Twas in the Moon of Wintertime

Full Text

1 ’Twas in the moon of wintertime,
when all the birds had fled,
Great Spirit, Lord of all the earth
sent angel choirs instead.
Before their light the stars grew dim
and wandering hunters heard the hymn:

Jesus, your king, is born;
Jesus is born.
In excelsis gloria.

2 Within a lodge of broken bark
the tender babe was found.
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
enwrapped his beauty round.
But as the hunters brave drew nigh
the angel song rang loud and high: [Refrain]

3 The earliest moon of wintertime
is not so round and fair
as was the ring of glory on
the helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before him knelt
with gifts of fox and beaver pelt. [Refrain]

4 O children of the forest free,
the angel song is true:
the holy child of earth and heaven
is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant boy
who brings you beauty, peace, and joy. [Refrain]

Source: Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #142

Author (English Text): Jesse Edgar Middleton

Middleton, Jesse Edgar. (Wellington County, Ontario, November 3, 1872--May 27, 1960, Toronto, Ont.). United Church. Although he trained as a teacher, he turned to journalism in 1895. After learning his new trade, he became the Montreal Herald's correspondent in Quebec, and was there when Ernest Myrand brough out Noels anciens de la Nouvelle-France (1899), containing a French version of the carol which Father Brebeuf, S.J., had written in 1641 for the Huron, whose descendents had handed it on by oral tradition. He then came to Toronto as a special writer for The Mail and Empire, and from 1942 onward, for Saturday Night as well; meanwhile, he served Centennial Church as choirmaster for about 40 years. With all this, he managed to produce s… Go to person page >

Author (Huron): St. Jean de Brébeuf

Jean de Brébeuf, Jesuit missionary, born at Condé-sur-Vire in Normandy, 25 March, 1593; died in Canada, near Georgian Bay, 16 March, 1649. His desire was to become a lay brother, but he finally entered the Society of Jesus as a scholastic, 8 November, 1617. According to Ragueneau it was 5 October. Though of unusual physical strength, his health gave way completely when he was twenty-eight, which interfered with his studies and permitted only what was strictly necessary, so that he never acquired any extensive theological knowledge. On 19 June, 1625, he arrived in Quebec, with the Recollect, Joseph de la Roche d' Aillon, and in spite of the threat which the Calvinist captain of the ship made to carry him back to France, he remained in the… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Twas in the moon of wintertime
Title: Twas in the Moon of Wintertime
Author (Huron): St. Jean de Brébeuf (ca. 1643)
Author (English Text): Jesse Edgar Middleton
Meter: with refrain
Refrain First Line: Jesus your king is born
Copyright: English text by J.E. Middleton. Used by permission of The Frederick Harris Music Co. Limited



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Include 15 pre-1979 instances