December: A Month of Latin Holiday Songs!

Welcome to the 2019 edition of Latin Holiday Songs for the month of December. This started as a project back in 2006, over ten years ago! You can see the Complete Calendar for 2020 here, and you can also add a Latin Holiday Song widget to your own blog or website.

See the sidebar for the Latin song of the day, and here is one at random:

And, if you like Pinterest, there is a Pinterest Board:


As always with translations, there are all kinds of possible approaches, and I've found three different translations of "Rudolph" into Latin. Version 1 is much more commonly found on the Internet but, personally, I think I prefer Version 2! You could use these three different versions to give you suggestions and strategies so you can do your own version. If you do your own version, go ahead and post it as a comment here at this blog. To learn more about the English song, with the lyrics, visit this Wikipedia article.

** Be sure to check the comments:
you can find a fourth version AND a fifth version AND a sixth version
which people have shared in the comments section.
The fifth one features Jupiter instead of Santa! **

NOVITAS: Plain-chant version of Rudolphus, with audio!

Version 1 (translator unknown, widely repeated on the Internet)

Reno erat Rudolphus
Nasum rubrum habebat;
Si quando hunc videbas,
Hunc candere tu dicas.

Omnes renores alii
Semper hunc deridebant;
Cum misero Rudolpho
In ludis non ludebant.

Santus Nicholas dixit
Nocte nebulae,
"Rudolphe, naso claro
Nonne carrum tu duces?"

Tum renores clamabant,
"Rudolphe, delectus es!
Cum naso rubro claro
Historia descendes!"

Version 2 (translated by Harry C. Maynard?)

Rudolphus, naso rubro,
naso nitidissimo,
si umquam eum spectes,
dicas eum fulgere.

Reliqui tum renones
deridebant ludentes,
semper vetabant eum
apud ludos ludere.

Deinde ante Natalem
Santa venit, et
"Tu, Rudolphe nitide,
traham meam duc nocte."

Dein, ut renones amant,
exclamantes hilare:
"Rudolphe, naso rubro,
in annalibus eris!"

Version 3 (translated by Philip Brunelle?)

Rudolphus rubrinasus
fulgentissimo naso,
vidisti et si eum
dicas quoque candere.

Omnes tarandi ceteri
ridebant vocantes nomina;
non sinebant Rudolphum
interesse ludentes.

Olim crassa nocte Christi,
Nicholas it dictum:
“Rudolphe, naso tam claro,
agesne traham meam?”

Qui tum tarandis amor
conclamantibus eum,
“Rudolphe rubrinase,
descendes historia!”

Reno Erat Rudolphus (plain chant version)

Thanks so much to Jonathan Gilbert for alerting me to this plain chant of Rudolphus; for a full view of the image below, visit Eyolf Ă˜strem's website - and be sure to check out this detailed post where he explains how he came to write this delightful piece of music!

(image by Mike Oliveri at Flickr)