December: A Month of Latin Holiday Songs!

Welcome to the 2016 edition of Latin Holiday Songs for the month of December. This started as a project back in 2006 (ten years ago!), and it continues to grow every year thanks to people's contributions and helpful suggestions. You can see the Complete Calendar for 2016 here, and you can also add a Latin Holiday Song widget to your own blog or website.

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


Auld Lang Syne

For this holiday song, I found a Latin translation of the song, "Auld Lang Syne." You can find the traditional lyrics at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website, along with the version containing additional stanzas added by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788. There's also a very handy explanation in modern English of what the Scottish words mean! In addition, you can consult the Wikipedia article about this song, which includes the Old Long Syne version by James Watson from 1711, in English, presumably unknown to Burns.

I found this Latin translation of "Auld Lang Syne" at the page of Harry Maynard's Latin carols, but it is not clear if Maynard is the translator himself. Does anyone have any further information about who did this Latin translation? You will notice that the chorus here combines elements of the traditional chorus with motifs from the final verse which otherwise has been omitted.

Num amicorum veterum
decet oblivisci?
Annorum heu fugacium
et temporis acti?

CHORUS
Actum, sodales, ob tempus
praeteritum tempus,
priusquam discesserimus,
manus iungamus.


Flores olim decerpsimus
ludentes in pratis,
sed aspera peragravimus
diebus ex illis.

CHORUS

Et agebamus vacuos
dies ad rivulum;
sed dividit iam diu nos
aequor undosum.

CHORUS



Somnio Candidum Diem

The words and music to "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" are by Irving Berlin, and I've found two delightful Latin translations online! The song was written by Berlin in 1940 and was made famous by the 1942 film "Holiday Inn," in which Bing Crosby sings the song. It was a massively popular success, topping the Billboard charts for 11 weeks, and going on to become the best-selling Christmas single of all time, and Bing Crosby's best-selling record. There is an exhaustive list at Wikipedia of the many musical artists who have done their own recordings of the song.

I found this Latin translation at several websites, but with no attribution. Does anybody know who translated "White Christmas" into Latin?

Som-nio candidum diem,
simil'eis quos noveram.
Ecce! lucet arbor,
natorum ardor,
tintinnabul'n nive.

Som-nio candidum diem,
Dum omnem chartam inscribo.
Dies tui ut clarescant,
Candidae Nativitates sint.


I also found a version at this unattributed translation:

Diem Christi album somnio
Persimilem praeteritis,
Ubi arbores nitent
Natique ardent nolis trahae nivosis.

Diem Christi album somnio
Ut in omni charta scribo,
Dies sint festivi tibi
Et festa nivalia Christi.


Dormi Jesu

"Dormi Jesu" is a beautiful little Latin lullaby that was copied by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge from a print that he saw in a German village, and which he then published in Sibylline Leaves in 1817.

The Hymns and Carols of Christmas website provides the Latin text along with Coleridge's English version, "The Virgin's Cradle-Hymn." The CPDL website has MIDI files, sheet music, and an English translation, and the Canasg Music website also provides a MIDI file for you to listen to, along with an English translation.

Notice the wonderful use of the diminutives blandule and somnule here in the Latin, perfect for the lullaby theme.

Dormi, Jesu! Mater ridet,
quae tam dulcem somnum videt,
Dormi, Jesu blandule!

Si non dormis, mater plorat.
Inter fila cantans orat:
Blande veni somnule!





XII Dies Natalis

The "Twelve Days of Christmas" is an English song that probably dates back to the 18th century. The "Twelve Days" of Christmas is the holiday extending from Christmas until the feast day of Epiphany. You can learn more about the "Twelfth Night" tradition in an article at Wikipedia. There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

You can find the English lyrics to the carol, with MIDI files and sheet music, at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website, along with detailed notes about the history and contents of the carol. In The Annotated Mother Goose by W.S. Baring-Gould and C. Baring-Gould, I learned that the "five golden rings" probably refers to "ringed pheasants," not rings for the fingers. Thus the presents on the first seven days are all birds.

I found this Latin translation online, attributed to Sister Marjorie E. Allen. (I've made one change here to the translation, switching quattuor aves, "four birds," to quattuor corvos, as the English "colly birds" refers to "coal-black birds.")

I was also able to find an easy-to-edit version of the sheet music online, so I've prepared a version of the sheet music with the Latin lyrics pasted in!

Primo die Natalis amator dedit mi
perdicem in piro.


S'cunda die Natalis amator dedit me
d'os turtures
et perdicem in piro.


Tertia die Natalis amator dedit mi
tres gallinas,
d'os turtures et perdicem in piro.


Quarta die Natalis amator dedit mi
quattuor corvos,
tres gallinas, d'os turtures et perdicem in piro.


Quinta die Natalis amator dedit mi
quinque anulos,
quattuor corvos, tres gallinas, d'os turtures et perdicem in piro.


Sexta die Natalis amator dedit mi
sex anseres,
quinque anulos, quattuor corvos, tres gallinas, d'os turtures et perdicem in piro.


Sept'ma die Natalis amator dedit mi
septem cygnos nantes,
sex anseres, quinque anulos, quattuor corvos, tres gallinas d'os turtures et perdicem in piro.


Octava die Natalis amator dedit mi
octo quae mulgent,
septem cygnos nantes, sex anseres, quinque anulos, quattuor corvos, tres gallinas, d'os turtures et perdicem in piro.


Nona die Natalis amator dedit mi
novem salt'trices,
octo quae mulgent, septem cygnos nantes, sex anseres, quinque anulos, quattuor corvos, tres gallinas, d'os turtures et perdicem in piro.


Dec'ma die Natalis amator dedit mi
decem salt'tores,
novem salt'trices, octo quae mulgent, septem cygnos nantes, sex anseres, quinque anulos, quattuor corvos, tres gallinas, d'os turtures et perdicem in piro.


Undec'ma die Natalis amator dedit me
undecim tibic'nes,
decem salt'tores, novem salt'trices, octo quae mulgent, septem cygnos nantes, sex anseres, quinque anulos, quattuor corvos, tres gallinas, d'os turtures et perdicem in piro.


Duodec'ma die Natalis amator dedit mi
d'odecim qui pulsant,
undecim tibic'nes, decem salt'tores, novem salt'trices, octo quae mulgent, septem cygnos nantes, sex anseres, quinque anulos, quattuor corvos, tres gallinas, d'os turtures et perdicem in piro.


Alternate Version. Unattributed, online at this Kealing.org website. I've just listed the items here:

Die primo Christi nati me auxit lepidum
Perdice corculum.
Die secundo Christi nati me auxit lepidum
Duobus turturibus...
Die tertio Christi nati me auxit lepidum
Tribus gallinis...
Die quarto Christi nati me auxit lepidum
Quattor psittacis...
Die quinto Christi nati me auxit lepidum
Quinque annulis...
Die sexto Christi nati me auxit lepidum
Sex anseribus...
Die septimo Christi nati me auxit lepidum
Septem cygnis nantibus...
Die octavo Christi nati me auxit lepidum
Octo ancillis...
Die nono Christi nati me auxit lepidum
Novem feminis choream dantibus...
Die decimo Christi nati me auxit lepidum
Decem viris saltantibus...
Die undecimo Christi nati me auxit lepidum
Undecim tibicinibus tibiis canentibus...
Die duodecimo Christi nati me auxit lepidum
Duodecim tympanistis tympana pulsantibus...



Tinnitus, Tinnitus

Today's holiday song, "Jingle Bells," originally entitled "The One Horse Open Sleigh," was first published in 1857. You can find the English lyrics, MIDI files and sheet music at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website. There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

I've found several different versions online. The first version is partial, while the other version is more complete. In addition, there is a "Horse-Race Song," Carmen Circense, by T.W. Melluish, which uses the melody and motifs of "Jingle Bells," although it is not a Christmas song. You can find it online at the ARLT Latin Songbook.

Version 1, by James Pierpont. (It is included in vicifons, the Latin Wikisource.)

Nantes per nives
in aperta traha
trans agros imus
omnes ridentes.
Tintinna tintinnant
animose sic,
laetissimi nos canimus
canticum hac nocte.

Tinnitus, tinnitus,
semper tinnitus!
O tantum est gaudium
Dum vehimur in traha! Ha!


Version 2. Translated by Charles Mierow.

Nives, glacies,
nox, puertia!
Risus decet nunc,
decent carmina!
Laetos iuvat nos
ire per agros!
Traha fert velociter,
et cachinemus nos!

CHORUS:
Tinniat, tinniat
tintinnabulum!
Labimur in glacie
post mulum curtum!
Tinniat, tinniat
tintinnabulum!
Labimur in glacie
post mulum curtum!


Me nuper miserum
temptavit lunae lux!
Mox assidebat mihi
puella facti dux!
Vecti subito
in nivis cumulos:
caballus est perterritus
et tunc eversi nos!

CHORUS.

Solum scintillat,
nive candidum.
Repetatur nunc
concentus carminum!
Canities absit,
morosa omnibus!
Puellulas cum pueris
delectat hic cursus.

CHORUS.


Version 3. Unattributed, online at this Kealing.org website.

Cursu rapido
Trahea nostra ducimur
In agro niveo.
Risus editur.
Tintinnabula
Sonant. Maxima
Omnes laetitia
Nunc canimus ea:
Tinniunt, tinniunt
Tintinnabula.
Iuvat et delectat nos
Vehi cito trahea,
Tinniunt, tinniunt
Tintinnabula.
Iuvat et delectat nos
Vehi cito trahea!
Curro iungo equulum,
Qui vecturus trahula,
Et una est mecum
Puella lepida.
Exilis equulus
in nivem incidit,
Inopinato, funditis.
Quod traham proruit.
Tinniunt, tinniunt
Tintinnabula …



Here is Keith Massey performing Version 2!



Rex Wenceslaus

The English carol "Good King Wenceslas" was written by John Mason Neale, and first published in 1853. The music is based on a medieval song of spring. You can find the English lyrics along with music files and sheet music at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website. There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

The story of King Wenceslas has become connected with the Christmas holiday season because the feast of Saint Stephen, mentioned in the carol, falls on December 26.

The legend recounted in this carol tells how Wenceslas sees a poor man gathering wood in the snow. He decides to take food and wine to cheer the poor man. Together with his attendant, Wenceslas goes out into the snow, but the attendant finds it rough going, so Wenceslas tells the boy to walk in his footsteps, so that it will be easier for him. That's all there is to the story, although there are many other stories told about "good Wenceslas." You can read all about the historical Wenceslaus (Vaclav), the 10th-century Duke of Bohemia, in the detailed article at Wikipedia.

Latin translation by Stephen A. Hurlbut.

Sanctus Wenceslaus rex,
Stephani ad festum,
agrum vidit nivibus
gelidis congestum.
Vidit pauperem sibi
ligna colligentem,
qui sub luna splendida
sensit se frigentem.

"Huc, O puer, siste huc,
dicens, si cognoris,
quis sit, ubi habitet
pauper iste foris?"
"Ere, procul habitat,
subter illum montem,
silvae iuxta limitem,
ad Agnetis fontem."

"Affer carnem, vinum fer,
lignum afferamus,
ut nos illi pauperi
cenam praebeamus."
Rex et puer prodibant
animo aequali,
vento flante acriter
tempore brumali.

"Ere, nox fit atrior;
ventus vi augetur.
Plus non possum; nescio cur,
valde cor terretur."
"Puer mi, vestigia tu
sequere libenter;
hiems saeva laedet te
minus violenter."

Puer regem sequitur,
unde nix discessit;
fervor glaebis inerat,
ubi sanctus pressit.
Hoc scitote, divites,
Christum qui amatis:
Vos beate eritis,
si quem vos beatis.



Here is an image of a 1913 edition of the song:




O Parve Vice Bethlehem

"O Little Town of Bethlehem" is another very popular English carol, and I've found three different translations into Latin online. The English carol dates back to the year 1868, and you can find the lyrics, MIDI files and sheet music at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website. There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

The author of the carol, Phillips Brooks, actually traveled to Palestine, and was in Bethlehem during Christmas week in 1865, although he did not compose the carol until 1868.

I found three different Latin versions on line, and I've put my favorite one first! Note that the third version translates only the first two stanzas of the carol.

Version 1. Translated by Arthur Harold Weston.

O parve vice Bethlehem
quam tacitus iaces!
Super somnum stellae tuum
volvuntur silentes.
Sed noctis in tenebris
aeterna lux splendet.
Iam temporum spes omnium
curaqu(e) in te manet.

Nam Christus ex Maria
natus, et in caelo
sunt congressi nunc angeli
amore cum pio.
O stellae matutinae,
cantate caelitus!
Deo laudes sint insignes,
et pax hominibus.

Quam tacite, quam tacite,
mirum datur donum.
Sic dat Deus mortalibus
ex caelo gaudium.
Cum venit, non auditur,
sed in mundi culpis,
ub(i) animae volunt bonae,
intrat Christus nobis.

O sancte puer Bethlehem,
oramus: venias!
Fac animos nobis castos
puras fac et vitas.
Nunc angelos audimus
qui iubilant laeti.
Cum omnibus O mansurus
Emmanuel, veni!


Version 2. Translated by J.C. Robertson.

O urbs pusilla Bethlehem,
quam placide dormis,
sopore alto obruta
tranquillis sub astris.
At has per vias caecas
lux splendet aeterna;
curarum adest hominum
levamen, spes nostra.

Nam Christum modo genitum
mirantes, angeli
de nocte supra vigilant
amore exciti.
O stellae matutinae,
tam miram propter rem
nunc laudes Deo canite,
hominibus pacem.

Quam tacite demittitur
mirificum munus!
Sic sua beneficia
confert in nos Deus.
Perceptus nullo sensu,
nec spernens improbos,
libenter Christus supplices
invisit animos.

O sancte Iesu, et ad nos
descende hodie;
purgata nostra pectora
in, precamur, te.
Audimus illa laeta
canentes angelos:
Renascere, Emmanuel,
maneque apud nos.


Version 3. Translated by Margaret Older.

O parve vice Bethlehem,
quam tacite dormis,
et spectant alta sidera
de caeruleis caelis.
Sed in obscuris viis
tu hodie tenes,
aeterna luce fulgente,
annorum omnes spes!

Nam Iesus Christus natus est
et laeti angeli
infantem sanctum mirantur
dum dormiunt pop'li.
O stellae, conclamate
nostrum redemptorem,
atque laudes Deo regi,
mortalibus pacem!


Version 4. Unattributed, online at this Kealing.org website.

O parve vice Bethlehem,
en tacent omnia!
Te super dormientem hic
labuntur sidera.
Per vias lux adfulget
aeterna, splendide
aevorum spes et timores
conveniunt in te.





En, Nocte Venit Media

Today's selection is the English carol "It Came Upon The Midnight Clear," which was first published in 1849. You can find the English lyrics with MIDI files and sheet music at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website. There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

I found online this Latin translation by Robert J. M. Lindsay:

En, nocte venit media
antiquum canticum,
terraeque lyris angeli
civere sonitum:
"Pax orbi et hominibus;
a Deo gratia!"
Audivit summo reverens
silentio terra.

Adhuc nunc alis devolant
per caelum expansis;
adhuc et cantus dispergunt
mortalibus fessis,
et tristes atque desertos
campos pervolitant,
semperque mundi strepitum
canentes superant.

Bellis peccatisque diu
hic mundus laesus est.
Annorum duo milia
iniusta passus est,
nec hoc amoris canticum
bellantes audiunt.
Tumultuosi, silete,
dum angeli canunt!

Nam dies mox approperant
praedicti prophetis,
cum redit aetas aurea
volventibus annis,
cum pax antiquam gloriam
terris obiciet,
et carmen, quod nunc angelis
canunt, orbis reddet.



You can sing along with Norah Jones:



Veni, Veni Emmanuel!

Today's carol is based on the "O" antiphons of the Roman breviary, a text that dates back to the 8th century. The antiphons extend over a one week period, and December 23 is the "O Emmanuel" antiphon.

Below I've included the words to the Latin carol, along with the text of the antiphons. You can find the 15th century melody for the carol at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website, along with alternate music by the modern composers Bortniansky and Gounod. You can also find an English translation entitled "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel."

Here is the text of the traditional Latin carol. Note the nice rhymes!

Veni, veni Emmanuel!
Captivum solve Israel,
qui gemit in exsilio,
privatus Dei Filio.

CHORUS
Gaude, gaude; Emmanuel
nascetur pro te, Israel.


Veni, O Jesse virgula!
Ex hostis tuos ungula,
de specu tuos tartari
educ et antro barathri.

CHORUS

Veni, veni O Oriens!
Solare nos adveniens,
noctis depelle nebulas
dirasque noctis tenebras.

CHORUS

Veni, Clavis Davidica!
Regna reclude caelica!
Fac iter tutum superum
et claude vias inferum.

CHORUS

Veni, veni Adonai!
Qui populo in Sinai
legem dedisti vertice,
in Maiestate gloriae
.
CHORUS

Veni, O Sapientia!
Quae hic disponis omnia,
veni, viam prudentiae
ut doceas et gloriae.

CHORUS

Veni, veni, Rex gentium!
Veni, Redemptor omnium,
ut salvas tuos famulos
peccati sibi conscios.

CHORUS

Here is the text of the "O" antiphons in Latin, which provides the basic structure for the carol: O Sapientia, veni; O Adonai, veni; O Radix Jesse, veni; O Clavis David, veni; O Oriens, veni; O Rex gentium, veni; O Emmanuel, veni.

These antiphons were extraordinarily popular in the Middle Ages. They also contain an anagram. The first letters, SARCORE, can be rearranged to say: ERO CRAS, "I will be [with you] tomorrow."

December 17: O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter, suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

December 18: O Adonai, et dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

December 19: O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur; veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardere.

December 20: O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel: qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

December 21: O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol iustitiae: veni, et illumina sedentis in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

December 22: O Rex gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unem: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

December 23: O Emmanuel, Rex et legisfer noster, expectatio gentium, et Salvator erum: veni ad salvandum nos, Domine Deus noster.






Corde Natus Ex Parentis

Today's Latin hymn has lyrics by the 4th-century poet Prudentius. You can find the 11th-century music at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website, with links to several English versions as well.

The hymn by Prudentius forms part of his Liber Cathemerinon, and the complete Latin text is available online at the Christian Classics Etereal Library, along with an English translation.

Note: The Latin used in this hymn is much more difficult by far than the other Latin hymns that I have included here, so you will probably want to consult the English translation for help as you make your way through the text. The text of the carol begins at line 10 of Prudentius's hymn, proceeds to line 27, and then picks up again at line 106 to the end.

Corde natus ex parentis ante mundi exordium,
A et O cognominatus, ipse fons et clausula
omnium quae sunt, fuerunt quaeque post futura sunt.

Ipse iussit et creata, dixit ipse et facta sunt,
terra, caelum, fossa ponti, trina rerum machina,
quaeque in his vigent sub alto solis et lunae globo.

Corporis formam caduci, membra morti obnoxia
induit ne gens periret primoplasti ex germine,
merserat quem lex profundo noxialis tartaro.

O beatus ortus ille, virgo cum puerpera
edidit nostram salutem, feta Sancto Spiritu,
et puer redemptor orbis os sacratum protulit.

Psallat altitudo caeli; psallite omnes angeli;
quidquid est virtutis usquam psallat in laudem Dei;
nulla linguarum silescat; vox et omnis consonet.

Ecce, quem vates vetustis concinebant saeculis,
quem prophetarum fideles paginae spoponderant,
emicat promissus olim; cuncta conlaudent eum.

Macte iudex mortuorum, macte rex viventium,
dexter in Parentis arce qui cluis virtutibus,
omnium venturus inde iustus ultor criminum.

Te senes et te iuventus, parvulorum te chorus,
turba matrum virginumque, simplices puellulae,
voce concordes pudicis perstrepant concentibus.

Tibi, Christe, sit cum Patre hagioque Pneumate
hymnus, decus, laus perennis, gratiarum actio,
honor, virtus, victoria, regnum aeternaliter.









Silens Nox

To judge by the number of Latin translations I have found online, "Silent Night" must be the most popular English Christmas carol! The English song is a translation of the 19th-century German carol "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht." You can find the German lyrics at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website, along with the lyrics to the English carol, with MIDI files and sheet music. There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

There is a wonderful legend that says the German original was composed when it was discovered that the church organ had been eaten through by mice and could not play the Christmas service, prompting the composition of this carol about the "silent" night. Although the legend is not true, you can read a detailed factual account of the carol at the Hymns and Carols site.

Here are the Latin translations that I have found on the Internet. Each one of them has some very nice touches!

Version 1: Silens nox, sancta nox. Translated by Stanford Miller.

Silens nox, sancta nox,
placida, lucida,
virginem et puerum
dulcem atque tenerum,
somno opprime,
somno opprime.

Silens nox, sancta nox!
Angeli nitidi
"Alleluia" concinunt.
Nunc pastores metuunt.
Christus natus est,
Christus natus est.

Silens nox, sancta nox,
candida, splendida!
Fili Dei facies
nobis praebet novas spes.
Christus natus est,
Christus natus est!


Version 2: Nox silens, sancta nox. Translated by Harry Maynard.

Nox silens, sancta nox!
En, tranquilla omnia!
Cubat virgo cum nato mater.
Infans sancte, mollis, tener,
dormi tu placide,
dormi tu placide!

Nox silens, sancta nox!
Circumfulget gloria!
Primi pastores sentiunt.
Angeli 'Alleluia' canunt:
"Christus salvator adest,
Christus salvator adest!"

Nox silens, sancta nox!
Nati Deo e vultu
clare verus amor lucet.
Spes salutis nobis adfulget,
Natu, Jesu, tuo,
natu, Jesu, tuo!


Version 3: Silens nox, sacra nox. Translated by Josiah B. Game.

Silens nox, sacra nox!
Omn(e) est lux, omn(e) est pax
circum matrem et puerum.
Infans sacer, O beate,
dorm(i) in pace quieta,
dorm(i) in pace quieta.

Silens nox, sacra nox!
Pastores nunc adorant.
Glori(ae) ex stellis veniunt.
Angeli "Halleluiah" cantant:
"Christus salvator adest,
Christus salvator adest!"

Silens nox, sacra nox!
Fili Dei, lux pura coeli
clare radiat ex facie tua,
prima luce gratiae sacrae,
Domine, Iesu natu,
Domine, Iesu natu!


Version 4: Tranquilla nox, sancta nox. Translated by Robert J.M. Lindsay

Tranquilla nox, sancta nox!
Dormit mundus; nulla vox
iam auditur: in stabulo
Maria et Ioseph cum puero
qui dormit placide,
qui dormit placide.

Tranqilla nox, sancta nox!
Ad pastores iam venit velox
illud verbum ex angelis:
"Alleluia, nunc adis,
Christe, redemptor tu,
Christe, redemptor tu!"

Tranquilla nox, sancta nox!
Fili Dei, quanta mox
caritas lucet ex ore tuo.
Gratiae tempus adest mundo,
cum natus sis, Domine,
cum natus sis, Domine!


Version 5. Santa nox, placida nox. Translated by Otto Schmied.

Sancta nox, placida nox!
Nusquam est ulla vox.
Par sanctissimum vigilat.
Crispo crine quieti se dat
puer dulcissimus,
puer dulcissimus!

Sancta nox, placida nox!
Certior fit pastor mox
angelorum alleluia.
Sonat voce clarissima:
"Iesus salvator adest,
Iesus salvator adest!"

Sancta nox, placida nox!
Nate Dei, suavis vox
manat is nobis auxilio,
Christe, natalibus,
Christe, natalibus!


Version 6. From a collection of Polish carols translated into Latin by Ryszard Ganszyniec (1888-1958); the Polish version is Cicha noc.

Alma nox, tacita nox
Omnium silet vox.
Sola virgo nunc beatum
Ulnis fovet dulcem natum.
Pax tibi, Puer pax! (bis)

Alma nox, tacita nox,
O Jesu, tua vox
Amorem nobis explanat,
Nos redemptos esse clamat,
In tuo natali. (bis)

Alma nox, tacita nox!
Angeli sonat vox:
Alleluia! O surgite,
Pastores huc accurrite!
Christus Deus adest. (bis)


Version 7. Unattributed, online at this Kealing.org website.

Tacita
Nox, placida!
Vigilat
Unica
Mater Iesuli geniti.
"Christe, dulcis infantule mi,
Dormi placide tu,
Dormi placide tu!"
Tacita
Nox, placida!
Benevolentia,
Amor, ridet ex osculo,
Infans, tuo sanctissimo,
Ex quo genitus es,
Ex quo genitus es.
Tacita
Nox, placida!
Sonat "Halleluia"
Angelorum, adventum qui
Boni nuntiant Christuli,
Te qui servet et me,
Te qui servet et me!



Lapsi Caelo Super Gentes

The famous English carol "Angels We Have Heard On High" is actually an English translation of an 18th-century French carol, "Les anges dans nos campagnes." In the English carol (and also in the French carol), the refrain is usually sung in Latin: Gloria in excelsis Deo. You can find the English lyrics along with a MIDI music file and sheet music at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website. This site also provides the words to the French carol. There is music with four-part harmony at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library site. There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

I found a Latin version of this carol by Harry Maynard online. It is not exactly a translation of the traditional English carol, but it is clearly meant to be sunt to the same melody. Even though there is just one verse provided, I thought it was worth including here, as this is one of the most beautiful and best-known English Christmas carol melodies. Note that Maynard provides a refrain that is different from the Latin refrain usually sung with the English carol.

Lapsi caelo super gentes,
properate, angeli,
nuntiate nunc gaudentes
natum nostri Domini.
Adorate, adorate, adorate Dominum.


From the comments below (thank you!), I can offer this version with more verses! Wonderful!

Lapsi caelo super nos, 
properate, angeli, 
Nobis nuntiate vos 
natum nostri Domini! 
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! 
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! 

Cur pastores iubilant? 
Unde haec tot carmina 
Dum per noctem vigilant? 
Unde illa lumina? 
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! 
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! 

“Ite visum, populi, 
Novum regem hominum! 
Adorate, populi, 
adorate Dominum!” 
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! 
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!



Orientis Reges Tres

Today's song is the wonderful English carol, We Three Kings of Orient Are, composed by John Henry Hopkins in 1857. You can find the sheet music by Hopkins at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website, along with MIDI files and sheet music for other arrangements of the music.

A reference to the "wise men" and a list of their gifts can be found in the Gospel of Matthew, but the names of the wise men and other legends about them are extra-Biblical. You can find a detailed and highly informative discussion of these legends, including how the "wise men" came to be viewed as "kings" at the Hymns and Carols website. Down towards the bottom of the page there is a wonderful chart listing the different names attributed to the wise men in the different traditions. In Greek, they are Apellius, Amerius and Damascus; in Hebrew, Galgalat, Malgalat and Sarachin; in Persian, Hormizdh, Yazdegerd and Perozadh; in Ethiopian, Hor, Basanater and Karsudan; in Syrian, Larvandad, Hormisdas and Gushynasaph; in Armenian, Kagpha, Badadilma and Badadakharida.

I found this Latin translation on the Internet, attributed to Minnie Shepard. It features the traditional Latin names of the wise men: Caspar, Balthasar, and Melchior.

Reges:
Orientis reges tres
procul dona portantes
per campos et montes imus,
stell(am) illam sequentes.


CHORUS
O stella potens et mira,
stella regalis pulchra,
semper movens ad occasum
duc nos ad claram lucem.


Melchior:
Infans nate Bethlehem,
portamus hanc coronam,
Rex aeterne, sempiterne,
Domine terrarum.

CHORUS

Caspar:
Tus Sabaeum tibi fero,
Tus dignum magno Deo;
Te laudantes et orantes
colimus in caelo.

CHORUS

Balthazar:
Myrrh(am) amaram defero;
Circum te fumat caligo,
te languentem et gementem,
condit(um) in tumulo.

CHORUS

Reges:
Clarus surgit! O! Specta!
Deus, rex, et victima!
Alleluia, alleluia,
canunt cael(um) et terra.

CHORUS



Quem Pastores Laudavere

Today's song is a medieval Latin carol, dating back to the 14th century. It is frequently called the "Quempas" carol, based on the first two syllables of the Latin.

You can find a MIDI file along with sheet music at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website. The song was popular in Germany and throughout Europe in both Catholic and Protestant circles. There is an English adaptation by George Ratcliffe Woodward entitled "Whom of Old the Shepherds Praised."

Here are the standard three verses of the carol:

Quem pastores laudavere
quibus angeli dixere
"Absit vobis iam timere,"
natus est rex gloriae."

Ad quem magi ambulabant,
aurum, thus, myrrhum portabant,
immolabant haec sincere
nato regi gloriae.

Christo regi, Deo nato,
per Mariam nobis dato,
merito resonet vere
laus, honor et gloria.


Sometimes this verse is included as the third verse:

Exsultemus cum Maria
in coelesti heirarchia;
natum promat voce pia
laus, honor et gloria.


There is also an expanded version with a chorus.

Quem pastores laudavere,
quibus angeli dixere,
“Absit vobis iam timere,”
natus est Rex gloriae.


CHORUS.
Nunc angelorum gloria
hominibus resplenduit in mundo.
Novi partus gaudia
virgo mater produxit,
et sol verus in tenebris illuxit.
Christus natus hodie ex virgine.


Ad quem magi ambulabant,
aurum, thus, myrrham portabant,
immolabant haec sincere
leoni victoriae.

CHORUS.

Exultemus cum Maria
in coelesti hiearchia;
natum promat voce pia
dulci cum melodia.

CHORUS

Christo regi, Deo nato,
per Mariam nobis dato,
merito resonet vere
laus, honor, et gloria.

CHORUS






Gaudete

In the Catholic Advent calendar, "Gaudete" Sunday is the third Sunday in Advent. This 16th-century Latin carol which became a hit single in the 1970s for the band Steeleye Span (see below). You can find an English translation at Wikipedia, and see also the comments below!

The reference in the song to the "gate of Ezekiel" is based on an allegorical interpretation of Ezekiel 44: Et convertit me ad viam portae sanctuarii exterioris quae respiciebat ad orientem et erat clausa et dixit Dominus ad me porta haec clausa erit non aperietur et vir non transiet per eam quoniam Dominus Deus Israhel ingressus est per eam eritque clausa Principi princeps ipse sedebit in ea ut comedat panem coram Domino per viam vestibuli portae ingredietur et per viam eius egredietur, "Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it [was] shut. Then said the Lord unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. [It is] for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the Lord; he shall enter by the way of the porch of [that] gate, and shall go out by the way of the same."

Tempus adest gratiae,
hoc quod optabamus;
carmina laetitiae
devote reddamus.

CHORUS
Gaudete! gaudete!
Christus est natus ex Maria virgine,
gaudete!


Deus homo factus est,
natura mirante;
mundus renovatus est
a Christo regnante.

CHORUS

Ezechielis porta
clausa pertransitur;
unde lux est orta,
salus invenitur.

CHORUS

Ergo nostra contio
psallat iam in lustro,
benedicat Domino:
salus Regi nostro.

CHORUS







Procul in Praesaepi

Today's carol, "Away in a Manger," is a popular English Christmas carol, first published in 1885, with the third verse added in 1887. Although the first publication was by the Lutheran Church, it is not true that Martin Luther is the author of the song, although you will sometimes see it attributed it to him. The song is popular in both America and in England, although it is sung to two different tunes. You can find the lyrics along with MIDI files for the two different tunes and sheet music at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website. There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

The English title of this carol gives me a great excuse to say something about the wonderful English word "manger," which is ultimately derived from Latin. As all Latin students know, the Latin verb esse, "to eat," is confusingly similar to the verb "to be" (this is the case in many Indo-European languages). As a result, the simple Latin verb esse was gradually replaced in the later Romance languages. In some languages, it was replaced by a compounded form of the verb. The Spanish "comer," for example, comes from the Latin comesse (as in the English word "comestible"). In Italian, however, the verb is mangiare (as anyone knows who has been told, "mangia, mangia!" "eat, eat!"). This word comes from the Latin verb manducare, "to chew." This Latin verb manducare is thus also the root of the English word "manger," where the animals come to "chew" their food!

I found this Latin version of the carol on the Internet, attributed to Robert J.M. Lindsay.

Procul in praesaepi et sine lecto,
en, parvulus Iesus dormit in faeno
stellaeque micantes despectant eum
tranquillo in somno, nostrum Dominum.

Dum mugiunt boves, expergiscitur;
nec tamen ex illo auditur murmur.
Amo te, mi Iesu! De caelo specta
et usque ad lucem, precor, mi adsta.

Es, Domine, mecum, te rogo; mane
me iuxta aeterno, et dilige me.
Pueruli omnes in cura tua
fac uti fruantur aeterna vita.




In Dulci Iubilo

"In Dulci Iubilo" began in the 14th century as a macaronic song, mixing German together with Latin. The composition is attributed to the German mystic Heinrich Suso who is supposed to have had a vision of angels and to have heard them singing. He joined in the dance of the angels and then recorded the experience in this mixed German and Latin song. There is also a Wikipedia article about the carol itself.

This German-Latin song was extremely popular, and inspired an English-Latin macaronic version. You can find the English-Latin macaronic version with a MIDI file and sheet music at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website, along with a later adaptation into English, Good Christian Men, Rejoice.

On the Internet I also found a translation of the song completely into Latin, attributed to George Litzel:

In dulci iubilo
cantate domino!
Nostri cordis gaudium
est in praesaepio
et fulget ut lux solis
in matris gremio.
Alpha est et O! Alpha est et O!

O Iesu parvule,
requiro solum te,
meumque sis solamen,
O puer optime!
commune per levamen,
O princeps gloriae!
Trahe me post te! Trahe me post te!

O Patris caritas!
O Nati lenitas!
Nos omnes cadebamus
per nostra crimina;
per hunc recuperamus
caelorum gaudia.
Simus hic eia! Simus hic eia!

Sunt ubi gaudia?
Non usquam qualia
ad angelos, canentes
Iucunda cantica,
et cymbalis ludentes
in Regis curia.
Simus hic eia! Simus hic eia!







Avia renone calcabatur

Keep up with the latest posts! You can subscribe by email or visit the Bestiaria Latina blog. For the complete Latin carols collection, visit the Gaudium Mundo Homepage. Plus, you can even add a Latin Christmas Carol widget to your own blog or website!

You can read about the English version of the "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" song in this Wikipedia article... and you can find not just one, but TWO Latin versions below.

VERSION ONE

This version was rendered in Latin by the Latin IV class, Carmel HS, Carmel, Indiana. Thanks to Linda Emanuel for sharing this!

Chorus
Avia renone calcabatur
Dum ambulat in Saturnalibus.
Diceas Saturnum non exstare,
Sed Avius et ego credimus
Stanza I
Vinum nimium bibebat
admonita ne eat,
sed medicinae est oblita
et e ianua in nivem titubat.
Stanza II
Mane cum e(am) adibamus
in impetus prospectu
vestigia errant in fronte
et Saturni erant notae in dorso.
Chorus
Stanza III
Nunc Avo superbi sumus
se tam bene comportat
sedens illic spectat ludos
consobrinus cum eo se oblectat.
Stanza IV
Non sunt Saturnalia nunc
in togis pallidis sumus
nihilominus nos miramur
dona Aviae anon remittamus (Remitte!)
Chorus
Stanza V
Anser nunc est primae mensae
et placenta ex ficis (Ah!)
similesque sunt candelae
coloribus in Aviae pilis.
Stanza VI
Vicinos omnes admonebam
"Vos servate spectando"
Aurigare numquam debet
qui portatus est in traha cum nano.
Chorus (bis, sed altius alterum cantate)
Io Saturnalia!
(Basso profundo!)

VERSION TWO

This version was rendered in Latin by Eduardus "Caudex" - grātiās Eduardō agimus!

Aviam nostram tandem tarandrus conculcāvit,
Domum euntem vigiliīs ante Nātīvitātem
Licet dīcās tālem quālis Nicolāus nōn exstāre
Ego et avus meus crēdimus eum exstāre quidem

Nimium enim tēmētum ōvicātum sibi sumpserat,
Eam obsecrāvimus nē proficīscerētur at,
Eius medicinā domī relictā valdē indigēbat;
Proin per forēs intrā nivēs forās titubat

Eā postrīdiē repertā, Nātālī mātūtīnō
In locō concursātiōnī datō
Ēn! in fronte notae ungulārum
Tergō unguibus Nicolāī lacerātō.

Aviam nostram tandem tarandrus conculcāvit,
Domum euntem vigiliīs ante Nātīvitātem
Licet dīcās tālem quālis Nicolāus nōn exstāre
Ego et avus meus crēdimus eum exstāre quidem

Vērum omnēs dē avō nostrō tantum glōriāmur,
Nam in bonam partem haec omnia sustinet
Vidē sīs illīc ut laetus follilūdium intuētur,
Cerevīsiam bibit, chartulās Helenulae dispertiet.

Aviā nostrā absente, Nātālī genuīnō nōn gaudēmus,
Tōtī familiārēs vestibus pullīs sunt indūtī,
Nec possumus quīn nōsmetipsōs rogēmus,
Utrum oporteat mūnera eius ēvolvī an remittī?
AN REMITTĪ?

Aviam nostram tandem tarandrus conculcāvit,
Domum euntem vigiliīs ante Nātīvitātem
Licet dīcās tālem quālis Nicolāus nōn exstāre
Ego et avus meus crēdimus eum exstāre quidem

Nunc ānser pinguis in mēnsā jacet
Et pulpa ē fīcīs nōbīs optātissimīs
Ūnā cum candēlīs caeruleā et argenteā
Aviae concolōrī capillāmentō simillimīs

Amīcōs omnēs et vīcīnōs sēdulō admonuī:
Oportet vōs ut vōbīsmet caveātur nē
Ūlla licentia trahā vehendō darī dēbeat
Hominī quī cum nūminibus pūmilīs lūdit, hei!

Cantātō, ave mī!

Aviam nostram tandem tarandrus conculcāvit,
Domum euntem vigiliīs ante Nātīvitātem
Licet dīcās tālem quālis Nicolāus nōn exstāre
Ego et avus meus crēdimus eum exstāre quidem




Primum Noel Cecinit Angelus

Today's song is another example of an English carol, "The First Noel," which has been translated into Latin. The English carol probably dates back to the 16th century, although it was not collected and published until the 19th century. You can find various English versions along with MIDI files and sheet music at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website. There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

The word "noel" (French for "Christmas") itself is derived from the Latin word Natalis.

Latin translation by J.C. Robertson, commonly found on the Internet.

Primum Noel cecinit angelus
pastoribus excubantibus,
qui summa hieme in agris
manebant cum gregibus suis.

CHORUS:
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Natus est Rex in Israel.


In caelum hi suspiciunt
stellamque clarissimam cernunt
quae ex oriente enitet
ac noctes diesque permanet.

CHORUS.

Iam duce stellae lumine
tres Magi venerunt peregre,
ut regem quaererent, certi
quocumque praeiret prosequi.

CHORUS.

Ad occidentem stella praeit
donec usque Bethlehem pervenit;
consistit tum supra locum in quo
puerulus iacet in praesaepio.

CHORUS.

Ingressi Magi illi tres
infantis Iesu ad pedes
se reverenter proiciunt,
et aurum, tus, myrrham offerunt.

CHORUS.

Nunc universi ex animo
tribuamus laudes Domino,
hunc mundum qui creaverit,
et sanguine Christi nos emerit.

CHORUS.



Dum Servant Pecus Pastores

Today's carol is an English song entitled "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night," with words by Nahum Tate (1700). Like any popular song it has been set to many different musical arrangements. You can find English lyrics along with MIDI files and sheet music at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website. There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

On the Internet, I've found two different Latin translations, one being much more complete than the other.

Version 1. Latin translation by Robert J.M. Lindsay (this is the Latin version commonly found online).

Dum servant pecus pastores
per noctem quieti,
summo nitore descendit
angelus Domini.

"Metum," inquit, "deponite!"
(pavebant subito);
"Laetitiam terricolis
cunctis pronuntio:

"In urbe David natus est
Davidicae gentis Salvator
qui est Christus Rex.
Signum erit vobis:

"Invenietis puerum
vestitu misero;
monstratus is hominibus
iacet in stabulo."

Haec simul fatus est, turba
fulgens apparuit,
chorus Deum laudantium,
sic laeta cecinit:

"Deo sit tota gloria;
pax fiat in terris;
mortalibusque gratiae
ne umquam sit finis."


Version 2. Translator unknown (I have corrected several typos in the one example of this version which I found online).

Dum nocte humi praesident
pastores gregibus,
lux circumfulsit de caelo:
descendit angelus.

Tum "Ne timete!" monuit
trementis animo.
"Nam vobis atque omnibus
pergrata nuntio.

"In urbe vestra Bethlehem
Davidis de stirpe
Salvator Christus Dominus
est natus hodie."






Here is a performance of the English carol:

Christe, Redemptor Omnium

Today's carol is an ancient Latin hymn dating back to the 6th century, and it has formed part of Catholic Vespers during the Christmas season. You can find an English translation at the Preces Latinae website. You can find a MIDI file and sheet music at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website.

The words are sometimes attributed to Saint Ambrose, bishop of Milan in the fourth century. While Ambrose was the author of several hymns in iambic meter with four-line stanzas, as in this hymn, it seems unlikely that this hymn was actually written by Ambrose.

Christe, Redemptor omnium,
ex Patre, Patris unice,
solus ante principium
natus ineffabiliter,

Tu lumen, tu splendor Patris,
tu spes perennis omnium,
intende quas fundunt preces
tui per orbem servuli.

Salutis auctor, recole
quod nostri quondam corporis,
ex illibata Virgine
nascendo, formam sumpseris.

Hic praesens testatur dies,
currens per anni circulum,
quod a solus sede Patris
mundi salus adveneris;

Hunc caelum, terra, hunc mare,
hunc omne quod in eis est,
auctorem adventus tui
laudat exsultans cantico.

Nos quoque, qui sancto tuo
redempti sumus sanguine,
ob diem natalis tui
hymnum novum concinimus.

Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
qui natus es de Virgine,
cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
in sempiterna saecula.



Adeste Fideles

"O Come, All Ye Faithful" is one of the most popular English Christmas carols, and this English carol is, in turn, a translation of an 18th century Latin hymn. The Latin carol "Adeste Fideles" circulates widely on the Internet attributed to "J. Reading, 1692", but the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website attributes the hymn to John Francis Wade, circa 1743 (you will also find a MIDI file and sheet music at this site). There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

According to this website, John Reading was only one of many authors to whom the hymn was attributed (ranging from St. Bonaventura to Handel!). Recent manuscript studies have established that the hymn was composed inititally composed by John Wade, and that verses were then added subsequently, as noted below. There are many different English translations.

Here are the words of the carol:

Adeste, fideles, laeti triumphantes;
Venite, venite in Bethlehem;
Natum videte Regem angelorum.


CHORUS:
Venite adoremus.
Venite adoremus.
Venite adoremus Dominum.


Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine,
gestant puellae viscera.
Deum verum, Genitum non factum.

CHORUS.

Cantet nunc "io" Chorus angelorum,
cantet nunc aula caelestium:
"Gloria, gloria in excelsis Deo!"

CHORUS.

Ergo qui natus die hodierna,
Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
Patris aeterni Verbum caro factum.

CHORUS.

Additional verses composed by Abbé Étienne Jean François Borderies and added in 1822:

En grege relicto, humiles ad cunas
vocati pastores approperant:
et nos ovanti gradu festinemus.

CHORUS.

Aeterni Parentis splendorem aeternum
velatum sub carne videbimus:
Deum infantem, pannis involutum.

CHORUS.

Pro nobis egenum et faeno cubantem
piis foveamus amplexibus:
sic nos amantem quis non redamaret?

CHORUS.

Last verse added in the mid-19th century to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany:

Stella duce, Magi Christum adorantes
aurum, tus et myrrham dant munera.
Iesu infanti corda praebeamus.

CHORUS.

Alternate version. I also happened to have found this alternate version, unattributed, online at this Kealing.org website.

Omnes venite,
Bethlehem adite,
Homines pii, beatissimi,
Regem spectate
Natum angelorum.
Venite et spectate,
Venite et spectate,
Venite et spectate, Dominum
Qui est deorum
Deus, lux astrorum.
Qui autem ortus est a virgine.
Deus est verus,
Genitus, non factus.
Venite …
O iubilate,
Angeli, cantate,
Omnes cantate, caeli incolae.
Et in excelsis
Gloria sit Deo.
Venite …
Te salutamus
Natum et laudamus
lesum hoc mane beatissimo.
Quod dixit Pater
Caro nunc est facta.
Venite …


You can sing along with Luciano Pavarotti:



Resonet in Laudibus

Today's carol is a 14th-century hymn, widely popular in Germany and throughout Europe, in both Catholic and Protestant circles. The Hymns and Carols of Christmas website provides lyrics, music and information about a popular English adaptation of the Latin hymn, "Christ was born on Christmas Day." As often with popular songs, there were several different Latin versions. I've included two of them here.

Version 1: The Hymns and Carols of Christmas website provides the lyrics with links to a MIDI file, sheet music and other information about the hymn. You can also find an easy to read presentation of the tune at Gregorius Kollmorgen's website. You can find a MIDI file and sheet music with four-part harmony at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

Resonet in laudibus,
cum jucundis plausibus,
Sion cum fidelibus:
apparuit quem genuit Maria.

Christus natus hodie,
ex Maria virgine,
sine virile semine:
apparuit quem genuit Maria.

Pueri, concinite,
nato regi psallite,
voce pia dicite:
apparuit quem genuit Maria.

Sion, lauda Dominum,
salvatorem hominum,
purgatorem criminum:
apparuit quem genuit Maria.

Sunt impleta quae praedixit Gabriel,
Eia, Eia,
Virgo Deum genuit
quem divina voluit clementia.

Hodie apparuit,
apparuit in Israel,
ex Maria virgine:
est natus Rex.



Version 2: The Hymns and Carols of Christmas website provides the lyrics with links to a MIDI file, sheet music and other information about the hymn.

Resonemus laudibus
cum jocunditatibus
ecclesiam fidelibus:
appanuit quem genuit Maria.

Deus fecit hominem
ad suum imaginem
et similitudinem:
apparuit quem genuit Maria.

Deus fecit omnia
caelum, terram, maria,
cunctaque nascentia:
apparuit quem genuit Maria.

Ero nostro contio
in chordis et organo
benedictat Domino:
apparuit quem genuit Maria

Et Deo qui venias
donat et laetitias
nos eidem gratias:
apparuit quem genuit Maria.










This version has different lyrics, but they appear very helpfully on the screen, together with an English translation!



Gaudium Mundo

The English carol "Joy to the World" has lyrics written by Isaac Watts in 1719. You can read a biography of Watts and find the English lyrics along with the music at CyberHymnal, along with links to many other hymns by Watts. There are four different versions of "Joy to the World," along with music files, at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website. There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

The Latin version that circulates on the Internet translates just the first verse, unfortunately. I was surprised to not find a fuller Latin translation online! There was a Latin version by Cecil Rigby available at quite an exorbitant price from Hando Music. If somebody is inspired to do a more complete Latin version that they want to share, please let me know!

(Translated by Stanford Miller)

Laetissimus
accipiat
iam mundus Dominum
dum omnia
in corda nos
accipimus illum!
accipimus illum!
accip-, accip-imus illum!


Alternate version. Unattributed, online at this Kealing.org website.

Christus advenit. Cuncti sint
Nunc laeti, hilares!
Aperiantur
Corcula
Et cantent homines! Et cantent homines! Et cantent homines!
Christus advenit, homines
Et cantent canticum!
Quod personent
Planities
Et cantent homines! Et cantent homines! Et cantent homines!



Regis Olim Urbe David

Today's carol is a 19th-century English song by Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander, published in Hymns for Little Children. You can find the English lyrics at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website, along with a MIDI file and sheet music. The lyrics clearly show that this was a hymn composed for children, mixing traditional nativity motifs but with a special message for little children.

I first found the Latin translation for this hymn at the about.com website. You can also find this hymn in Latin, English, and Japanese (!) online, together with a MIDI file you can play to hear the music.

(Translator unknown: does anyone know who prepared this Latin translation?)

Regis olim urbe David,
sub bovili misero,
mater posuit infantem
in praesaepi pro lecto:
Mitis Maria mater,
Iesus Christus eius puer.

De caelo ad nos descendit
Deus, Dominus orbis.
Ei tectum est bovile
et praesaepe pro cunis.
Pauperum virum amator
Sancte vixisti Salvator.

Et puertiam per miram
observanter parebat
Virgini eidem matri,
quae eum pepererat.
Tentent et discipuli
esse similes ei.

Nam exemplum ille nobis:
nostri crescebat instar;
parvus quondam, imbecillus,
flens et ridens nobis par,
particeps tristitiae
idem et laetitiae.

Tandem illum nos cernemus
ex amore aeterno.
Puer enim ille parvus
summo regnat iam caelo,
atque eo nos ducit
quo et ipse praeiit.

Nec in stabulo misello,
bubus prope stantibus,
tunc videbitur, sed celsus,
sedens Deo proximus;
comites tum coronati
circumstabunt candidati.





Here is a choral performance of the song in English:

Angeli Canunt Praecones

"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is a very well-known English Christmas carol, and I've found two different Latin translations online. You can find information about the English carol at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website, along with alternate English verses plus sheet music. There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

Here are the two different Latin versions I found online:

Version 1 (Translated by Robert J.M. Lindsay)

Angeli canunt praecones
nuper natum Dominum,
pacem nobis, veniamque
erga genus humanum.
Gentes surgite gaudentes,
cum caelicolis canentes
Dei Filium, Regem,
natum iam in Bethlehem:
Ecce, canunt angeli gloriam novo Regi!

Christus, adoratus caelo,
in aeternum Dominus,
sero ad nos, en, advenit,
Virginis idem partus.
Homo fieri dignate,
ave, Deus incarnate!
Iesu, placuit tibi
nobiscum sic morari:
Ecce, canunt angeli Gloriam novo Regi!

Pacis o caelestis Princeps,
probitatis sol, prodis
lucem, vitam cunctis ferens
salutaribus alis.
Splendorem deposuisti,
vitam aeternam tulisti,
levaturus mortales,
ut bis natos nos praestes:
Ecce, canunt angeli Gloriam, novo Regi!


Version 2 (Translator unknown: does anyone know who the translator is?)

En canentes angeli:
"Gloria Regi infanti;
pax in terra, et Deus
concors cum mortalibus."
Laeti omnes populi,
cum caelestibus iuncti,
praedicate "Nunc Christus
est in Bethlehem natus."
En canentes angeli: "Gloria Regi infanti."

Adoratus caelitus,
Christus, semper Dominus,
serius advenit spe,
genitus e virgine.
Carne tamquam obsitus,
homo ex deo factus,
volens ut par sit honos,
commoratur inter nos.
En canentes angeli: "Gloria Regi infanti."

Salve, rex concordiae,
salve, sol iustitiae,
lumen, vitam afferens,
salutaris oriens!
Gloriam deposuit,
humilesque extuli,
immortales reddens nos,
denuo regenitos.
En canentes angeli: "Gloria Regi infanti."




Conditor Alme Siderum

Today's carol is another medieval Latin hymn dating back to the sixth or seventh century which forms part of the Catholic Vespers service during Advent. The Hymns and Carols of Christmas website has a traditional English version with MIDI files and a PDF file of the sheet music, as well as a more modern English version. The Preces Latinae website also has an English translation.

You can also find a Baroque musical setting by J. Titelouze online, with MIDI file and PDF file of the sheet music. There is an MP3 file available at the Virtually Baroque website.

Conditor alme siderum,
aeterna lux credentium,
Christe, redemptor omnium,
exaudi preces supplicum.

Qui condolens interitu
mortis perire saeculum,
salvasti mundum languidum,
donans reis remedium.

Vergente mundi vespere,
uti sponsus de thalamo,
egressus honestissima
Virginis matris clausula.

Cuius forti potentiae
genu curvantur omnia;
caelestia, terrestria
nutu fatentur subdita.

Te, Sancte, fide quaesumus,
venture iudex saeculi,
conserva nos in tempore
hostis a telo perfidi.

Sit, Christe, rex piissime,
tibi Patrique gloria
cum Spiritu Paraclito,
in sempiterna saecula.