STJ#1065, Alabanza

From so much to say to little to say. (Which is, of course, the nature of spiritual practice.)

This is a lovely tune, by  Pablo Fernández Badillo, a Puerto Rican lay minister and federal judge who held various positions in the Puerto Rican government. Yet it is his time as a missionary that led to his songwriting (with 104 hymns published in Himnario Criollo); this song is one of many written in a folk style.

According to the UUA Song Information page,  “Alabanza celebrates the glory of the Creator in the magnificent flowering of the natural world. This nature is filled with the particular accents of Badillo’s homeland, the duende (a smallish, purple flower) and the coquí (a small frog-like animal that makes singing sounds). Alabanza is one of 104 hymns Badillo published in 1977 in Himnario Criollo.”

Spanish:
Al caer la lluvia resurge con verdor,
toda la floresta. ¡Renueva la creación!
Mira el rojo lirio; el duende ya brotó.
¡Bella primavera que anuncia su fulgor!
Toda flor silvestre, la maya, el cundeamor.
¡Todo manifiesta la gloria de mi Dios!

El ‘coquí’ se alegra, se siente muy feliz.
Canta en su alabanza: “coquí, coquí, coquí.”
El pitirre canta y trina el ruiseñor.
¡Cuán alegremente alaban al Creador!
¡Cómo se te alaba en toda la creación!
Yo quisiera hacerlo en forma igual mi Dios.

English:
As the rain is falling, the forest is reborn,
All the fields are verdant; creation is renewed.
Look at the red lily; the ‘duende’ now has bloomed:
Beautiful the springtime, its brilliance showing forth.
Now all of the wildflowers are singing new songs of love,
All manifest surely the glory of our God!

The ‘coquí’ is cheerful, and filled with joy is he,
As he sings the praises: “Coquí, coquí, coquí.”
Mocking bird is chirping, as is the nightingale,
Sounding joyful anthems, a symphony of praise.
How all of creation reflects the glory of God!
I also would offer my songs in praise to God.

I’m sad to say I’m woefully unfamiliar with this one – it seems like a joyous celebration and yet also seems to call for reverence. Truth is, however you perform it, it’ll be a beautiful ode to creation.

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