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Campanas de Navidad

(I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day)

Here are Spanish lyrics for the Christmas hymn "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." Note that this translation frequently uses inverted word order and fairly uncommon words for a poetic effect.

Oí campanas repicar el día de la Navidad,
su dulce canto pregonar de paz y buena voluntad.

Sabía que el carillón cantaba el alegre son
clamando a la cristiandad la paz y buena voluntad.

Mas no podía hallar solaz, pues no veía yo la paz.
Había odio y maldad, sin paz ni buena voluntad.

El son llegó más fuerte ya: "Dios vive y velando está.
Los justos prevalecerán con paz y buena voluntad".

El mundo se me transformó; la noche en día se tornó.
Sublime son oí cantar de paz y buena voluntad.

Vocabulary and grammar notes:

is the first-person preterite form of oír, a verb meaning "to hear."

Repicar as used here refers to a bell ringing. It can also mean "to chop."

Canto can refer either to singing or to a song.

Progonar is a verb meaning "to proclaim" or "to announce." The use of the infinitive here is poetic; in everyday speech, it is more likely that a gerund would be used here to indicate ongoing action.

Carillón here refers to bells such as those that would be in a church steeple. In other contexts, it can refer to chimes.

Son here is a noun referring to a musical sound.

Clamar usually means "to cry out" or "to call out." It is related to words such as "acclaim" and "proclaim."

Mas here is a poetic substitute for pero, meaning "but."

Hallar means "to find" and is used similarly to encontrar.

Velar usually means "to keep watch" or "to safeguard." "Velando está" shows inverted word order for a poetic effect. Such a word order is not used in normal speech.

"Se me transforó" is probably best translated as "changed before me." Me is an indirect object.

Sublime here is an adjective meaning "sublime" referring to son, "sound."

See also: Index of other Christmas carols

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