Vincent B. LoCoco – Author

Archive for December 2018

Most Popular Italian Christmas Carol

One of the most popular Christmas carols in Italy is Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle. (From Starry Skies Descending). 

The carol was written in December, 1744 in NOLA. (No – not New Orleans, but NOLA Italy.) It was written by Saint Alphonsus Liguri, the founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. It was written in the style of Zampogna (bagpipe) music.

The original carol was written in Liguri’s native Neapolitan.  Pope Pius IX, in 1870, translated the words to Italian, which is what we hear today.

The carol took Italy by storm. The Opera composer, Giuseppe Verdi, is reported to have said, ‘Christmas without Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle is not Christmas.’

Let’s listen to an Italian sing it. How about – Pavarotti.

 

Here are the Lyrics.

Italian lyrics

1. Tu scendi dalle stelle,
O Re del Cielo,
E vieni in una grotta,
Al freddo al gelo,
E vieni in una grotta,
Al freddo al gelo.
O Bambino mio Divino,
Io ti vedo qui a tremar,
O Dio Beato,
Ahi, quanto ti costò,
L’avermi amato.
Ahi, quanto ti costò,
L’avermi amato.2. A te, che sei del mondo,
Il Creatore,
Mancano panni e fuoco;
O mio Signore.
Mancano panni e fuoco;
O mio Signore.
Caro eletto Pargoletto,
Quanto questa povertà,
Più mi innamora.
Giacché ti fece amor,
Povero ancora.
Giacché ti fece amor,
Povero ancora.
English lyrics:

1. Thou descendest from the stars,
O King of Heaven,
And comest to a grotto,
In the cold, in the frost,
And comest to a grotto,
In the cold, in the frost.
O My Divine Child,
I see Thee here trembling,
O Blessed God,
Ah, how much it cost Thee,
To have loved me!
Ah, how much it cost Thee,
To have loved me.2. For Thee, Who art the world’s
Creator,
Clothing and warmth are missing;
Oh my Lord.
Clothing and warmth are missing;
Oh my Lord.
Dear chosen Infant,
How Thy poverty,
Makes me love Thee more.
Because Thou hast shown Thy love,
Even being poor.
Because Thou hast shown Thy love,
Even being poor.