Riu Riu Chiu – Spain – 1556


Riu riu chiu la guarda ribera
dios guarda el lobo de nuestra cordera

El lobo Rabioso la quiso morder
Mas dios poderoso la suppo defender
Qui sola hazer que no pudiesse pecar
Ni aun original esta virgen no tu viera

Este qu’es nacido es el gran monarcha
Christo patriarca de carne vestido
A nos redimido con se hazer chiquito
A un qu’era infinito finito ses hiziera

Muchas profeciaas lo han profetizado
y aun en nuestros dias lo hemos alcancado

A dios humanado vemos en el suelo
y al hombre nel cielo porqu’el le quisiera

Yo vi mil qarconnes que andavan cantando
Por aqui balando haziendo mil sones
Diziendo a Gascones gloria sea en el cielo
Y paz en el suelo pues Jesus nasciera

Este viene a a dar a los muertos vida
Y viene a reparar de todos la caida
Es la luz del dia aqueste rnocuelo

Este es el cordero que S, Juan dixera

Mira bien que os cuadre que ansina lo o yera
Que dios no pudiera hazer la mas madré

El qu’era su padre Oydella nascio
Y el que la crio su hijo se dixera

Pues que ya tenemos lo que desseamos
Todos juntos vamos presentes llevemos
Todos le daremos nuestra voluntad
Pues a se igualar con el hombre viniera

Riu riu chiu, the river bank protects it
God has kept our Lamb from the Wolf.

The rabid Wolf wanted to bite her
But Almighty God knew how to defend her
He decided to make Her impervious to sin
Even original sin this Virgin did not have.

This one who is born is the great Monarch,
Christ the Patriarch dressed in human flesh;
He has redeemed us by making Himself small.
Although infinite, He made Himself finite.

Many prophets gave us prophecies and forecasts,
So today in our time they have come true at long last.
God in human form, this is what we see on earth,
And mankind in Heaven because God wants it so.

I saw a thousand angels that were singing,
Flying around, making a thousand voices,
Telling the shepherds: Glory be in Heaven
And Peace on Earth since Jesus is born.

He comes to give life to those who were dead
He comes to repair the fall of humankind.
This Child is the light of day,

He is the Lamb of whom St John the Baptist had spoken

Know that the story makes sense, just as we shall hear it
That God could not make Her more than his mother.
He who was her father was born of her today,
He who created her proclaimed he was her son.

Now that we have what we had desired
Let us go together to present Him our gifts.
Let everyone give Him what they want,
Because He came to make Himself equal to us.


This medieval Spanish carol was first published in “Cancionero de Upsala” in Venice in 1556.  It is much older than that and was attributed to Mateo Flecha, though many think it is anonymous.

About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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1 Response to Riu Riu Chiu – Spain – 1556

  1. beetleypete says:

    Sounds more appropriate than ‘God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen’. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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