Thought for the Day : Friday 18 December

Thought for the Day by Tim Ward (St Chad’s)

Carol is derived from the French “Carole” or a circle dance, which became popular in the early middle ages.  From the reformation carols were incorporated into religious processions and practice

Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant dates from the Vosges mountain region of North-east France in the 1870’s, though the tune is a hunting air from earlier.  This and other “Chants de Noël “would accompany nativity plays prior to Christmas. Accordingly, the clip (labelled “French”) shows the song celebrating the birth, in and outside a French church.  

French

The lyrics refer to Jesus as the fulfilment of 4,000years of waiting. They contrast his kingship and the humility of the stable. The message in the words below is to give our hearts to Jesus, Le Divin Enfant.

Chorus:
Il est né le divin enfant,
Jouez hautbois, résonnez musettes !
Il est né le divin enfant,
Chantons tous son avènement !
Chorus:
He is born, the Heav’nly Child,
Oboes play; set bagpipes sounding.
He is born, the Heav’nly Child,
Let all sing His nativity.
Depuis plus de quatre mille ans,
Nous le promettaient les prophètes
Depuis plus de quatre mille ans,
Nous attendions cet heureux temps. Chorus
‘Tis four thousand years and more,
Prophets have foretold His coming.
‘Tis four thousand years and more,
Have we waited this happy hour. Chorus
Ah ! Qu’il est beau, qu’il est charmant !
Ah ! que ses grâces sont parfaites !
Ah ! Qu’il est beau, qu’il est charmant !
Qu’il est doux ce divin enfant ! Chorus
Ah, how lovely, Ah, how fair,
What perfection is His graces.
Ah, how lovely, Ah, how fair,
Child divine, so gentle there. Chorus

Une étable est son logement
Un peu de paille est sa couchette,
Une étable est son logement
Pour un dieu quel abaissement ! Chorus
In a stable lodged is He,
Straw is all He has for cradle.
In a stable lodged is He,
Oh how great humility! Chorus
Partez, grands rois de l’Orient !
Venez vous unir à nos fêtes
Partez, grands rois de l’Orient !
Venez adorer cet enfant ! Chorus
Jesus Lord, O King with power,
Though a little babe You come here.
Jesus Lord, O King with power,
Rule o’er us from this glad hour. Chorus
Il veut nos cœurs, il les attend :
Il est là pour faire leur conquête
Il veut nos cœurs, il les attend :
Donnons-les lui donc promptement ! Chorus
He wants our hearts, he is waiting for them: He is here to conquer them He wants our hearts, he is waiting for them Let us give them to him at once! Chorus    
O Jésus ! O Roi tout-puissant
Tout petit enfant que vous êtes,
O Jésus ! O Roi tout-puissant,
Régnez sur nous entièrement ! Chorus
Oh Jesus! Oh All-Powerful King Such a little child that you are, Oh Jesus! Oh All-Powerful King, Rule over us entirely! Chorus https://lyricstranslate.com

Here are some of the many versions:

accapella. With 4 voicesRutter with a church choirsouixsie punkJalbert from Quebec

Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant belongs in and outside church . It is a song for children and adults. True to the carolling traditions it is song of the street and a song for all. It remains though, a song with a message:

 Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant.

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