08 December 2008

Nightingale Sounds

One of my favorite Christmas songs is the 16th century "villancico" from Spain called "Riu Riu Chiu". Several recordings have been made including a version by the Monkees doing the first two verses (see video below). I post this today because the song mentions today's feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here's my own moderately literal translation:

Riu, riu chiu protected by the River
God kept our Lady from that wolf the devil
God kept our Lady from that wolf the devil

The rabid wolf attempted to bite the Theotokos
But Almighty God knew how to defend her
He wished to create her impervious to sin
Nor did she embody original sin

This newborn child is the mightiest of monarchs
Christ patriarchal dressed in human flesh
He humbled Himself in order to redeem us
He who was infinite took on finitude

Many prophecies told us about His coming
And now in our days we have seen them fulfilled
God became man on earth do we behold Him
Now man goes to heaven because it is His will

Christ is here giving life to the dead
He comes to redeem the fallen race of Adam
Jesus is the light that shines in the day
He is the Lamb of God John the Baptist prophesied

Now we have received what we were all desiring
Let us go together bearing our gifts
Let us give our wills to the God who was willing
to come down to earth becoming one of us.

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