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A favorite Christmas song?

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It doesn't get any more Christmas than the German carol Es Ist Ein Ros' Ensprungen. It's a tune I heard in a variety of my dad's old reel-to-reel recordings while growing up...either as a majestical organ piece, a full choir, or by the Vienna Boys' Choir. My German has long since vacated the premises (I just *didn't*pay*attention*), but I recently came across a site with the German and English lyrics:

http://home.att.net/~yorkrose02/lohowaroseeerblooming.html :

The melody of this fifteenth century German carol comes from Alte Catholische Geistliche Kirchengesang, a collection of hymns published in 1599. Harmony was added by Michael Praetorius in 1609.

The author of the lyrics is lost to antiquity. The first two stanzas were translated by Theodore Baker in 1894. Stanzas three and four were translated by Harriet Reynolds Krauth shortly after.

Es ist ein Ros' ensprungen,

Aus einer Wurzel zart,

Wie uns die Alten sungen,

Von Jesse kam die Art,

Und hat ein Blumlein bracht

Mit Mitten im kalten Winter

Wohl zu der halben Nacht.

Das Roslein, das ich meine,

Davon Jesaias sagt,

Ist Maria die Reine

Uns das Blumlein bracht.

Aus Gottes ew'gen Rat

Hat sie ein Kind geboren

Und blieb ein' reine Magd.

Das Blumelein, so kleine,

Das duftet uns so suss,

Mit seinem hellen Scheine

Vertreibt's die Finsternis.

Wahr' Mensch und wahrer Gott,

Hilft uns aus allen Leiden,

Rettet von Sund und Tod.

O Jesu, bis zum Scheiden

Aus diesem Jammertal

Lass Dein hilf uns geleiten

Hin in der Freudensaal,

In Deines Vaters Reich,

Da wir Dich ewig loben.

O Gott, uns das verleih.


Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming

From tender stem hath sprung!

Of Jesse's lineage coming,

As men of old have sung.

It came, a floweret bright,

Amid the cold of winter

When half spent was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it,

The Rose I have in mind.

With Mary we behold it,

The Virgin Mother kind.

To show God's love aright,

She bore to us a Savior

When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story

Proclaimed by angels bright.

How Christ, the Lord of glory,

Was born on earth this night.

To Bethlehem they sped

And in the manger found Him,

As angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender

With sweetness fills the air,

Dispels with glorious splendor

The darkness everywhere;

True man, yet very God,

From sin and death He saves us

And lightens every load.

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