The "Huron Carol" (or "'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime") is Canada's oldest Christmas song, written in 1643 by Jean de Brebeuf, a Jesuit missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Canada. Brebeuf wrote the lyrics in the native language of the Huron/Wendat people; the song's original Huron title is "Jesous Ahatonhia" ("Jesus, he is born"). The song's melody is based on a traditional French folk song, "Une Jeune Pucelle" ("A Young Maid"). The well-known 1926 English lyrics by Jesse Edgar Middleton became public domain in 2011.
'Twas in the moon of wintertime When all the birds had fled That mighty Gitchi Manitou Sent angel choirs instead Before their light the stars grew dim And wand'ring hunters heard the hymn Jesus your King is born Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria!
Within a lodge of broken bark The tender Babe was found A ragged robe of rabbit skin Enwrapped his beauty 'round And as the hunter braves drew nigh The angel song rang loud and high Jesus your King is born Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria!
The earliest moon of wintertime Is not so round and fair As was the ring of glory on The helpless infant there The chiefs from far before him knelt With gifts of fox and beaver pelt Jesus your King is born Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria!
O children of the forest free O sons of Manitou The Holy Child of earth and heaven Is born today for you Come kneel before the radiant boy Who brings you beauty, peace and joy Jesus your King is born Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria!