-- Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes ("The Angels In Our Midst") --
(cover version)

Found on:

Christmas (1993)

Les anges dans nos campagnes
Ont entonné l'hymne des cieux
Et l'écho de nos montagnes
Redit ce chant mélodieux
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Bergers, pour qui cette fête
Quel-est l'objet de tous ces chants?
Quel vainqueur, quelle conquête
Mérite ces cris triomphants?
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Ils annoncent la naissance
Du Libérateur d'Israël,
Et, pleins de reconnaissance,
Chantent en ce jour solennel:
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Angels in our midst
Have intoned the anthem of the heavens
And this melodious song
Echoes from our mountains.
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, for whom are these songs,
What is this celebration for?
Which conqueror, what conquest
Deserves these triumphant cries?
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

They announce the birth
Of Israel's liberator
And, full of gratitude,
This solemn day they sing:
Glory To God in the Highest (Gloria in excelsis Deo!)

Known comments by Bruce Cockburn about this song, by date:

  • Editor's notes: Thanks to David Perry for a good translation of this song. In the album notes, Cockburn says, "This is a traditional French carol from the eighteenth century. The rhythmic groove is written right into it. Our treatment started out with the intention of trying to get close to the song's roots, so I played it on the dulcimer, but somehow it acquired a kind of pan-ethnic overlay. These things will happen."

    David Perry also passed on the version of the song that is generally sung in English-speaking churches:

    1. Angels from the realms of glory,
    wing your flight o'er all the earth;
    ye who sang creation's story
    now proclaim Messiah's birth:
    Gloria in excelsis Deo!

    2. Shepherds, in the field abiding,
    watching o'er your flocks by night,
    God with us is now residing;
    yonder shines the infant light:
    Gloria in excelsis Deo!

    3. Sages, leave your contemplations,
    brighter visions beam afar;
    seek the great Desire of nations;
    ye have seen his natal star:
    Gloria in excelsis Deo!

    4. Saints, before the altar bending,
    watching long in hope and fear;
    suddenly the Lord, descending,
    in his temple shall appear:
    Gloria in excelsis Deo!

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    This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.