Russian Word and Carol of the Day- Вертеп-nativity

December 12, 2012

Actually, if you look up вертеп in yandex.ru it translates as a ‘puppet show booth’.  But I’ve only ever heard it when referring to the nativity or the acting out of the nativity.

A live nativity in Lviv

This is especially common to do the nativity scene in Western Ukraine where Christmas in its pure sense as the birth of Christ is celebrated very much so in addition to New Year.  Children will often put on some sort of Christmas program where they sing the traditional carols and do the вертеп.

The song I am featuring today I adore. But upon further research I can’t find information about it ANYWHERE!!!!! I can’t find the lyrics anywhere.  It comes form an album that I downloaded years ago.  And now the link that I downloaded it from is no longer available.

So I made a youtube video with the mp3 that I had so that you can hear it.  But I can’t provide you with the lyrics.  The title is “А над вертепом зірька сияет”, “On the nativity a star shines”

You can download it on my Google site that I made so that people could get the mp3s of the songs I’m featuring this week.

Since that song might be a bit obscure, I’ll share another one of my favorites.  And this one is ACTUALLY IN RUSSIAN! Hooray.  These are hard to find. You’ll find the lyrics and my pathetic translation (literal, not pretty like yesterday’s) below.

1. Ночь тиха над Палестиной.                                1. The night is quiet in Palestine.

Спит усталая земля.                                                    The tired earth is sleeping.

Горы, рощи и долины                                                 The mountains, meadows and canyons

Скрыла всё ночная мгла.                                           Were covered in night shadows

Скрыла всё ночная мгла.

2. В Вифлееме утомлённом                                    2. In weary Bethlehem

Все погасли огоньки,                                                  Everyone had put out their fires

Только в поле отдалённом                                        Only in the distant fields

Не дремали пастухи.                                                  The shepherds weren’t asleep.

Не дремали пастухи.

3. Словно что ожидали,                                            As if they expected something

Обходя ночной дозор,                                              They made their nightly rounds

И, усевшись, завязали                                             And finally sitting down

Меж собою разговор.                                               They talked amongst themselves.

Меж собою разговор.

4. Вдруг раздался голос нежный,                           Suddenly a gentle voice resounded

Трепет пастухов объял,                                           The shepherds were filled with awe,

И в одежде белоснежной                                        And in clothing white as snow

Ангел Божий им предстал.                                     A heavenly angel stood before them.

Ангел Божий им предстал.

5. – Не пугайтесь, не смущайтесь!                       Don’t be afraid, don’t be ashamed!

От Небесного Отца                                                From Heavenly Father

Я пришёл с великой тайной                                  I came with great news

Вам возрадовать сердца.                                     It will gladden your hearts.

Вам возрадовать сердца.

6. Милость людям посылает                              To the people mercy sends

Сам Христос, Владыка-Царь.                             Christ himself, Lord and King.

Грешный мир спасти желая,                             Wishing to save the sinful world

Сам Себя Он в жертву дал.                               He sacrificed himself.

Сам Себя Он в жертву дал.

Repeat Verse 1

6 Responses to “Russian Word and Carol of the Day- Вертеп-nativity”

  1. […] More Carols and information about ‘Nativity’ in Russian and Ukrainian […]

  2. […] these traditions in some of my previous posts that I wrote during our Western Christmas season. Here, here and […]

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