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December 13

Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella

Performed by Lisa Nichols on alto flute and Gwen Hutchings on clarinet

Words: French traditional, c. 1553; trans. Edward Cuthbert Nunn (1868-1914).
Music: French traditional, 14th century.

Today's song is "Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella" from Lisa Nichols and Gwen Hutchings. This is a translation of a French carol from Provence, "Un Flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle". The tune has been known since the 14th century, originally as a dance. The carol first appeared in print in 1553.



Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabella
Bring a torch, to the cradle run!
It is Jesus, good folk of the village;
Christ is born and Mary's calling;
Ah! ah! beautiful is the Mother
Ah! ah! beautiful is her Son!

Another first verse:
Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabella
Bring a torch, come swiftly and run!
Christ is born, tell the folk of the village;
Jesus is sleeping in His cradle.
Ah, ah, beautiful is the Mother
Ah, ah, beautiful is her Son!

It is wrong when the Child is sleeping
It is wrong to talk so loud;
Silence, all, as you gather around.
Lest your noise should waken Jesus.
Hush! hush! see how fast He slumbers!
Hush! hush! see how fast He sleeps!

Hasten now, good folk of the village;
Hasten now the Christ Child to see.
You will find Him asleep in the manger;
Quietly come and whisper softly,
Hush! hush! Peacefully now He slumbers.
Hush! hush! Peacefully now He sleeps.

Softly to the little stable.
Softly for a moment come;
Look and see how charming is Jesus
How He is white, His cheeks are rosy!
Hush! hush! see how the Child is sleeping;
Hush! hush! see how He smiles in his dreams.


Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle
Un flambeau, courons au berceau.
C'est Jesus, bonnes gens du hameau,
Le Christ est ne, Marie appelle
Ah! Ah! Ah! que la mere est belle
Ah! Ah! Ah! que l'Enfant est beau.

Qui vient larappant de la sortee
Qui vient larappant comme ca
Ouvrez donc j'ai pose sur un plat
De bons gateaux qu'ici j'apporte.
Toc! Toc! Ouvrez-nous la porte
Toc! Toc! Faisons grand gala

C'est un tort quand l'Enfant sommeille
C'est un tort de crier si fort.
Taisez-vous l'un et l'autre d'abord,
Au moindre bruit Jesus s'eveille
Chut! Chut! Chut! Il dort a merveille
Chut! Chut! Chut! voyez comme Il dort.

Doucement, dans l'etable close
Doucement, venez un moment
Approchez! Que Jesus est charmant,
Comme Il est blanc, comme Il est rose
Do! Do! Do! Que l'Enfant repose
Do! Do! Do! Qu'il rie en dormant.

Downloads: mp3 ogg

Sources and more information

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