Huron Carol (2014)
(text: trad. Canadian – in English)
Published by Fennica Gerhman
The Huron Carol (‘Jesous Ahatonhia’) is a fondly remembered traditional carol from my childhood in Canada. I sang it many times as a soloist at Christmas Eve Mass in our small-town church, and it became permanently inscribed in my memory. The tune, by Father Jean de Brébeuf, an early missionary to the colony of New France, is based on a French folk song. Although Brébeuf wrote the original text in the Huron language in 1642, I opted for the three verses of the English version I learned as a boy. This setting keeps the simple, strophic tune in the foreground, while varying the harmonic background for each verse, building on each repetition of the angel chorus to a climax “in excelsis gloria.” Huron Carol was written for the Audite Chamber Choir in 2013.