Mitt hjerte alltid vanker (My Heart Always Wanders)

A recent Xmas music favorite of mine (OK, “last decade or so” is recent, isn’t it? 😉 ) is the Danish/Norwegian hymn, “Mitt hjerte alltid vanker.” Both the tune and the lyrics speak to me.

Here’s a beautiful rendition by Sissel:

But I’m strongly drawn to Tine Thing Helseth’s instrumental version:

As translations of lyrics go, this is rather rough–sacrificing both a good wedding with the meter of the tune and rhyme scheme–but I think this captures the heart of the meaning about as well as it can. I like the twist Tine Thing Helseth’s album featuring this piece takes on the title though: “My Heart Is Always Present.”

Mitt hjerte alltid vanker – English translation/version

My heart will always wander
To where our Lord was born,
My thoughts will always go there
And take on their true form.
My longing does belong there,
With the treasure of my faith;
I never shall forget you,
O blessed Christmas night!

Oh come, and I will open
My heart and my mind
And sigh with longing,
Enter, Jesus
For this home is Your own,
You bought it for yourself
So I will remain faithful,
With you here in my heart

I’ll willingly spread branches
Of palms around your bed.
For you and you alone
I will gladly live and die.
Come, let my soul find joy
In this moment of delight:
To see you born right here,
Deep inside my loving heart.

Christmas Alliance 2008

This year, the Christmas Alliance will be hosted/managed by Kat, of Cathouse Chat. See the linked post for details.

Today’s welcome to the season of Christmas 2008 is the advent hymn, “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”–lyrics by Charles Wesley, tune by Rowland Prichard. The mp3 is a brief excerpt of the sadly OOP rendition of “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” by John Darnell. (You can probably find a used copy of Winterlude — Instrumentals for a Contemplative Christmas available at Amazon.com, though.)

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.