The Fourth Carol of Christmas

  
      I think the most beloved Christmas carols of today were either written in English or translated into it very quickly. Today I wish to introduce you all to one which is best sung in its original tongue, Spanish. In fact I don't believe that a translation of Riu Riu Chiu has ever been attempted.

    First off, the nonsense syllables "Riu Riu Chiu" are intended to represent the call of a kingfisher who scared off the wolf purposing to bite Mary. It is with this cheerful and somewhat absurd chorus which this lively song begins, and first verse is not much better with some rather fanciful lines about Mary, but then the song goes deep.
 
 Take the second verse for example; it is actually quite profound.

This one that is born is the Great King, 
Christ the Patriarch clothed in flesh. 
He redeemed us when He made himself small, 
though He was Infinite He would make himself finite.

As I read this I wondered how many of us actually realize what a sacrifice that must have been for an infinite God to become finite. I imagine the closest human equivalent would be a young strong athlete, in the prime of life, health and energy, in the best physical condition, who suddenly found himself a quadriplegic old man in a wheelchair who had about every health problem you can think up. And of course this doesn't even begin to describe the enormity of what Christ gave up when he became human. What wond'rous love is this my friends? To give up all that, just to save a few lumps of clay who had rebelled. I know I wouldn't do it...how many of us would? We might say we would, but if actually in the situation, I doubt any human being on this planet would ever even consider such an enormous sacrifice.
   This alone ought to make us love Him!

Enjoy this beautiful carol of love and hope!
As the Spanish Lyrics probably will not be very effective, I have posted below an English equivilent. I wish to make one clarification as some of you may be thinking that this qualifies as a translation for a song I just said no translations had been made. What I meant by that is that it has never been translated into singable verse form at least non that caught on because the song is only really effective in the language it was written in besides being rather awkward to sing in English in modern times. ;) 

Ríu, ríu chíu, the river bank protects it,
as God kept the wolf from our lamb.

The furious wolf tried to bite her,
but God Almighty knew how to help her;
He wishes to create her against sin,
nor was this maid to embody original sin.

He who is born is the great King,
Christ, God made flesh;
He has saved us by making Himself a child,
although everlasting, he made Himself finite.

Many prophecies foretold his coming,
and now in our time we have seen them fulfilled.
God became man -we see Him on earth-
and we see man in heaven because God loved him.

A thousand, singing herons I saw passing,
flying overhead, sounding with a thousand voices,
exulting, "Glory be in the heavens,
and peace on Earth, for Jesus has been born!"

May dwelling on the wond'rous sacrifice Christ made for us, grant you all peace and joy this season.

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