The words and music to the sixteenth century French Provincial Carol, “Un Flambeau, Jeanette, Isabella,” (Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella) were written by Émile Blémont and translated into English by  Edward Cuthbert Nunn, a British organist and composer. (See more)

“The song was originally not a song to be sung at Christmas, but rather dance music for French nobility. . . .  (for further information see How Stuff Works) The carol tells the story of two milkmaids, Jeanette and Isabella, who went to milk their cows in a manger in Bethlehem, only to find the baby Jesus sleeping in the hay. The two girls ran to town to tell the village of the coming of Christ, and the townspeople came with their own torches to view the sight for themselves. However, they had to keep their voices down so little Jesus could enjoy his dreams. To this day in the Provence region, children dress up as shepherds and milkmaids, carrying torches and candles to church on Christmas Eve while singing the carol.”  (See Wikipedia)

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a saviour which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign to you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:11-12

“Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabella
Bring a torch, come swiftly and run.
Christ is born, tell the folk of the village,
Jesus is sleeping in His cradle,
Ah, ah, beautiful is the mother,
Ah, ah, beautiful is her Son.

Hasten now, good folk of the village,
Hasten now, the Christ Child to see.
You will find Him asleep in a manger,
Quietly come and whisper softly,
Hush, hush, peacefully now He slumbers,
Hush, hush, peacefully now He sleeps.”

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