s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: Christmas carols: Quando nascette ninno

Friday, July 24, 2009

Christmas carols: Quando nascette ninno

This is a traditional Neapolitan shepherd's carol. The only version I liked was instrumental, so I'll give you the words to the first verse:

Quando nascette Ninno a Bettelemme,
Era notte a parea mmiezo juorno!
Maje le stelle
Lustere belle,
Se vedettero accusi!
La chiù lucente
Jette a chiammà li Magi, in Oriente.

When Christ, the Son of Mary, in Bethlehem was born,
'Twas night, and yet the light was bright as summer's morn!
Stars were gleaming,
Brightly beaming
O'er the town of Bethlehem
A brighter star there shone
For magi far, a guiding star that led them on.

Fans of Handel's Messiah will notice a striking similarity between this tune and "He shall feed his flock." Scholars have postulated that Handel may have heard the song when he visited Rome in his youth.

Guitar orchestra of the Ivanka pri Dunaji music school, 2007:


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