December 20, 2009

The Huron Carol

The Huron CarolThe "Huron Carol" (or "'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime") is a Christmas hymn, written in 1643 by Jean de Brébeuf, a Christian missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Canada. Brébeuf wrote the lyrics in the native language of the Huron/Wendat people; the song's original Huron title is "Jesous Ahatonhia" ("Jesus, he is born"). The song's melody is a traditional French folk song, "Une Jeune Pucelle" ("A Young Maid"). The well known English lyrics were written in 1926 by Jesse Edgar Middleton.

This version performed by Heather Dale, and sung in Wendat (Huron), French and English.

Comment:  A Native song from four centuries ago...really? I wouldn't have thought we had any Native songs more than a couple hundred years old. Is this the oldest Native song whose existence is documented?

For the history of Christmas hymns and carols, see the Wikipedia entry on Christmas carols. For more on Indians and Christmas, see Indians = Philanthropists, Not Socialists and Starman Visited Baby Jesus.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

I found this when listening to the Sky FM online Christmas station. They played another version of the hymn, which made me interested enough to look it up.

I plan on doing a post on this one on Christmas day, and will link back to yours.