Sunday, December 7, 2008

Poetry Train Monday - 78 - Jeg Er Sa Glad

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)


Bobbi said...

How neat that you and your mom sing together!!

Julia Smith said...

Bobbi - it's great. We're both altos, too, so we sit together at practice. For some reason we're usually not together during a performance. You get arranged by the choir director for the onstage grouping.

Akelamalu said...

How lovely that you and your Mum are in the choir together. :)

Jeni said...

Although my ethnic background is Swedish, as I read the words of that song, I knew immediately which carol it was! There is something so special about singing a favorite song in what was our ancestors' native tongue. I've managed to teach my five-year-old granddaughter the first verse (in English as well as Swedish) a favorite hymn both of my families as well as our church family. And at Christmas, I look forward to two special events at church -the St. Lucia Day Pageant/program and dinner (which will be held Sunday, Dec. 14th) and then, the late service on Christmas Eve when our choir will sing an old favorite Swedish carol -"Lyssna, Lyssna!" At the St. Lucia Program, all attendees who are former members of the choir are invited to take the stage and we sing "Lyssna, Lyssna" for the first time of the Christmas season. I love this song, one of my absolute favorites, especially if I am standing by one of the men from the congregation who sings bass. Just makes my heart sing to hear that song as well as a chance to sing it just one more time. In the video, there was one man whose smile showed the enjoyment of singing, hearing the old words of the Norwegian again too. Warms the heart, it does.

Anne MacFarlane said...

It looks like a joyous occasion.

I was in the choir as a child. I'm tone deaf and always lip sinced so they wouldn't kick me out for being so bad.

Travis said...

I enjoyed the melody.

Toni said...

Thanks for sharing this, Julia. I loved it.

Shelley Munro said...

What a lovely carol. I love Christmas carols. It's wonderful that you and your mother sing in the same choir.

Heather said...

I will have to take in your spring concert, I should stay more aware I would have loved to see your Christmas one. very nice poetry train.

Jill said...

Thanks for translation, because I wouldn't have understood it!
I hope you have fun singing that song!