Tune of the Day: The Huron Carol
In 1643, Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary to the Hurons, wrote “'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime” in the Huron language while recovering from a broken bone. The song, originally titled “Jesous Ahatonhia” (“Jesus, he is born”), was a gift to the Hurons who came to his mission in Quebec. The song's melody is based on a traditional French folk song, “Une jeune pucelle” (“A Young Maid”).
The song remains a common Christmas hymn in Canadian churches of many Christian denominations. In the United States, the song was included as “Jesous Ahatonia” on Burl Ives's 1952 album Christmas Day in the Morning and was later released as a Burl Ives single under the title “Indian Christmas Carol”.