30 December 2009

O Kerstnacht

Some two decades ago one of my colleagues gave me a copy of his own nonmetrical English translation of the Dutch Christmas hymn, O Kerstnacht, Schoner dan de Dagen. The text was written by the Dutch poet and playwright Joost van den Vondel in 1637. The melody is attributed to Cornelis Padbrué and is performed below by Harald Koll on a most unusual instrument known as a kontra guitarre. I recently found that I had versified this text for two of the stanzas some time ago, but not for the third. My discovery today of this performance perhaps provides an occasion to complete the job so that it can finally be sung in English.

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