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Nos Galan variant


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: piper in the meadow/deck the halls (18)
(origins) Origins: Deck the Halls / Cymraeg Nos Galan (90)
Lyr Req: Nos Galen (5)

Haruo 17 Dec 12 - 03:04 AM
sian, west wales 17 Dec 12 - 10:39 PM
Haruo 18 Dec 12 - 01:12 AM
Haruo 18 Dec 12 - 01:22 AM
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Subject: Nos Galan variant
From: Haruo
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 03:04 AM

In the Kenya Baptist Hymnal Nyimbo za Imani Yetu there is a Christmas song (carol? hymn?), 58 YESU KRISTO ALIACHA, set to a tune it calls "Deck the Halls (Welsh Folk Song)". For the most part, the tune is the customary NOS GALAN, but where the usual English words run

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
'Tis the season to be jolly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Don we now our gay apparel
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.
Troll the ancient Yuletide carol
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

this one reduplicates the tune of the line "Don we now our gay apparel" in place of the third Fa-la-la line.

I'm wondering if this is something specific to East Africa, or if there is an English or Welsh variant of the tune (and to what text?) that goes this way.

The only English Christmas (as distinct from Yule or New Year) text I know for the tune is "All Ye Mountains, Praise the Lord", which scans to the normal tune form.

The Swahili lyrics run as follows:

  1. Yesu Kristo aliacha
    sifa zake zote mbinguni,
    Katika Bethelehemu
    alizaliwa kama mtu,
    Sasa tumwimbie sana,
    tumshukuru kwa furaha,
    Ndiye Mfalme wa wafalme
    siku hizi hata milele.

  2. Alitemelea pote,
    akafanya kazi kwa nguvu,
    Alipenda wanadamu
    na kuwaokoa wagonjwa,
    Alizifukuza pepo,
    akawafufua wafu,
    Wale vilema, vipofu,
    aliwahurumia wote.

  3. Alisulibishwa bila
    kufanya ubaya wo wote,
    Makuhani na waandishi
    kwa uongo walimfitini,
    Alilia, Imekwisha,
    jua lilikuwa giza,
    Kaburini alizikwa,
    wengi wafufuke rohoni.

  4. Katika siku ya tatu
    alitoka mzima kwa wafu,
    Akawatokea wengi,
    akachukuliwa mbinguni,
    Atarudi kututwa-a,
    kwa hiyo tukae macho,
    Siku zote tumwimbie
    ndiye Mfalme wetu milele.

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Subject: RE: Nos Galan variant
From: sian, west wales
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 10:39 PM

Good grief, those missionaries got everywhere, didn't they?

I'm trying to hear how that would work but my head is full of cold and it's getting all muddled. There is a popular 'other' version, which I generally consider older than the popular one but your description wouldn't fit.

I'll see if I can dig up a midi or somesuch when my head is clearer, but it isn't the one you're looking for.

Interesting though.


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Subject: RE: Nos Galan variant
From: Haruo
Date: 18 Dec 12 - 01:12 AM

I'll do a MIDI, see if that helps.

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Subject: RE: Nos Galan variant
From: Haruo
Date: 18 Dec 12 - 01:22 AM

Here: this MIDI file is simply the one from the DT modified to show the difference I'm referring to in the Swahili hymnal.

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