Twas in the Moon of Wintertime (Traditional FRENCH-CANADIAN) or "The Huron Carol," Christmas hymn for unison voices (congregation) with piano accompaniment, arr. by Pamela Webb Tubbs

The Huron Carol

Traditional French Carol
Year of composition
Year of arrangement
Jean de Brébeuf (trans. by J. E. Middleton) with additional lyrics by Pamela Webb Tubbs
Easy (Grades 1-3)
1 minute
Folk music
Choir + keyboard
Instrumental parts
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The "Huron Carol" (or "Twas in the Moon of Wintertime") is Canada’s oldest Christmas hymn, written in 1642 by Jesuit missionary Jean de Brébeuf. Brébeuf wrote the lyrics in the native language of the Huron/Wendat people; the song’s original Huron title is "Jesous Ahatonhia" ("Jesus, he is born"). The song’s melody is based on a traditional French folk song, "Une Jeune Pucelle" ("A Young Maid"). Original English lyrics were written in 1926 by Jesse Edgar Middleton (in public domain since 2011). The lyrics are derived from Brebeuf’s original song and Huron religious concepts. 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 portrayed as "chiefs from afar" that bring him "fox and beaver pelts" instead of the more familiar gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The hymn also uses a traditional Algonquian name, Gitchi Manitou, for God. In this version, the original lyrics have been modified to use imagery accessible to Christians who are not familiar with Native-Canadian cultures. [Ref. WIKIPEDIA]

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