Aural Advent Calendar: Day 20

Today’s installment is brought to you courtesy of Frere Mussel who is celebrating his birthday in La Suisse. The carol is Quelle est cette odeur agréable?, which is awkwardly translated in English versions as Where Is That Goodly Fragrance?

The tune is quite mesmerizing in the way that Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine is and sung quite ably in this video by the Umeastudentkor in Sweden.

Rather surprisingly, considering all the search engine love up for grabs this season, the interwebs are rather short on information about this bit of Adventual loveliness. As far as Miss Mussel can tell, the text is traditional French from the 17th century set to music stolen from John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera from 1728, which was previously stolen from folk singers, pubs, hymnals and contemporary operas.

Here’s an original OM translation of the French text. It doesn’t fit the music and and is more conceptual rather than literal in its approach. en anglais.

What is that lovely smell,
Shepherds who charm our journey?
Does it not smell to you like a field of spring flowers?

What a bright light strikes our eyes in the night.
The noon sun has ne’er shone so brilliantly.

Here are many more wonders!
Omnipotent Father, what do I hear in the wind?
Never have our ears heard such a symphony.

Fear not, all ye who are faithful.
Listen to the angel of the Lord.
He announces a wonder that will fill you with happiness.

Unto you has been born Saviour
In a Bethlehem manger.
Go! And let nothing prevent you from adoring him.

Glory to God in the highest
Peace on earth and goodwill towards men.

[that’s womyn too…unbunch those panties..Santa can see you.]

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