Wednesday, December 18, 2013

♪ The Huron Carol ♫

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This is one of my favorite Christmas carols. Originally written around 1642 for the Huron (Wendat) people of North America by French missionary St. Jean de Brébeuf, Jesous Ahatonhia ("Jesus, he is born") was used to express the Nativity story in word pictures more familiar to his adopted flock.

Church of St. Joseph, Sainte-Marie-Among-the-Hurons,
a reconstruction of the French settlement,  near  Midland, Ontario

An English version written in 1926 (NOT a translation of the original words and often viewed as patronizing) is the one I grew to love as a child, and still sing alone at home as well as in worship music. (There is also a French version but I believe that was just composed in the 1970s.) Many beautiful recordings exist, but I am sharing this version by Canadian Cree entertainer Tom Jackson in honor of his annual cross-country "Huron Carole" Tour, raising funds for and awareness of hunger in Canada. *Sorry folks, this year's tour ends tomorrow, Dec. 19 in Victoria, BC. I'm hoping I'll catch it next year.*


Donations can still be made to the Christmas & Winter Relief AssociationAnd please remember, your local food banks need you, not just at Christmas but year-round.

The enduring appeal of the Huron Carol continues with this recent translation of the lyrics into Mi'kmaw, sung a capella by the Eskasoni Trio of Nova Scotia and offered as a free download at this link. (Hauntingly beautiful.)

Mi'kmaw is a commonly spoken First Nation language here in Maritime Canada.

*Wli Nuelewi aq (Merry Christmas)*

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