Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mitt Hjerte Alltid Vanker

I stumbled upon this Norwegian Christmas hymn this week and am absolutely smitten. Something about it is at once melancholy and hopeful and captures the essence of Christmas-time for me: so much joy and renewal at the contemplation of a little baby a long time ago.

The great thing about this video is it includes English subtitles. Okay, I'll stop with the pretext. It's Sissel. Need I say more? :)

I've also found several versions by canticle singers, like Arve Moen Bergset. I prefer his simpler, more traditional arrangement. Then there are the choirs, like the Oslo Filharmoniske Kor. Great stuff.

Most of my mother's family is from Norway, and I've always wanted to learn Norwegian. I just might start with this song...

Mitt hjerte alltid vanker i Jesu fødte rom
Der samles mine tanker som i sin hovedsum
Der er min lengsel hjemme, der har min tro sin skatt
Jeg kan deg aldri glemme velsignet julenatt

Akk, kom jeg opp vil lukke mitt hjerte og mitt sinn
Og full av lengsel sukke, kom Jesus dog her inn
Det er ei fremmed bolig, du har jo selv den kjøpt
Så skal jeg blive trolig, her i mitt hjerte svøpt

Jeg gjerne palmegrene vil om din krybbe strø
For deg, for deg alene jeg leve vil og dø
Kom la min sjel deg finne sin rette gledesstund
At du ble født her inne i hjertets dype grunn


My heart always wanders where Jesus once was born
There I collect my thoughts into a total sum
There my longing finds a home, and my belief a treasure
I can never forget you blessed Christmas night

Oh, I want to open up my heart and my soul
And full of longing sigh, come Jesus here within
This is no foreign housing, you bought it all yourself
Then I will likely stay, swaddled in my heart

I'll gladly spread palm branches around your crib
For you, for you alone I will live and I will die
Come let my soul find you its true blissful moment
That you were born here deep in my heart's abyss

(Original lyrics found here and English transcribed from the video.)

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