Traditional Chinese Christmas Songs: 《欢乐佳音歌》 & 《圣诞感恩歌》

A couple Christmases ago we shared mp3s of traditional Christmas songs that had been Chinese-ified. This year you get some genuine Chinese Christmas songs, as in songs written by Chinese in Chinese and in a Chinese style, rather than sounding like corrupted English songs. The first song is especially good for language students; it’s so repetitive that you only have to learn four lines.

I tried to find well-produced recordings of arrangements that would sound good to Western ears, but each link below fails on one or both accounts (this is not surprising for a lot of traditional Chinese music). But the point is that it’s a Chinese song anyway, so you get what you get, which in this case is 10000x tamer than the inebriated felines of Beijing opera.

Mouseover the Chinese below to see the pronunciation. My translation is veeery rough.

《欢乐佳音歌》 Joyous Tidings

#83 in the TSPM hymnal (赞美)
Listen: here and here.

欢乐圣诞佳音大家歌唱 耶路撒冷欢呼弥赛亚
Joyous Christmas tidings, everyone come sing, Jerusalem hails the Messiah as King
锡安报道救主降临 耶稣基督甘愿卑贱众人
Zion the whole earth announces the saviour has come,
Jesus Christ willingly humbly rescues everyone

欢乐圣诞佳音大家歌唱 耶路撒冷欢呼弥赛亚
Joyous Christmas tidings, everyone come sing, Jerusalem hails the Messiah as King

欢乐圣诞佳音大家歌唱 耶路撒冷欢呼弥赛亚
Joyous Christmas tidings, everyone come sing, Jerusalem hails the Messiah as King
普世万民传扬降生 赐下救恩信徒蒙恩
All the people in all the world, come spread the news that the Lord is born,
bestowing salvation, multitudes of believers receive profound grace

欢乐圣诞佳音大家歌唱 耶路撒冷欢呼弥赛亚
Joyous Christmas tidings, everyone come sing, Jerusalem hails the Messiah as King

欢乐圣诞佳音大家歌唱 耶路撒冷欢呼弥赛亚
Joyous Christmas tidings, everyone come sing, Jerusalem hails the Messiah as King
信徒大家恭敬献上感谢 哈利路亚天庭
All believers respectfully offer God thankful hearts,
sing hallelujah together with Heaven’s hosts filling Heaven

欢乐圣诞佳音大家歌唱 耶路撒冷欢呼弥赛亚
Joyous Christmas tidings, everyone come sing, Jerusalem hails the Messiah as King

《圣诞感恩歌》 Christmas Thanksgiving

#84 in the TSPM hymnal (赞美)
Listen: here and here.

耶稣人间 世人 / Jesus comes to earth, God loves the people of the world
人类 肉身 / The Lord saves humanity, ‘The Word becomes Flesh’
天使 凡尘 / Angels sing praise, an ode to God who came to earth
浩大 还要 / God’s grace is truly great, even deeper than the ocean

当年降生 牧人闻讯 / When the Lord was born, shepherds heard the news
前往伯利恒 朝拜 / Went ahead to Bethlehem to worship the holy infant
归来无限 报告降生 / Come back with unbounded happiness, reporting the Lord’s birth
全城传开 基督来临 / The whole city spreads the news, Christ has come

救主世界 和平 / The Saviour comes to the world, bestowing on people peace
马槽安身 四周宁静 / In a manger taking shelter, all around is tranquil
我们感谢 佳音 / We give thanks to the Lord, hearing these good tidings
效法三博士 献上 / Imitate the Three Wisemen, offering up hearts of thanks

赞美降生 欢腾 / Praise for the Lord’s birth, universal celebration
我们得着 名分 / We now can have the status of God’s children
生活盼望 从此永生 / Life has hope, from now on enjoying eternal life
美满幸福 鸿 / Blissful and blessed, completely depending on God’s great grace

The coworker who introduced me to these says that both are homegrown Chinese Christmas songs, though I think I hear some traditional Western hymn-i-ness in the second one especially.

Anyway, if you’ve got Chinese Christmas music, please share!

More Christmas music:

For your karaoke repertoire: