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In Dulci Jubilo

January 3, 2013

For the octave of Christmas, instead of using the version of “Good Christian Men Rejoice” given by our hymnal (Collegeville), I decided this year to try a different version of the text.  Given that the original carol was in German mixed with Latin, I thought that a version that retained the Latin would be more authentic (as well as jollier).  Below is the score which I typed up using the harmonization from Collegeville (transposed to a more comfortable key of E-flat) and the translation of Robert Pearsall (1837), which seems to be the most popular bilingual one.

In Dulci Jubilo, trans. R. Pearsall, key of E-Flat (pdf)

This proved to be easy to put together, and rather fun to sing.  The Latin phrases, being short, are very straightforward: no peculiar rearranging of the word order.  I would think this to be a good hymn for choirs without much Latin experience – it might also help undermine the assumption that Latin must necessarily be stodgy or penitential!

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