1. 'Twas in the moon of wintertime, When all the birds had fled, That mighty Gitchi Manitou Sent angel choirs instead; Before their light the stars grew dim, And wand'ring hunters heard the hymn: Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, In excelsis gloria.
2. Within a lodge of broken bark The tender babe was found, A ragged robe of rabbit skin Enwrapped His beauty 'round; But as the hunter braves drew nigh, The angel song rang loud and high: Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, In excelsis gloria.
3. The earliest moon of wintertime Is not so round and fair As was the ring of glory on The helpless Infant there. The chiefs from far before Him knelt With gifts of fox and beaver pelt. Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, In excelsis gloria.
4. Oh children of the forest free, Oh sons of Manitou, The holy Child of earth and Heav'n Is born today for you. Come kneel before the radiant Boy, Who brings you beauty, peace and joy. Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, In excelsis gloria.
This hymn was written by Fr. Jean de Brébeuf, a French missionary to the Huron (first nations / native American) people. He was eventually martyred for the faith by Iroquois during the Iroquois-Huron wars. "When the Japanese have a Christmas devotional booklet, Mary is a Japanese woman, and her Child is a Japanese boy. With that, they are confessing that He was born for them too. For that was the message of the angel, that He was born to be the Savior for all people, and all people means one of us ... and so whether it is in Papau New Guinea or Japan or among the Eskimos, when they think of the birth of the Savior they see Him as born one of them." - Dr. Norman Nagel, 22 Dec 2005
Words: Jean de Brébeuf, 1642. Translated by Jesse Edgar Middleton, 1926.
Music: 'Huron Carol' or 'Jesous Ahatonia' or 'Une Jeunne Pucelle' traditional French, 1557.
Setting: John Murphy, 2008.
copyright: Music & Lyrics public domain. Setting: CPDL (see http://www2.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/ChoralWiki:CPDL).This score is a part of the Open Hymnal Project, 2013 Revision.
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