Noel Nouvelet

This traditional French carol is one of the many early noels that recount the Nativity narrative. The first five notes incidentally quote the opening of a plainchant Marian hymn, "Ave, maris stella". Nouvelet, derived from the same root as 'noel' means 'news' or 'newness' and as such was traditionally sung around the New Year.

Noel Nouvelet! Sing we this new Noel!

Thank we now our God, and of his goodness tell;

Sing we Noel to greet the newborn King:

Noel nouvelet! This new Noel we sing!

How my heart rejoiced to see that sigh divine,

For with rays of glory did the rose-bud shine,

As when the sun doth rise at break of day.

This new Noel sing we: Noel nouvelet!

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© Mary Vanhoozer 2020