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In Dulci Jubilo


Johann Sebastian Bach



  In dulci jubilo
Now sing with hearts aglow!
Our delight and pleasure
  Lies in praesepio,
Like sunshine is our treasure
Matris in gremio.
  Alpha es et O!

  O Jesu, parvule,
For thee I long alway;
Comfort my heart''s blindness,
  O puer optime,
With all Thy lovingkindness,
O princeps gloriae.
  Trahe me post te!

  O Patris caritas!
O Nati lenitas!
Deeply were we stainéd
  Per nostra crimina;
But Thou for us hast gainéd
Coelorum gaudia.
  O that we were there!

  Ubi sunt gaudia
In any place but there?
There are angels singing
  Nova cantica
And there the bells are ringing
In Regis curia.
  O that we were there!


In Dulci Jubilo - arr Bach

Created 15-Sep-08

In Dulci Jubilo (English "In Sweetest Rejoicing" but most commonly arranged as "Good Christian Men, Rejoice") is a traditional Christmas Carol.

The original words, a macaronic alternation of Medieval German and Latin, is thought to have been written by the German mystic Heinrich Seuse circa 1328.

According to folklore, Seuse heard angels sing these words and joined them in a dance of worship. The first stanza is:

Original text

In dulci jubilo,
Nun singet und seid froh!
Alle unsre Wonne
Liegt in praesepio;
Sie leuchtet wie die Sonne
Matris in gremio.
Alpha es et O!

English translation

In sweet rejoicing,
now sing and be glad!
All our joy
lies in the manger;
It shines like the sun
in the mother's lap.
(You are the) alpha and omega!

English versions

There have been translations of the Latin/German poem. A popular version by Robert Lucas de Pearsall (1837)retains the Latin phrases and substitutes English for German:

In dulci jubilo,
Let us our homage show!
Our heart's joy reclineth
In praesepio;
And like a bright star shineth
Matris in gremio.
Alpha es et O!

An English-only translation was produced in 1853 by John Mason Neale.

An instrumental arrangement of the Pearsall version by English musician Mike Oldfield, "In Dulci Jubilo", reached number 4 in the UK in January 1975. The rock band Mannheim Steamroller also recorded a version for their 1988 Christmas album A Fresh Aire Christmas, using a dulcimer as the main instrument. Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebà recorded a Kjetil Bjerkestrand arrangement of the song with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the Grammy Award-nominated Christmas album "Spirit of the Season".

Influence in music

J.S. Bach wrote a chorale prelude around this carol for organ (BWV 729), and it is traditionally performed as the first organ voluntary at end of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King's College, Cambridge. This voluntary was first introduced to the service in 1938 by organ scholar Douglas Guest.

Franz Liszt included the carol in his piano suite Weihnachtsbaum in the movement entitled Die Hirten an der Krippe.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Metasyntactic variable".

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I saw three ships come sailing in - Sir. John Stainer In Dulci Jubilo - Robert Lucas de Pearsall