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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

CHRISTMAS CAROLS YOU DON'T KNOW - Sleep O Child

You are a treasury of grace, and Jesus, Son of God
Sleep peacefully, my child

Celtic music is still pretty popular after a big surge a few years back. I get very tired of reels and jigs if they are plain old original versions but if properly arranged and well performed, Celtic music can be incredibly beautiful. Its striking how similar a lot of that music is to bluegrass, but not all that surprising. Kentucky and Tennessee were largely founded by immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, and other British Isles areas, bringing their music with them.

This song is actually called Codail A Linbh, which I'm not even sure how to pronounce, but it is very beautiful. Marie Brennan sings it in Celtic, but I have both the Celt and English versions below, and the words match the music very well. Incidentally, Marie is the eldest sister of Eithne (better known as Enya) and both were in a band called Clannad that I'm sure at least some of you are familiar with.

Although the lyrics are pretty heavily Roman Catholic (treasury of Grace, veneration of Mary, etc), the song is still beautiful and sweet and very focused on the birth of Christ which is the whole point of Christmas, after all.



Adhraim mo leanbh beag tagth' ar an saol
Codail, a linbh, go sámh
Adhraim a laige, a loime nocht faon
Codail, a linbh, go sámh

Inis, a ghrá, liom, id' luí sa mhainséar
Inis cén fath dhuit bheith sínte san fhéar
Is tú coimhde na ngrásta 'gus Íosa, Mac Dé
Codail, a linbh, go sámh
Codail, a linbh, go sámh

A Mhuire, a mhathair's a bhuime mhín tséimh
Codail, a linbh, go sámh
Is mé coimhde na ngrásta 'gus Íosa, Mac Dé
Codail, a linbh, go sámh

Ach go beo bocht a tháinig le mian ar an saol
Chun deoraithe fánacha a shaoradh ón éag
Is nuair 'chrochfar in airde mé claonfaid chugam féin
Codail, a linbh, go sámh
Codail, a linbh, go sámh


In English:

I worship you, my little child come on earth
Sleep peacefully, my child
I worship him, weak, naked and helpless
Sleep peacefully, my child

Tell me, my love, as you lie in the manger
Tell me why you lay stretched in the straw
You are a treasury of grace, and Jesus, Son of God
Sleep peacefully, my child
Sleep peacefully, my child

Mary, my mother and gentle nurse
Sleep peacefully, my child
I am a treasury of grace, and Jesus, Son of God
Sleep peacefully, my child

Desperately poor, I came with desire into this world
To save wandering exiles from death
And when I am suspended on high they will lean towards me
Sleep peacefully, my child
Sleep peacefully, my child

I don't know why, but the British Isles seem more "Christmasy" to me, perhaps because most of the traditional Christmas images and stories we know (like A Christmas Carol) are British in Origin.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Eric said...

Thought you might like this story: I just finished watching my daughter's 5th grade public school vocal class walk up and down Main Street singing Christmas Carols in the cold weather. Most of the songs were fairly secular, i.e. Jingle Bells and We Wish You A Merry Christmas, but they also did Go Tell It On The Mountain.

No war on Christmas here.

11:37 AM, December 20, 2011  

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