An original Canadian Christmas carol — and from roughly 1643? Jean de Brebeuf penned the words while working among the Hurons in what would later become Ontario.

This version by the Elora Festival Singers is beautiful.

This version by Bruce Cockburn is more authentic but less appealing. When Betty and I were up around Penetanguishene last summer we saw the original artwork by Frances Tyrrell in the museum there – very beautiful work.

The words below represent the translation by Edgar Middleton made in 1926. The WIKI article details the history.

‘Twas in the moon of wintertime when all the birds had fled
That mighty Gitchi Manitou sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim and wondering hunters heard the hymn,
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

Within a lodge of broken bark the tender babe was found;
A ragged robe of rabbit skin enwrapped his beauty round
But as the hunter braves drew nigh the angel song rang loud and high
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

The earliest moon of wintertime is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory on the helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before him knelt with gifts of fox and beaver pelt.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

O children of the forest free, O seed of Manitou
The holy Child of earth and heaven is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant boy who brings you beauty peace and joy.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

THIS version of the carol is sung in three languages, including what I think is Cree.