Beauty Surrounds Us

I’ve done earlier posts on this, so this will be short and sweet. I’ve revised my translation/paraphrase of a beautiful Danish hymn (nearly unknown in the US) and I have a not-too-terrible recording of it to share.

Here are the updated lyrics. For those who didn’t click, it bears repeating that this goes with the tune for which the standard lyric (based on a German version) begins with “Beautiful Savior, King of Creation.” The difference from the Danish version is striking:

Beauty surrounds us 
Hills and valleys, towering clouds         
Mountains and meadows and fields of stars
Each generation 
Walking along our earthly path
Can join the song and add our part  

Empires may rise and fall
Waves of time roll over us  
Like our elders, we too must pass      
Always we hear the sound   
Ringing true through all our strife
To train our ears and guide our path 

Angels once taught this song
Shepherds learned it the night 
Still it sounds from soul to soul 
Hope for the beaten down  
Comfort to all broken hearts  
The grace of God proclaimed for all

Here and here are links to earlier posts about this. They give more context and reasons that the Danish version deserves attention.

Of course the core ideas of either variant, German or Danish, can be ruined by inept translations. Whether my version avoids this fate is not for me to say. But I note that one key translation from the Danish rhymes “song” with “marching pilgrim throng”–setting a fairly low bar for me to pass–and another translation from the German weeds out male-centric language (the Danish has little of that to worry about) with the trade-off of rhyming “exhales his sweet perfume” with “hearts at this rejoice and bloom.” Surely mine has improvements at least at those two points!

MBE standard notice: The time I spend on this blog is not in addition to a Twitter and FaceBook presence, but an alternative to it.  If you think anything here merits wider circulation, this will probably only happen if you circulate it. 

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