Tune of the Day: Tu scendi dalle stelle
“Tu scendi dalle stelle” (which literally means “You come down from the stars”) is the best known Christmas carol originating in Italy. Though found in numerous arrangements and commonly sung, it is traditionally associated with the zampogna, a large Italian bagpipe.
The melody and original lyrics for the hymn were written by Alfonso Maria de' Liguori, a prominent Neapolitan priest, in 1744, when he put together the Christmas song entitled “Little Song to Child Jesus”.
A different set of lyrics in the Neapolitan dialect also exists, entitled “For Jesus's birth”, which begins “Quanno nascette Ninno” (“When the Child was Born”). This version is sometimes referred to as the “Carol of the Bagpipers”.