A traditional Spanish christmas carol dating from the 16th century. Normally it is sung by a lone male voice, with a choir singing the chorus. The distinctive haunting melody makes it a perennial favourite - everyone from the Oxford chamber choir to The Monkees sings it.

Riu, riu chiu, la guarda ribera,
River, roaring river, guard our homes in safety
Dios guardo el lobo de nuestra cordera.
God has kept the black wolf from our lamb, our Lady.
Dios guardo el lobo de nuestra cordera.
God has kept the black wolf from our lamb, our Lady.

El lobo rabioso la quiso morder,
Raging mad to bite her, there the wolf did steal,
mas Dios poderoso la supo defender;
But our God Almighty defended her with zeal.
Quisole hazer que no pudiesse pecar,
Pure He wished to keep Her so She could never sin,
ni aun original esta Virgen no tuviera.
That first sin of man never touched the Virgin sainted.
Riu, riu...

Este qu'es nascido es el gran monarca,
He who's now begotten is our mighty Monarch,
Cristo patriarca de carne vestido;
Christ, our Holy Father, in human flesh embodied.
Hanos redimido con se hazer chiquito,
He has brought atonement by being born so humbly,
aunqu'era infinito, finito se hizera.
Though He is immortal, as mortal was created.
Riu, riu...

Muchas profecias lo han profetizado,
Many prophecies told of his coming,
y aun en nuestros dias lo hemos alcancado.
and now in our days have we seen them fulfilled
A Dios humanado vemos en el suelo
God became man, on earth we behold him,
y al hombre nel cielo porqu'er le quisiera.
and see man in heaven because he so willed.
Riu, riu...

Yo vi mil Garzones que andavan cantando,
I saw thousands of angels that were singing
por aqui bolando, haciendo mil sones,
Flying around, making much music
diziendo a gascones Gloria sea en el cielo,
Telling shepherds, Glory in the heavens
y paz en el suelo qu'es Jesus nascieta.
and Peace on earth that Jesus is born.
Riu, riu...

Este viene a dar a los muertos vida
This one comes to give life to the dead
y viene a reparar de todos la caida;
and comes to mend us all from sin;
es la luz del dia aqueste mocuelo;
He is the light of day, this Boy
este es el cordero que San Juan dixera.
this is the Lamb that St. John spoke of.
Riu, riu...

Pues que ya tenemos lo que desseamos,
Now we have gained what we were all desiring
todos juntos vamos presentes llevemos;
go we together to bear him our gifts:
Todos le daremos nuestra voluntad,
let each give his will to the God who was willing
pues a se igualar con el hombre viniera.
to come down to earth man's equal to be.
Riu, riu...

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