The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Welcome Christmas

Theodore Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and Albert Hague, 1966
From The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

Words and Music are Under Copyright

Welcome Christmas!

The Story of a Holiday Hymn

Welcome, welcome, fah who rahmus
Welcome, welcome, dah who dahmus
Christmas Day is in our grasp
So long as we have hands to clasp

Dores, dores, fa Hu ramus
Dores, dores, da'u damus
Kris mas ta se am 'ur yus
Wedur 'i 'u reus paune ein lius

The village of Hu in Northern Norway, as it appears today.

Of all the carols of Christmas, "Welcome Christmas" is one of the most joyful. This hymn inspires the most Grinch-like among us to welcome the Holidays with jubilant hearts.

Yet few know the history behind this song. It became widely known only in the mid 1960s, when Dr. Seuss and Albert Hague penned the popular partial-English translation. However, "Welcome Christmas" has existed for many hundreds of years as a hymn of a tiny, forgotten village in Northern Norway, the village of Hu (Whoville).

The inhabitants of this isolated community, nestled in a deep valley of a tributary of the Tana river, call themselves the Hu. Their language, Huvian, is like no other on Earth. It is certainly unrelated to the Norse languages of the region, and it seems to have developed in extreme isolation. Nevertheless, Christian missionaries somehow located the village and converted its inhabitants long ago. Then war and pestilence came to the rest of the world, and the Hus were mercifully left alone throughout dark ages, the renaissance and much of the modern age -- it wasn't until the late 1800s when the village was rediscovered.

When Norwegian officials found themselves unable to communicate with the Hus, they sent for famed linguist and anthropologist Allistair McGuinn of Scotland. After many years of living with and studying the Hus, McGuinn translated many of their myths, legends and hymns. Yet, after a few years of worldwide curiosity in this inexplicable community, the Hus were soon all but forgotten as the Industrial age forged on.

Except for the Hu's lasting legacy. The hymn "Welcome Christmas" is presented here in three versions. First is the partial translation by Seuss and Hague, then the original Hu language transcription, then the complete English translation by McGuinn.

Source: Kwanteum Industries

 

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