Song lyrics to ‘Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella’, a traditional French Christmas carol
Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella (French: Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle) is a Christmas carol which originated from the Provence region of France in the 17th century. The song is usually notated in 3/8 time. The carol was first published in France, and was subsequently translated into English in the 18th century. The song title refers to two female farmhands who have found the baby Jesus and his mother in a stable. Excited by this discovery, they run to a nearby village to tell the inhabitants, who rush to see the new arrivals. Visitors to the stable are urged to keep their voices quiet, so the newborn can enjoy his dreams.
To this day, on Christmas Eve in the Provence region, children dressed as shepherds and milkmaids carry torches and candles while singing the carol, on their way to Midnight Mass.
Bring a torch, Jeannette, Isabella
Bring a torch, come swiftly and run
Christ is born, tell the folk of the village
Jesus is sleeping in His cradle
Ah, ah, beautiful is the Mother;
Ah, ah, beautiful is her Son.
Hasten now, good folk of the village
Hasten now, the Christ-Child to see
You will find him asleep in the manger
Quietly come and whisper softly
Hush, hush, peacefully now He slumbers
Hush, hush, peacefully now He sleeps
Bring a torch, Jeannette, Isabella!
Bring a torch to the cradle run!
It is Jesus, good folk of the village;
Christ is born and Mary’s calling:
Ah! ah! beautiful is the mother!
Ah! ah! beautiful is her Son!
It is wrong when the Child is sleeping
It is wrong to talk so loud;
Silence, all, as you gather around,
Lest your noise should waken Jesus:
Hush! hush! see how fast He slumbers:
Hush! hush! see how fast He sleeps!
Softly to the little stable,
Softly for the moment come;
Look and see how charming is Jesus,
See how He smiles, Oh see how rosy!
Hush! hush! see how the Child is sleeping;
Hush! hush! see how He smiles in dreams.
Un flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle —
Un flambeau! Courons au berceau!
C’est Jésus, bonnes gens du hameau.
Le Christ est né; Marie appelle!
Ah! Ah! Que la Mère est belle,
Ah! Ah! Que l’Enfant est beau!
Qui vient là, frappant de la porte?
Qui vient là, en frappant comme ça?
Ouvrez-donc, j’ai posé sur un plat
Des bons gateaux, qu’ici j’apporte
Toc! Toc! Ouvrons-nous la porte!
Toc! Toc! Faisons grand gala!
C’est un tort, quand l’Enfant sommeille,
C’est un tort de crier si fort.
Taisez-vous, l’un et l’autre, d’abord!
Au moindre bruit, Jésus s’éveille.
Chut! chut! Il dort à merveille,
Chut! chut! Voyez comme il dort!
Doucement, dans l’étable close,
Doucement, venez un moment!
Approchez! Que Jésus est charmant!
Comme il est blanc! Comme il est rose!
Do! Do! Que l’Enfant repose!
Do! Do! Qu’il rit en dormant!