Last night was my Christmas concert with the Dartmouth Choral Society. That's me above in the center, and my mom at far left. The seasons of my life have always been set by Christmas concerts and spring concerts. Like the leaves changing, the temperature dropping, the first snowflakes fluttering to earth - my Christmas concert sparks the glow of the heart of the season.
One of my instant favorites when we began rehearsals in September was this Norwegian carol, which formed part of a work that incorporated carols from around the world. As soon as we started to learn it, I got shivers. I adored it on the spot.
We sang this verse in Norwegian. Luckily, we have a tenor who is originally from Norway - he went over the pronunciation with us, and translated the words for us.
Jeg er så glad hver julekveld,
for da ble Jesus født,
da lyste stjernen som en sol,
og engler sang så søtt.
For today's Poetry Train, I'd like to share this beautiful carol with you. This is the English translation, but the clip from YouTube is sung in Norwegian. The footage was shot at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
I Am So Glad
I am so glad each Christmas Eve
The night of Jesus’ birth!
Then like the sun the Star shone forth
And angels sang on earth.
The little Child in Bethlehem
He was a King indeed!
For He came down from heaven above
To help a world in need.
He dwells again in heaven’s realm
The Son of God today
And still He loves His little ones
And hears them when they pray.
I am so glad on Christmas Eve!
His praises then I sing
He opens then for every child
The palace of the King.
When mother trims the Christmas tree
Which fills the room with light
She tells me of the wondrous Star
That made the dark world bright.
She says the Star is shining still
And never will grow dim
And if it shines upon my way
It leads me up to Him.
And so I love each Christmas Eve
And I love Jesus, too
And that He loves me every day
I know so well is true.
- Marie Wexelsen, 1859
(translation by Peter Andrew Sveeggen)