A pensive setting of the familiar Basque carol, for a cappella choir. Easily rehearsed, and effective for Lessons and Carols service.
The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame.
"All hail," said he, "thou lowly maiden Mary,"
"most highly favoured Lady," Gloria.
"For known a blessed Mother thou shalt be,
all generations laud and honour thee."
"Thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,"
"Most highly favoured Lady," Gloria.
Of her Emmanuel the Christ was born
in Bethlehem all on a Christmas morn.
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say:
Most highly favoured Lady. Gloria!
Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
"To me be as it pleaseth God," she said.
"My soul shall laud and magnify his holy Name,"
Most highly favoured Lady, Gloria!
Trad. Basque carol, "Birjina gaztettobat zegoen,"
tr. Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924)