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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

December 10, 2019

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen

evelyn @ 2:00 pm

Christmas, Christmas is taking over everything, and now the choir is into the annual dispute over one particular carol.  Last year it was ‘In dulci jubilo’ and the year before we had the fuss about ‘O holy night’.  This year it is the German Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, which compares the Virgin Mary to a rose and goes by several English titles.  In our hymn book, Laudate, it is entitled ‘A noble flower of Juda’ (no. 126).

I just love the tune.  The choir were unfamiliar with it, but once they had got used to the syncopated bits, they liked it, too.

However, one of our American members complained about the words in our hymn book, saying that they caused the syncopation to give emphasis to unimportant words like ‘to’ and ‘the’.  She offered to provide a better set.  Sure enough, the Laudate version is a bit clumsy and would probably silence the congregation.  We have space on the congregational hand-out, so the new set of words, entitled ‘Lo, how a rose e’er blooming’, will go in. Problem solved.

And we have managed to avoid the famous title with the translation ‘Behold, a blooming rose’!


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