In Dulci Jubilo

In Dulci Jubilo

Infobox Standard
title = In Dulci Jubilo
english_title = In Sweetest Rejoicing
comment = Christmas carol

image_size =
caption =
writer =
composer = Traditional
lyricist = Heinrich Seuse Robert Lucas de Pearsall John Mason Neale
published =
written =
language = German Latin English
form =
original_artist =
recorded_by = Mike Oldfield Mannheim Steamroller Sissel Kyrkjebø
performed_by =

"In Dulci Jubilo" (English "In Sweetest Rejoicing" but most commonly arranged as "Good Christian Men, Rejoice") is a traditional Christmas Carol.

Original version

The original lyrics, a macaronic alternation of Medieval German and Latin, is thought to have been written by the German mystic Heinrich Seuse circa 1328 [cite web |url= |title=In Dulci Jubilo |publisher=Sibelius Music |accessdate=2008-07-24] .

According to folklore, Seuse heard angels sing these words and joined them in a dance of worship [cite web |url= |title=In Dulci Jubilo - Notes on the Carol |publisher=Hymns and Carols of Christmas |accessdate=2008-07-24] . The first stanza is:

English versions

There have been translations of the Latin/German poem. A popular version by Robert Lucas de Pearsall (1837) [cite web |url= |title=Good Christian Men, Rejoice |publisher=Hymns and Carols of Christmas |accessdate=2008-07-24] ["Carols for Choirs 1", Oxford University Press. Recorded by the King's College Choir and the Cambridge Singers] retains the Latin phrases and substitutes English for German:

:"In dulci jubilo,":Let us our homage show!:Our heart's joy reclineth:"In praesepio;":And like a bright star shineth:"Matris in gremio.":"Alpha es et O!"

An English-only translation was produced in 1853 by John Mason Neale.

An instrumental arrangement of the Pearsall version by English musician Mike Oldfield, "In Dulci Jubilo", reached number 4 in the UK in January 1975. The rock band Mannheim Steamroller also recorded a version for their 1988 Christmas album "A Fresh Aire Christmas", using a dulcimer as the main instrument. Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø recorded a Kjetil Bjerkestrand arrangement of the song with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the Grammy Award-nominated Christmas album "Spirit of the Season".

Influence in music

J.S. Bach wrote a chorale prelude around this carol for organ (BWV 729), and it is traditionally performed as the first organ voluntary at end of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King's College, Cambridge. This voluntary was first introduced to the service in 1938 by organ scholar Douglas Guest.

Franz Liszt included the carol in his piano suite "Weihnachtsbaum" in the movement entitled "Die Hirten an der Krippe."


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