Tuesday, July 20, 2010

History of The Huron Carol

Taken from : http://www.rivernen.ca/legend_6.htm

Canadian Saint Wrote

The Huron Carol

The very first Canadian Christmas Carol was written in 1643, by Father Saint Jean de Brebeuf, 1593-1649 It was meant as a gift and teaching aid for the Huron People. Father Brebeuf was a Jesuit Missionary and Linguist stationed at Ste. Marie Among the Hurons.

Written originally in the Huron language; the carol at some point in time, was translated into French. Mr. Jesse Edgar Middleton translated the carol into English in 1926, from a French Translation and gave it a new name.

I had wondered about the differences in wording between the Huron Carol and Middleton's Twas In The Moon Of Winter. Mr Steckley; a translator at Humber College; pointed out, it was Middleton who created the lyrics for Moon of Winter probably because of difficulty with the flawed French Translation.

Even when all the translation difficulties are taken into consideration, The Huron Carol or Twas In The Moon Of Winter Time does not lose Father Brebeuf's message.

Father Saint Jean de Brebeuf lost his life March 16 1649, during the Iroquois uprising of 1648/1650, when he was captured and slain by the Iroquois. On June 29 1930 Father Brebeuf was canonized by Pope Pius XI.

The music known as Jesous Ahatonhia is based on a 16 th century French Canadian Melody. The following audio clip is used with permission of The Nylons, a well known quartet that sing A Cappella Style. The clip is from The Nylons Christmas Album ... A Wish For You

Nylons Huron Carol Audio Clip

In keeping with our Native theme, the following is the Huron Carol; in the Huron Language; complete with pronunciation guide and translation; the First Canadian Christmas Carol.

Jesse Edgar Middleton's 1926 Translation Right Panel

Taken from: http://www.rivernen.ca/legend_7.htm

The Huron Language Version

Iesous Ahatonnia

(ee-sus a-ha-ton-nyah= Jesus, he is born)

Estennia,on de tson8e Ies8s ahatonnia

eh-sten-nyah-yon deh tson-weh ee-sus a-ha-ton-nyah

Have courage, you who are humans, Jesus, he is born

Onn'a8ate8a d'oki n'on,8andask8aentak

on-nah-wah-teh-wah do-kee non-ywah-ndah-skwa-en-tak

Behold, the spirit who had us as prisoners has fled

Ennonchien sk8atrihotat n'on,8andi,onrachatha

en-non-shyen skwah-tree-hotat non-ywa-ndee-yon-rah-shah-thah

Do not listen to it, as it corrupts our minds

Iesus ahatonnia

A,oki onkinnhache eronhia,eronnon

ayo-kee on-kee-nhah-sheh eh-ron-hya-yeh-ron-non

They are spirits, coming with a message for us, the sky people

iontonk ontatiande ndio sen tsatonnharonnion

yon-tonk on-tah-tya-ndeh ndyo sen tsah-ton-nha-ron-nyon

they are coming to say, Rejoice (ie., be on top of life)

8arie onna8ak8eton ndio sen tsatonnharonnion

wah-ree on-nah-wah-kweh-ton ndyo sen tsah ton-nha-ron-nyon

Marie, she has just given birth. Rejoice.

Ies8s ahatonnia

Achink ontahonrask8a d'hatirih8annens

a-shien-k on-tah-hon-rah-skwah dhah-tee-ree-hwan-nens

Three have left for such a place, those who are elders

Tichion ha,onniondetha onh8a achia ahatren

tee-shyon ha-yon-nyon-deh-tha on-hwah a-shya ah-hah-tren

A star that has just appeared over the horizon leads them there

Ondaiete hahahak8a tichion ha,onniondetha

on-dee teh-hah-hah-hah-kwah tee-shyon ha-yon-nyon-deh-tha

He will seize the path, he who leads them there

Ies8s ahatonnia

Tho ichien stahation tethotondi Ies8s

thoh ee-shyen stah-hah-tyon teh-tho-ton-ndee ee-sus

As they arrived there, where he was born, Jesus

ahoatatende tichion stan chi teha8ennion

ah-ho-a-tah-ten-nde tyee-shyon stan shee teh-hah-wen-nyon

the star was at the point of stopping, he was not far past it

Aha,onatorenten iatonk atsion sken

a-hah-yon-ah-to-ren-ten yah-tonk ah-tsyon sken

Having found someone for them, he says, Come here

Ies8s ahatonnia

Onne ontahation chiahona,en Ies8s

on-nen on-tah-hah-tyon shyah-hon-ah-yen ee-sus

Behold, they have arrived there and have seen Jesus

Ahatichiennonniannon kahachia handia,on

ah-hah-tee-shyen-non-nyan-non kah-hah-shyah hah-ndyah-yon

They praised (made a name) many times, saying Hurray, he is good in nature

Te honannonronk8annnion ihontonk oerisen

teh-hon-an-non-ron-kwan-nyon ee-hon-tonk o-eh-ree-sen

They greeted him with reverence (i.e., greased his scalp many times), saying Hurray

Iesus ahatonnia

Te hek8atatennonten ahek8achiendaen

teh-heh-kwah-tah-ten-non-ten ah-heh-kwah-shyen-ndah-en

We will give to him praise for his name

Te hek8annonronk8annion de son,8entenrande

teh-heh-kwan-non-ron-kwan-nyon deh son-ywen-ten-ran-ndeh

Let us show reverence for him as he comes to be compassionate to us.

8to,eti sk8annonh8e ichierhe akennonhonstha u-to-yeh-tee

skwan-non-hweh ee-shyeh-rheh ah-keh-non-hon-sthah

It is providential that you love us and wish, I should adopt them.

Ies8s ahatonnia

Guide to Pronunciation

e - like 'eh'

8 = 'w' before vowel

'u' before consonant

i - like 'ee' in 'freeze',

= 'y'

a - like 'ah'

th = t followed an aspiration

on - as in the French word 'bon' en - as in the French word 'chien'

an - as in the French word 'viande'

Accents tend to fall on the 2nd last syllable

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