Polish carol: Holiest of Virgins (Najswietsza Panienka) SATB choir a cappella (in English).

Composer
Trad. Polish, 19th cent.
Year of composition
1880
Year of arrangement
2015
Lyricist
anon., translated by Douglas Brooks-Davies
Difficulty
Easy (Grades 1-3)
Duration
3 minutes
Genre
Other
Instrumentation
Choir
Instrumental parts
Not available
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The full incipit for this beautiful carol, unknown to English-speaking choirs, is Najswietzsa Panienka po swiecie chodzila. Of the several versions of this and other carols beginning with the opening two words I have chosen the haunting, probably Silesian, version in Cyfrowa Bibliotheca Polskiej Piosenki (Collected Library of Polish Folk Songs). The original consists of a dialogue between Mary and a poor peasant (Bibically, innkeeper), which I have translated as a narrative which contains all the elements of the original while avoiding, I hope, its tedious repetitiveness. Ideal for Christmas or later Advent. The harmonies are mine, hinting at the occasional similarities between this carol and klezmer songs.

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