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PolishCarol-Infant Holy Infant Lowly/W Zlobie Lezy

McGrath of Harlow 06 Nov 10 - 07:47 PM
Joe Offer 06 Nov 10 - 08:09 PM
Crowhugger 06 Nov 10 - 09:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Nov 10 - 05:41 AM
GUEST,JB 09 Mar 11 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Mar 11 - 05:06 PM
Joe Offer 10 Mar 11 - 01:07 AM
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Subject: A Polish Carol
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 07:47 PM

I thought I'd share this with people. A choir I'm in is getting a set of carols together for Christmas, and one of them is "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly", which is a translation of a Polish carol.

So I thought I'd look up the original, W żłobie leży, on YouTube. Found a fair number of fairly naff and mushy versions - but also this one, which I really love. No information about where and when and who. Good hard voices, and nothing mushy.

That's the way to sing Carols. Not so far removed from the way they do it up in the pubs up north round Sheffield.


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Subject: ADD: Infant Holy / W Zlobie Lezy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 08:09 PM

Our church choir sang this carol (in English) on Christmas, and people really liked it. My wife grew up speaking Polish, and she said she had heard it as a child in Rhode Island - in Polish.

There's a wonderful recording of this song on Twas on a Night Like This: A Christmas Legacy, the Christmas album from Folk-Legacy Records. It's two women singing, so I guess it must be Cathy Barton and Caroline Paton - both lovely voices.

-Joe-

You'll find it at Cyberhymnal and at Wikipedia.
Here are the English and Polish lyrics from Wikipedia:

W Zlobie Lezy
INFANT HOLY, INFANT LOWLY

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 translation by Edith Margaret Gellibrand Reed (Text included 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!



Cyberhymnal says the Reed translation was dated 1921, so it's most likely in the public domain: Traditional carol in Spiewniczek Piesni Koscielne, 1908; translated from Polish to English by Edith M. Reed, 1921.


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Subject: RE: PolishCarol-Infant Holy Infant Lowly/W Zlobie Lezy
From: Crowhugger
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 09:07 PM

Years ago I worked in a largely Polish-speaking area west of Toronto and learned a number of beautiful Polish carols including this one.

I love 'W zlobie lezy' but the version GSS linked doesn't bowl me over. Were the tenor in tune, I would still find it too plain, i.e. lacking dynamics amd with little or no sense of telling the emotional story (which is simple and very clear the lyrics). Funny how this plainness is exactly what GSS loves! Yet I tired of the repetetive harmonies and the singing itself seemed rather mechanical to me. This one, in its expression anyhow, is more to my liking, but still has real tuning problems; as well this arrangement goes further afield, harmonically, from the original than I would prefer. Not as far afield as the numerous youtube versions drowing in schmaltz.

So I'm still hunting for that special version of this carol that wows me the way the one he linked wows GSS. I'll be looking for some variety in harmony from verse to verse, well tuned singing, dynamics showing that the singers are saying something more important than blah blah blah, and heart and soul to burn!

Rather picky, aren't I? :-)


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Subject: RE: PolishCarol-Infant Holy Infant Lowly/W Zlobie Lezy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 05:41 AM

...this plainness is exactly what GSS loves!

It is. ( But "GSS"???)


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Subject: RE: PolishCarol-Infant Holy Infant Lowly/W Zlobie Lezy
From: GUEST,JB
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 04:34 PM

Crowhugger - Westminster Choir College did the same arrangement as the one in your link only much better production. You can find it on iTunes (where I found it) under the title Infant Holy, Infant Lowly, on the album An Evening of Readings and Carols.


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Subject: RE: PolishCarol-Infant Holy Infant Lowly/W Zlobie Lezy
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 05:06 PM

Here are the words we sang in high school. Don't know if they are public domain or not.

Come ye shepherds, come ye shepherds,
Bring your gifts and let us go
To the village, to the village
in the cold and winter's snow.
There is music in the darkness
as the winds go sweeping by,
and a star is in the sky.
And a star is in the sky.

Ye shall find him, ye shall find him
in a stable mean and poor.
Very softly, very softly
ye shall enter by the door.
Then on tiptoe, then on tiptoe
ev'ry shepherd silence keep.
For a baby lies asleep.
For a baby lies asleep.


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Subject: RE: PolishCarol-Infant Holy Infant Lowly/W Zlobie Lezy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Mar 11 - 01:07 AM

What was the title, Leeneia?

-Joe-


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