulo
Concinite mellifluo,
Jacenti in presepio
Vili prostrato lectulo.
Trinitati gloria &c.

4. So to the suckling one and all
Warble and play a sweet chorale,
While He lies here I cattle stall,
So may rude bed give rest withal,
Glory to the Trinity
throughout all the ages yet to be.

 

Note from Rev. Terry:

The tenor at this point [Base Clef, B flat and G] stands in the original, making 'octaves' with the treble. Composers of the period frequently employed 'consecutive octaves' but they were never ugly. These ones are, so I have assumed them to be a misprint in the original, and have altered them accordingly.

Editor's Note:

To clarify this note, see the sheet music (below)

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #143, pp. 12-13.

143a-To_Us_A_Little.jpg (98608 bytes) 143b-To_Us_A_Little.jpg (54070 bytes)

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