Advent song for December 10: Pásztorok, Pásztorok, Hungary

This is another one I haven’t been able to find out very much about, although I have managed to work out that “Pásztorok” is Hungarian for “shepherds”, and that the first line means “Shepherds, shepherds rejoice” which is the sort of line many an English-language carol might start with.

But here’s the thing. I’ve listened to all of these songs so many times now, in so many variations, that I can no longer remember whether I already knew this tune before I started, or whether it was completely new to me. It sounds like a carol we might sing in English, but maybe all carols sound like that. So I need you, with your fresh ears, to tell me whether we have a local equivalent to Pásztorok, Pásztorok, or whether it’s just one of those tunes that sound immediately familiar:

(Have you found yourselves earwormed by any of these, incidentally? For me Tonttu, Musevisa and Florile Dalbe have taken up residence in my brain and seem disinclined to leave anytime soon.)

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Author: Laura Morgan

Laura Morgan lives on the internet. She mostly likes Agatha Christie and trains.

2 thoughts on “Advent song for December 10: Pásztorok, Pásztorok, Hungary”

  1. I happened to stumble upon this post as I was trying to figure out who wrote this song. According to http://www.keresztenydalok.hu/enekek/megtekintes/4293 (using Google translate gets you part-way there, even though the translation is off), the song was written by Tárkányi Béla, who (according to http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%A1rk%C3%A1nyi_B%C3%A9la) lived in northeast Hungary from 1821 to 1886. I was introduced to this song when I went to live in Hungary for a few years, so (to answer your question) I am fairly confident that there is no English/local equivalent. (The first webpage also says the song comes out of a collection of Hungarian melodies, so the tune also would appear to be at least partially of Hungarian origin.) Hope that helped! Merry Christmas!

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