How old is the Christmas carol 'Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella'?

It is thought the French Christmas carol 'Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella' dates back to the 17th century, having first appeared in print in 1668 in a collection of Provençal carols by Nicolas Saboly.


It was translated into English in the 18th century.

The carol is about two farm hands - Jeanette and Isabella - coming across baby Jesus and Mary in a stable and rushing to tell local villagers, who come to visit.

'Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella' lyrics

'Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella' lyrics in English

Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabella!
Bring a torch, to the stable call
Christ is born, tell the folk of the village
Jesus is born and Mary's calling.
Ah! Ah! Beautiful is the Mother!
Ah! Ah! Beautiful is her Child

Who is that, knocking on the door?
Who is it, knocking like that?
Open up, we've arranged on a platter
Lovely cakes that we have brought here
Knock! Knock! Open the door for us!
Knock! Knock! Let's celebrate!

It is wrong when the Child is sleeping,
It is wrong to talk so loud.
Silence, now as you gather around,
Lest your noise should waken Jesus.
Hush! Hush! See how He slumbers;
Hush! Hush! See how fast He sleeps!

Softly now unto the stable,
Softly for a moment come!
Look and see how charming is Jesus,
Look at Him there, His cheeks are rosy!
Hush! Hush! See how the Child is sleeping;
Hush! Hush! See how He smiles in His dreams!

'Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella' lyrics in French

Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle --
Un flambeau! Courons au berceau!
C'est Jésus, bonnes gens du hameau.
Le Christ est né; Marie appelle!
Ah! Ah! Que la Mère est belle,
Ah! Ah! Que l'Enfant est beau!

Qui vient là, frappant de la sorte?
Qui vient là, en frappant comme ça?
Ouvrez-donc, j'ai posé sur un plat
De bons gâteaux, qu'ici j'apporte
Toc! Toc! Ouvrons-nous la porte!
Toc! Toc! Faisons grand gala!

C'est un tort, quand l'Enfant sommeille,
C'est un tort de crier si fort.
Taisez-vous, l'un et l'autre, d'abord!
Au moindre bruit, Jésus s'éveille.
Chut! chut! Il dort à merveille,
Chut! chut! Voyez comme il dort!


Doucement, dans l'étable close,
Doucement, venez un moment!
Approchez! Que Jésus est charmant!
Comme il est blanc! Comme il est rose!
Do! Do! Que l'Enfant repose!
Do! Do! Qu'il rit en dormant!