Riu Riu Cho: Riu, riu chiu [nightingale sounds] La guarda ribera The river bank protects it Dios guarde el lobo As God kept the wolf from our lamb. De nuestra cordera, El lobo rabioso The rabid wolf tried to bite her La quiso morder, But God Almighty knew how to defend her. Mas Dios poderso He wished to create her impervious to sin La supo defender, Nor was this maid to embody original sin. Quizole hazer que No pudiesse pecar, Ni aun original Esta uirgen no tuuiera. Ru, riu, etc. Ru, riu, etc. Este qu'es nascido He who is born in the great King, Es el gran monarcha, Christ, God made flesh. Christo patriarcha He has redeemed us by making De carne uestido, Himself as a child Hanos redimido Although everlasting, He made himself Con se hazer chiquito, finite. Aunque era infinito, Finito se hiezir. Riu, riu, etc. Riu, riu, etc. Este uiene a dar He comes to gve life to the dead A los muertos uida, He comes to redeem the fall of man; Y uiene a reparar This child is the light of day, De todos la cayda, He is the very lamb St John prophesied Es la luz del dia Aqueste mocuelo, Este es el cordero Que San Juan dixera. Riu, riu, etc. Riu, riu, etc. "Riu Riu" was introduced by the old New York Pro Musica about 1954. Their arrangement is now a standard for many a cappella choirs, especially at Christmas season. The liner notes say the Spanish song was printed in a 1556 Venice collection and it's probably from the late 15th century. They use a 15th century Spanish pronunciation which sounds like Latin to unlettered me. It's a "villancico", a courtly development of a rustic style. The "villancico" survives, but only as this one, relating to the Nativity. AS AJS
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!