> Maddy Prior > Songs > Personent Hodie

Personent Hodie / The Boys’ Carol

[ Roud - ; PersonentHodie at Old Songs ; Mudcat 163314 ; German 14th century and Piæ Cantiones 1582]

Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band sang Personent Hodie in 1987 on their Saydisc album A Tapestry of Carols, in 1998 on their Park CD Carols at Christmas, and live at Oxford Town Hall on their 2005 Park DVD An Evening of Carols and Capers.

Nowell Sing We Clear sang The Boys’ Carol on their 1988 album Nowell Sing We Four. They noted:

Piæ Cantiones, a book of Latin carols compiled in Finland in 1582, gives us The Boys’ Carol, with a translation of the original text from Elizabeth Poston’s Penguin Book of Christmas Carols.

Coope Boyes & Simpson sang Personent Hodie in 2003 on their No Masters CD Fire and Sleet and Candlelight.

The Albion Band sang Personent Hodie on their 1985 album A Christmas Present From the Albion Band. This track was also included in 1996 on the Ashley Hutchings anthology The Guv’nor Vo. 4. Another recording from their Christmas Tour 1986 was released in 2010 on their Talking Elephant CD Another Christmas Present From the Albion Band.

Barbara Dickson sang Personent Hodie in 2011 on her Greentrax album Words Unspoken.

GreenMatthews sang Personent Hodie on their 2012 CD A Medieval Christmas.


Maddy Prior sings Personent Hodie

Personent hodie voces puerulae
Laudantes jucunde qui nobis est natus
Summo deo datus
Et de virgineo

In mundo nascitur pannis in volvitur
Praesepi ponitur stabulo brutorum
Rector supernorum
Perdidit spolia princeps infernorum

Magi tres venerunt parvulum inquirunt
Parvulum inquirunt stellulam sequendo
Ipsum adoranto
Aurum thus et myrrham ei offerendo

Omnes clericuli pariter pueri
Cantent ut angeli adventisti mundo
Laudes tibi fundo
Ideo gloria in excelsis deo

Free translation by Andy Watts:

On this day youthful voices sing aloud,
Joyfully praising Him who was born for us,
Given by God,
Born of a virgin.

Born into the world, wrapped in swaddling clothes
Laid in a manger in an animal’s stable,
The Ruler of all,
The Prince of Hell is robbed of his spoils!

Three Magi came and offered their gifts.
They sought the child, following a star,
Offering gold, incense and myrrh
In adoration.

All clerks and choristers
Sing with the angles: “You have come into the world;
All praise to You;
Glory to God in the Highest!”

Nowell Sing We Clear sing The Boys’ Carol

Let the boys’ cheerful noise
Sing today none but joys
Praise aloud, clear and proud,
Praise to Him in chorus,
Given from heaven for us.
Virgin-born, born, born,
Virgin-born, born, born,
Virgin-born, on that morn
Procreated for us.

He who rules heaven and earth
Lies in stall at His birth,
Humble beasts at his feet
See the Light eternal
Vanquish realms infernal.
Satan’s done, done, done,
Satan’s done, done, done,
Satan’s done, God has won
Victory supernal.

Magi come from afar,
See their sun, tiny one,
Follow far little star,
At the crib adoring,
Man to God restoring.
Gold and myrrh, myrrh, myrrh,
Gold and myrrh, myrrh, myrrh,
Gold and myrrh offered there,
Incense for adoring.

Man and boy, join in joy,
Sing as heaven sings for joy,
God this day here doth stay,
Pour we forth the story
Of His might and glory.
So to God, God, God,
So to God, God, God,
So to God, glory be,
In the highest, glory.