Sunday Playlist: Maria Durch ein Dornwald ging

By  | December 11, 2011 | 0 Comments | Filed under: Choral Music, Playlists

A short playlist today but one that's well worth your while. It features two performances of the late medieval German carol "Maria durch ein dornwald ging" ("Maria walked through a forest of thorns")  It's not known who wrote this beautiful old German carol or when they wrote it, but it's known to have been sung in Thuringia (Thüringen) during the fifteenth century. If you like carols, early music, or both, then you'll probably like this carol. It's got a very simple almost child-like melody and its lyrics, which to modern ears sound no less naive, tell of a Christmas miracle. Of how as Mary was wandering through a forest, thorny rose bushes that hadn't flowered for seven years burst into flower as she passed by clasping the Infant Jesus to her breast.

The image of the rose was, as we saw in some of the early English carols that I posted earlier, very popular in medieval poetry and carols. So it's not surprising that it should appear in a fifteenth-century German folk carol. The barren thorn-wood is a reference to Genesis 2:9 (KJV, New Advent)  and Genesis 3:18 (KJV, New Advent) of the world fallen into sin while the flowering of the rose trees that were barren for a very long time ("seven long years" rather like "forty days and forty nights" denotes a long period of  time) as a result of the presence of the Christ-child is a reference to the redemption that Christ will bring to the world.  There are two performances of it in the playlist that you'll find below fold one by the Thomanerchor Leipzig (St. Thomas Choir of Leipzig) and the other by the Wiener Sängerknaben (Vienna Boys' Choir). Sadly they only give the first three verses but I've included the text to all seven verses and a translation below the fold.  Enjoy :-).


How to use the playlist: The playlist consists of a set of thumbnails and text links. Clicking any one of the thumbnails or the text links will load that performance in the large player on top which works exactly the same as YouTube's player.

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Playlist Source:  Maria Durch Ein Dornwald Ging by markfromireland's channel 

Lyrics: Maria Durch ein Dornwald ging


Maria durch ein' Dornwald ging.

Kyrie eleison !  
Maria durch ein' Dornwald ging,

Der hatte in sieben Jahrn kein Laub getragen !

Jesu und Maria!

Blest Mary wanders through the forest of thorns,

Kyrie eleison! 
Blest Mary wanders through the thorn,

That for seven long years bore no bloom !

Jesu et Maria!

Was trug Maria unter ihrem Herzen ?

Kyrie eleison !

Ein kleines Kindlein ohne Schmerzen,

Das trug Maria unter ihrem Herzen !

Jesu und Maria.

What clasps she to her breast so close?

Kyrie eleison!

An innocent child there reposes,

Which she clasps close to her breast.

Jesu et Maria!

Da hab'n die Dornen Rosen getragen.

Kyrie eleison !

Als das Kindlein durch den Wald getragen,

Da haben die Dornen Rosen getragen !

Jesu und Maria!

Fair roses bloom on every tree,

Kyrie eleison!

As she passes through the thorn-wood

Fair roses bloom on every tree.

Jesu et Maria!

Wie soll dem Kind sein Name sein?

Kyrie eleison!

Der Name, der soll Christus sein,

das war von Anfang der Name sein!

Jesus und Maria!

What shall this Infant calléd be?

Kyrie eleison!

The Christ, he shall truly be called ,

Which Name he has borne for all eternity.

Jesu et Maria!

Wer soll dem Kind sein Täufer sein?

Kyrie eleison!

Das soll der Sankt Johannes sein,

der soll dem Kind sein Täufer sein!

Jesus und Maria!

Who shall proclaim this holy Name, ?

Kyrie eleison!

Saint John Baptist shall do the same,

This holy Name he shall proclaim.

Jesu et Maria!

Was kriegt das Kind zum Patengeld?

Kyrie eleison!

Den Himmel und die ganze Welt

das kriegt das Kind zum Patengeld!

Jesus und Maria!

What christening-gifts are given to him?

Kyrie eleison!

All the things that are , on earth, (and) heaven,

As christening-gifts to him are given.

Jesu et Maria!

Wer hat erlöst die Welt allein?

Kyrie eleison!

Das hat getan das Christkindlein,

das hat erlöst die Welt allein?

Jesus und Maria!

Who is it who sets the world free from sin?

Kyrie eleison!

This Child alone, and only he,

He has set the world free from sin.

Jesu et Maria

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