This haunting carol is said to be Canada’s oldest Christmas song. Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, wrote “Huron Carol” around 1642. It is also called “Twas in the Moon of Wintertime.”
The lyrics are an aboriginal Canadian retelling of the Nativity story, using imagery familiar to native people. Brébeuf wrote the lyrics in the Huron/Wendat people’s native language, in which the original title is “Jesous Ahatonhia” (“Jesus, he is born”). The song has been translated into both French and English.
The melody is based on a French folk tune called “Une Jeune Pucelle” (A Young Maid). The carol is still found in Canadian hymnals today.
I hope you enjoy listening to “Huron Carol” on ukulele, viola, and alto recorder!
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