Gaudete

 

Andrew Greenhill

The Score, Lyrics and Translation for Gaudete are reproduced by the kind permission of Andrew D. R. Greenhill

"Gaudete" comes from "Piae Cantiones" of which the date is 1582.

(Jistebrice Cantional, 1420)
No music is given for the verses in "Piae Cantiones" . They derive from the Bohemian song, "Ezecheelis Porta", which Finnish clerical students would have encountered in Prague and which shared a tune with a Czech vernacular Christmas song that still survives. Finno, the editor of "Piae Cantiones", was probably responsible for the refrain. It adapts the words of one of the medieval verses to the music which, in various forms, was sung throughout Lutheran Germany to Luther's single-stanza grace before meals, "Danket dem Herren".

Verse three refers to the eastern gate of Ezekiel's vision (Ezekiel 44:2). The gate is a traditional symbol of Mary as a perpetual virgin.

The present version of "Gaudete" is taken directly from that which the well-known folk-rock group, "Steeleye Span", recorded in 1972. The tune to the verses differs notably from that in the original version but the refrain is exactly the same.

Andrew Greenhill

Gaudete1 Gaudete2

LATIN ENGLISH TRANSLATION
. .
REFRAIN REFRAIN
Gaudete, Gaudete, Christus est natus Rejoice, Rejoice, Christ is born
Ex Maria Virgine, Gaudete! of the Virgin Mary, Rejoice!
---- ----
VERSE 1. VERSE 1.
Tempus adest gratiae The hour of grace which we
Hoc quod optabamus, seek is here.
Carmina laetitiae We offer with devotion our
Devote reddamus. songs of gladness.
---- ----
VERSE 2. VERSE 2.
Deus homo factus est, God is made man, a thing of
Natura mirante, wonder.
Mundus renovatus est, The world is renewed by
A Christo regnante. Christ's reign.
---- ----
VERSE 3. VERSE 3.
Ezecheelis porta Light has arisen. Salvation
Clausa pertransitur, is come,
Undelux est orta Bursting the gates of
Salus invenitur. death.
---- ----
VERSE 4. VERSE 4.
Ergo nostra contio Our congregation lustily
Psallat jam in lustro, rejoices now,
Benedicat domino, Giving blessing to God,
Salus Regi nostro. our Saviour and King.

Andrew Greenhill