Friday, December 12, 2008

Riu, Riu, Chiu (Anonymous Spanish Villancico*)

Dear Anonymous,Statue Of Anonymous, Taken by UkieVillain in Budapest, Hungary 5/11/2003

Expectation. Waiting.

Advent is about waiting. Waiting for Christ's birth. Waiting for Christ's return. Waiting for the reconciliation of the world to Christ to come, where justice will be experienced in fullness, and we will no longer deal with the horrors of this world.

As I was looking for audio of one of my favorite Christmas songs that I sang in choir in college, I came across this video. And it really does make me long--even hunger--for the return of Christ. So thank you for this reminder of what I'm waiting for, of what the Lord has done in preparation already, and of why I'm still waiting for salvation.

Lord, protect our lambs from the wolves that roam our world, seeking to devour.


WARNING: The following video is *extremely* graphic in its violence, and the first 1:20 is intentional black-out. (The following example is an anti-war statement but portrays the violent death and horror that accompanies it. Scroll down to hear and view a more traditional approach to caroling!)

This version has the full lyrics, sans violence.


Riu, riu, chiu
La guarda ribera
Dios guarde el lobo
De nuestra cordera.

El lobo rabioso la quiso morder,
Mas Dios poderoso la supo defender;
Quisole hazer que no pudiesse pecar,
Ni aun original esta Virgen no tuviera.
Riu, riu, chiu...

Este qu'es nascido es el gran monarca,
Cristo patriarca de carne vestido;
Hanos redimido con se hazer chiquito,
Aunqu'era infinito, finito se hizera.
Riu, riu, chiu...

Muchas profecias lo han profetizado,
Y aun en nuestros dias lo hemos alcancado.
A Dios humanado vemos en el suelo
Y al hombre nel cielo porqu'er le quisiera.
Riu, riu, chiu...

Yo vi mil Garzones que andavan cantando,
Por aqui bolando, haciendo mil sones,
Diziendo a gascones Gloria sea en el cielo,
Y paz en el suelo qu'es Jesus nascieta.
Riu, riu, chiu...

Este viene a dar a los muertos vida
Y viene a reparar de todos la caida;
Es la luz del dia aqueste mocuelo;
Este es el cordero que San Juan dixera.
Riu, riu, chiu...

Pues que ya tenemos lo que desseamos,
Todos juntos vamos presentes llevemos;
Todos le daremos nuestra voluntad,
Pues a se igualar con el hombre viniera.
Riu, riu, chiu...

Riu, riu, chiu (nightingale's sounds)
The river bank protects it,
As God kept the wolf
from our lamb.

The rabid wolf tried to bite her,
But God Almighty knew how to defend her,
He wished to create her impervious to sin,
Nor was this maid to embody original sin.
Riu, riu, chiu...

The newborn child is the mightiest monarch,
Christ patriarchal invested with flesh.
He made himself small and so redeemed us:
He who was infinite became finite.
Riu, riu, chiu...

Many prophecies told of his coming,
And now in our days have we seen them fulfilled.
God became man, on earth we behold him,
And see man in heaven because he so willed.
Riu, riu, chiu...

A thousand singing herons I saw passing,
Flying overhead, sounding a thousand voices,
Exulting, "Glory be in the heavens, and peace on Earth, for Jesus has been born."
Riu, riu, chiu...

He comes to give life to the dead,
He comes to redeem the fall of man;
This child is the light of day,
He is the very lamb Saint John prophesied.
Riu, riu, chiu...

Now we have gotten what we were all desiring,
Go we together to bear him gifts:
Let each give his will to the God who was willing
To come down to Earth man's equal to be.
Riu, riu, chiu...**

*Villancico: A lyric form, often set to music, of Spain and Portugal during the 15th and 16th Century Renaissance.
**Another nice translation


TheUkieVillain said...

Apologies to those who are surprised by the violence in the first video. I was shocked myself. But then I realized, "This is what Christ is saving us from."

I noticed that two of my three posts to date have involved violence (Fight Club + Riu Riu Chiu). I normally do not focus on violent imagery, and will likely not do so in the future. My sincere apologies again.


cadh 8 said...

Your warning of "extremely violent" gave me momentary pause, then I thought "What have I not seen on TV that I could not see here?" But the reality of the violence not being TV violence--that this is truely someone's death--that our teenagers and young 20 year olds must be both victim and perpetrator of these types of deaths is terrible. Yet, there are other terrible deeds being done in the world as well that do not fall under the label of "war". And these we must fight. So what do we do? As you say, Christ has saved us from the evil in the world, and now we must war on that evil with love. It is the only thing that will save the child down the street from abuse and exploitation as well as the Iraqi far away from torture or death. If only we could all learn the lesson of love.

(The last scene reminded me EXACTLY of a video game my husband has actually. That was disturbing on a different level as far as the things our kids are learning NOT to be horrified by)

brd said...

Curious about this musical form, I tracked down this description by Susan Koetgen. "The musical form of the Iberian villancico of the late fifteenth century essentially concurs with its poetic form, which is to say that it repeats a musically distinct refrain at the end of every strophe. Additionally, each musical verse, or strophe (copla), is a musically recognizable entity. According to Gonzales, the "classical" villancico of the fifteenth century is composed in ternary form. It begins with the refrain (estribillo, sometimes known as the "head"), then follows with a strophe which is divided in two parts (often called the "feet"). The first part of the strophe (mudanza) has a different melody and rhyme than the refrain; the second part of the strophe (vuelta) repeats the melody and rhyme of the refrain. A repetition of the refrain concludes one cycle of the villancico, and begins the next." Apparently it is a form that was frequently used by the Latin American carolers known as "parrandas."