Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella
"Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella" (French: Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle) is a Christmas carol which originated from the Provence region of France in the 16th century. The song is usually notated in 3/8 time.
The carol was first published in 1553 in France, and was subsequently translated into English in the 18th century. The song was originally not a song to be sung at Christmas, but rather dance music for French nobility.
In the carol, visitors to the stable have to keep their voices down so the newborn can enjoy his dreams. To this day in the Provence region, children dress up as shepherds and milkmaids, carrying torches and candles to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, while singing the carol.
- (*) The word Hark! or Hush is sometimes substituted for Ah!
- Alternate Lyrics:
- Bring a torch, Jeannette, Isabelle!
- Bring a torch to the cradle run!
- It is Jesus, good folk of the village;
- Christ is born and Mary's calling:
- Ah! ah! beautiful is the mother!
- Ah! ah! beautiful is her Son!
- It is wrong when the Child is sleeping
- It is wrong to talk so loud;
- Silence, all, as you gather around,
- Lest your noise should waken Jesus:
- Hush! hush! see how fast He slumbers:
- Hush! hush! see how fast He sleeps!
- Softly to the little stable,
- Softly for the moment come;
- Look and see how charming is Jesus,
- See how He smiles, Oh see how rosy!
- Hush! hush! see how the Child is sleeping;
- Hush! hush! see how He smiles in dreams.
 Recorded versions
- 1957 - Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians - Now Is The Caroling Season
- 1958 - Harry Simeone Chorale - Sing We Now of Christmas
- 1962 - The Everly Brothers - Christmas with the Everly Brothers
- 1963 - Robert Shaw Chorale and Orchestra - The Many Moods of Christmas
- 1966 - Joan Baez - Noël
- 1970 - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - A Season for Miracles
- 1983 - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Robert Shaw conducting - The Many Moods of Christmas (remake)
- 1984 - Mannheim Steamroller - Christmas
- 1985 - The Canadian Brass - A Canadian Brass Christmas
- 1989 - Kathleen Battle - A Christmas Celebration
- 1991 - Carnival Art - A Lump of Coal
- 1993 - John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers - Christmas Day in the Morning
- 1994 - Robert Shaw Chamber Singers - Songs of Angels
- 1994 - The Swingle Singers - The Story of Christmas
- 1995 - Jenny Gullen & Derri Daugherty - Noel
- 1996 - Golden Bough - Christmas in a Celtic Land
- Sung in both French and English
- Sung in a medley with another French song - Il est né/Un flambeau Jeanette Isabella
- 1997 - Jon Schmidt - Jon Schmidt Christmas
- 1999 - CC Couch - "A French Christmas"
- 2001 - Terry McDade and The McDades - "Midwinter"
- 2005 - Gerhard Schöne - Pierre
- 2006 - The Eighteenth Day of May - Session Track for Stuart Maconie (unreleased)
- 2006 - Sufjan Stevens - Songs for Christmas
- 2006 - Hilary Weeks - Christmastime
- 2006 - Richard Elliott, organ solo, on The Mormon Tabernacle Choir album The Wonder of Christmas
- 2006 - Nadia Birkenstock - Winter Tales
- 2007 - Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Spirit of the Season
- 2008 - Loreena McKennitt - A Midwinter Night's Dream
- 2008 - Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer - American Noel
- 2008 - Fernando Ortega - Christmas Songs
- 2008 - Kurt Bestor - Kurt Bestor Christmas Vol. II
- 2009 - Downhere - "How Many Kings: Songs for Christmas"
- 2009 - Tori Amos - Midwinter Graces
- 2009 - Ben + Vesper - Salvation Is Created: A Christmas Record From Bifrost Arts
- 2009 - Joy Williams - "More Than I Asked For"
- 2010 - Die Irrlichter - Rauhnächte
- 2011 - Callie Moore and Colette Butler (of ShayTards) - Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella (feat. Colette Butler) - Single
- Morgan, Robert J. (2003-11-30). "Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabelle". A Pocket Paper. The Donelson Fellowship. Archived from the original on 2004-01-24. Retrieved 2006-07-13.
- Kevin Mallon, Aradia Ensemble. Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Noëls and Christmas Motets.Naxos 8.557036
- French lyrics from: Giunco, Marco. "Jeanette, Isabelle - Traditional". Fast Folk Musical Magazine - October '86 - Season'S Greetings. marcogiunco.com. Archived from the original on 2005-03-12. Retrieved 2006-07-13. apparently typed in by Marco Giunco from the lyrics sheets in the magazine given above.