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Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, most commonly translated to English as Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming, is a Christmas carol of German origin. The text is thought to be penned by an anonymous author, and the piece first appeared in print in the late-16th century. The hymn has been used by both Catholics and Protestants, with the focus of the song being Mary or Jesus, respectively. In addition, there have been numerous versions of the hymn, with varying texts and lengths.

The tune most familiar today appears in the Speyer Hymnal (printed in Cologne in 1599), and the familiar harmonization was written by German composer Michael Praetorius in 1609. The tune was used by Johannes Brahms as the basis for a chorale fantasy for organ, later transcribed for orchestra by Erich Leinsdorf, by Hugo Distler as the basis for his 1933 oratorio Weihnachtsgeschichte ("Christmas story"), and by Stanley M. Hoffman for wind ensemble.

The English translation "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" was written by Theodore Baker in 1894. A translation of the first two verses of the hymn as "A Spotless Rose" was written by Catherine Winkworth and this was set as a SATB anthem by Herbert Howells in 1919.

Another Christmas hymn "A Great and Mighty Wonder" is set to the same tune as this carol and may sometimes be confused with it; it is, however, a hymn by St. Germanus, 734 (Μέγα χαί παράδοξον θαυμα), translated from Greek to English by John M. Neale, 1862.



German original Literal translation of the German Baker's English version Winkworth's English version
1. Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen,

aus einer Wurzel zart.
Wie uns die Alten sungen,
von Jesse war die Art.
Und hat ein Blüm'lein 'bracht;
mitten im kalten Winter,
wohl zu der halben Nacht.

1. A rose has sprung up,

from a tender root.
As the old ones sang to us,
Its lineage was from Jesse.
And it has brought forth a floweret
In the middle of the cold winter
Right upon midnight.

1. Lo, how a rose e'er blooming,

From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When halfspent was the night.

1. A Spotless Rose is growing,

Sprung from a tender root,
Of ancient seers' foreshowing,
Of Jesse promised fruit;
Its fairest bud unfolds to light
Amid the cold, cold winter,
And in the dark midnight.

2. Das Röslein, das ich meine,

davon Jesaia sagt:
hat uns gebracht alleine
Marie die reine Magd.
Aus Gottes ew'gem Rat,
Hat sie ein Kind geboren,
Und blieb ein reine Magd.
or: Welches uns selig macht.

2. The rosebud that I mean,

Of which Isaiah told
Is Mary, the pure,
Who brought us the floweret.
At God’s immortal word,
She has borne a child
Remaining a pure maid.
or: Who makes us blessed.

2. Isaiah 'twas foretold it,

The Rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind;
To show God's love aright,
She bore to men a Savior,
When halfspent was the night.

2.The Rose which I am singing,

Whereof Isaiah said,
Is from its sweet root springing
In Mary, purest Maid;
Through God's great love and might
The Blessed Babe she bare us
In a cold, cold winter's night.

3. Das Blümelein, so kleine,

das duftet uns so süß;
mit seinem hellen Scheine
vertreibt's die Finsternis.
Wahr'r Mensch und wahrer Gott!
Hilft uns aus allem Leide,
rettet von Sünd' und Tod.

3. The floweret, so small

That smells so sweet to us
With its clear light
Dispels the darkness.
True man and true God!
He helps us from all trouble,
Saves us from sin and death.

3. O Flower, whose fragrance tender

With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From Sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.

Media File

Cover versions

In film

  • In the opening scene of the film The Time Traveler's Wife, the protagonist, Henry DeTamble, as a six-year old child, is travelling in a car with his mother, an opera singer, who sings to him "Es ist ein Ros". The song is also released with the official soundtrack.

External links



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