Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

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"Infant Holy, Infant lowly" (known in Polish as "W Żlobie Leży") is a traditional Polish Christmas carol. In 1920, the song was translated into English by Edith Margaret Gellibrand Reed (1885-1933), a British musician and playwright.[1] Reed found the carol in the hymnal Spiewniczek Piesni Koscieline (published 1908), though the song itself may date back as far as the thirteenth century.[2] The Polish text could possibly be attributed to Piotrowi Skardze (1536-1612).

The song's rhythm resembles that of the mazurka, a Polish folk dance popularized by Frédéric Chopin.[3] The short, rhymed phrases lead to a crescendo in each stanza's final lines: "Christ the babe is lord of all, Christ the babe was born for you!"[4]

Polish lyrics[edit]

W żłobie leży! Któż pobieży
Kolędować małemu
Jezusowi Chrystusowi
Dziś nam narodzonemu?
Pastuszkowie przybywajcie
Jemu wdzięcznie przygrywajcie
Jako Panu naszemu.

My zaś sami z piosneczkami
Za wami pospieszymy
A tak Tego Maleńkiego
Niech wszyscy zobaczymy
Jak ubogo narodzony
Płacze w stajni położony
Więc go dziś ucieszymy.

English lyrics[edit]

English translation by Edith Margaret Gellibrand Reed (As appears in Carols for Choirs, Book 1 and 100 Carols for Choirs)

Infant holy,
Infant lowly,
For His bed a cattle stall;
Oxen lowing,
Little knowing
Christ the Babe is Lord of all.
Swift are winging
Angels singing,
Nowells ringing,
Tidings bringing,
Christ the Babe is Lord of all.

Flocks were sleeping,
Shepherds keeping
Vigil till the morning new,;
Saw the glory,
Heard the story,
Tidings of a Gospel true.
Thus rejoicing,
Free from sorrow,
Praises voicing,
Greet the morrow,
Christ the Babe was born for you!

Notable recordings[edit]

The carol has been recorded by:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Infant Holy Infant Lowly". www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  2. ^ Ministries, Discipleship. "History of Hymns: "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly" - umcdiscipleship.org". www.umcdiscipleship.org. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  3. ^ "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly". Hymnary.org. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  4. ^ "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly - The Center For Church Music, Songs and Hymns". songsandhymns.org. Retrieved 2017-01-20.