Gabriele Lynch: The Huron Christmas Carol
Quiz by: Sharon Michiko Yoneda

The Huron Carol

'Twas in the moon of wintertime
when all the birds had fled
That mighty Gitchi Manitou
sent angel choirs instead

Before the light their stars grew dim
and wondering hunters heard the hymn

CHORUS: Jesus your king is born,
Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria

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

CHORUS: Jesus your king is born
Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria

The earliest moon of wintertime
is not so fair and round
As was the ring of glory
on the helpless infant there
The chiefs from afar before him
knelt with gifts of fox and beaver pelt

CHORUS: Jesus your king is born
Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria

Oh children of the forest free
O seed of Manitou
The Holy Child of earth and heaven
is born today for you
Come kneel before the radiant boy
who brings you beauty, peace and joy

CHORUS: Jesus your king is born,
Jesus your king is born in excelsis gloria

Words: Jean de Brebeuf, ca. 1643
Translated: Jesse Edgar Middleton, 1926
Music: French-Canadian melody: Jesous Ahatonhia

performed by: Gabriele Lynch

The "Huron Carol" is a Canadian Christmas hymn written in 1643 by Jean de Brebeuf, a Jesuit missionary of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Canada. Brebeuf wrote the lyrics in the native language of the Huron First Nations people. The song's melody is a traditional French folk song, "Une Jeune Pucelle" (a young maid). The English lyrics were written by Jesse Edgar Middleton.

In the English version, Jesus is born in a "lodge of broken bark" and wrapped in a "robe of rabbit skin." He is surrounded by hunters instead of shepherds and the Magi are chiefs from afar.

Bruce Cockburn also recorded a version of this song. Another Canadian singer, Loreena McKennitt rearranged the song and released it under the title, "Breton Carol" in 2008.