The Huron Indian Carol
also known as
'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime
Generally considered the first Canadian carol.
Originally written in the Huron Indian language in 1640
and set to an old French tune by a Jesuit priest, Jean de Brebeuf.

In retelling the story of the Nativity,
Father Brebeuf used symbols and figures
that could be understood by the Hurons,
and the hymn entered the tribe's oral tradition.

It was sung by the Hurons in Ontario until 1649,
when the Iroquois killed Father Brebeuf,
wiped out the Jesuit mission and drove the Hurons from their home.

In Quebec, to which many of the Hurons escaped,
the carol re-emerged and was translated into English and French.
This version is still sung today throughout Canada
and is considered such a national treasure
that it has been celebrated on a set of Canadian postage stamps."


Original Huron words are by Father Jean de Brebeuf,
English words by J.E. Middleton.
The music is traditional, but sources show
Frederick Harris Music Co., Limited,
Oakville, Ontario, Canada as copyright owner of the text.

'Twas in the moon of win-ter-time
When all the birds had fled,
That might-y Gitch-i Man-i-tou
Sent an-gel choirs in-stead.
Be-fore their light the stars grew dim,
And won-d'ring hunters heard the hymn:

Je-sus, your King, is born,
Je-sus is born,
In ex-cel-sis glo-ri-a.

With-in a lodge of bro-ken bark
The ten-der Babe was found.
A rag-ged robe of rab-bit skin
En-wrapped His beau-ty round.
The chiefs from far be-fore Him knelt
With gifts of fox and bea-ver pelt.


O child-ren of the for-est free,
O sons of Man-i-tou,
The Holy Child of earth and heav'n
Is born to-day for you.
Come kneel be-fore the rad-iant Boy
Who brings you beau-ty, peace and joy.


Estennialon de tsonoue, Jesous ahatonhia,
Onnaouateoua d'oki, N'onouandaskouaentak,
Ennonchien skouatrihotat, N'onouandilonrachatha, Jesous ahatonhia