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“E la don, don, Verges Maria”

28 December 2010

Since this is now only the Fourth Day of Christmas, I figured I would share one of my favorite non-English Christmas carols, written in Catalan in the 16 century. (English translation below the Catalan lyrics)

E la don don,
Verges Maria,
e la don don,
peu cap desanque que nos dansaron.

O garçons, aquesta nit
una verges na parit
un fillo qu’es tro polit
que non aut au en lo mon.

Digas nos qui t’ho la dit
que verges n’haja parit
que nos mai havem ausit
lo que tu diu, giranthom.

A eo dian los argeus
que cantaven altas veus
la grolla n’ecelsis Deus
qu’en Belem lo trobaron.

Per señau nos an birat
que verets embolicat
de drapets molt mal faxat
lo ver diu petit garçon.

Vin Perot i a Diu verai
i a la Verges sa mai
un sorron li portarai
que sera ple de coucom.

Ara canta tu Beltran
per amor deu Sant Infan
i aprés cantara Joan
i donar nos han coucom.

I be cantare sus dich
per Jesus mon bon amich
que nos sauvara la nit
de tot mal quan hom se dorm.


She is our Lady, the Lady,
the Virgin Mary,
She is our Lady, the Lady
How we will dance!

Oh, people this night
a virgin gave birth
to a child so fine,
there’s no equal on earth.

Tell us who told you
that a virgin gave birth,
for we never heard
such a thing, good sir.

The angels sang glory
to God in the the highest,
for in Bethlehem town
the child was found.

Through signs we were told
that truth would be wrapped
in a very poor blanket,
a small boy, the true God.

Peter comes near and
to God and the Virgin
he brings a bundle
that is full of treats.

Now Father Beltran will sing
for love of the Holy Child
and after, John will sing
and then they’ll give us sweets.

He will sing his song
for Jesus my good friend
who will guard us from all harm
while we sleep through the night.

(No, believe it or not, I do not know 16th century Catalan. Translation from the San Francisco Bach Choir)

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