The Huron Carol (Twas in the Moon of Wintertime)

Santa Claus and reindeer in the snow grey sky h koppdelaney

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Christmas Hymn, Canada.

“The Huron Carol” (or “Twas in the Moon of Wintertime”) is a Canadian Christmas hymn, written probably in 1642 by Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Canada.

This is also Canada’s oldest Christmas song.

The Huron Carol” | Free karaoke mp3 and midi download


To download your free mp3 of “The Huron Carol” , click (or tap, on mobile devices) on the following link.

“The Huron Carol” (instrumental, 2:46 – 2/4 – 54 bpm)

“The Huron Carol”  lyrics (English)

‘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 wondering 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
But 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 seed 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.

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Angels we have heard on high (Les anges dans nos campagnes)

Carol of the Bells

Go tell it on the mountain

“The Huron Carol”  Music Score

To save this music score to your computer, right click and choose “Save Image As…”.

The Huron Carol_singing-bell

The Huron Carol” | Free Printable PDF with lyrics and music sheet


To download a ready-to-print PDF of “The Huron Carol” for music activities with a music sheet, lyrics and a colouring sheet for kids, right click (or tap and hold, on mobile devices) on the following link, then choose “Save link as…”.

“The Huron Carol” free PDF download – Singing Bell

“The Huron Carol” Karaoke Video

“The Huron Carol”  Teaching ideas

If you teach the song to children whose music level is something more than basic, then it is interesting to pay attention to the final cadence which is characterized by the major third. This is called picardy cadence, or picardy third, although it is not clear if the term comes from the homonym french region, or from the french word “picard” which means, in this case, “sharp”. Anyway, it is a cadence often used at the contrapuntal music of the Middle Ages.


The Huron Carol


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