Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Si Jose yan si Maria is one of the first songs you'll hear during the Christmas season in the Marianas.  It is always sung as part of the Nobenan Niño, which starts nine days before Christmas, and that is why you always hear this song long before we sing all the other carols which tend to be sung closer to Christmas day.  Of course, with the commercialization of Christmas in modern times, one hears Christmas carols the day after Thanksgiving.  Unthinkable in times past!

Si Jose yan si Maria is all about the child Jesus, who is a God who cannot find a home on earth.  He is a pilgrim God, wandering from place to place seeking an open door.  The idea comes from the Gospel story that there was no room in the inn at Bethlehem.  The world has no room for God.  He has to find refuge in a place not meant for human habitation, laid in a manger, which was a food trough for animals.  Joseph and Mary, too, suffer, as they struggle to find a safe place where she can give birth.

In the song, we tell Jesus that He can find a home with us.  Especially touching is verse 6, which alludes to Chamorro hospitality.  Chamorros always welcome the stranger; how much more will they open their doors to God-made-man?  For these reasons, Si Jose yan si Maria is the song par excellence as we prepare to receive Jesus on Christmas day by praying the Nobenan Niño.

Si Jose yan si Maria

Si Jose yan si Maria / esta guennao man maså'pet
(Joseph and Mary / are suffering there)

Koro : O Yu'us na pelegrino / sugo' mågi giya hame.
(O pilgrim God / stop and stay with us.)

1. Taitutuhon na Tiningo' / taihinekkok na Finaye / takkilo'-ña i ta'chong-mo / ke i sagan mapagåhes.  Håfa na un dingo på'go / i ginefsagan i langet?  Koro...
(Knowledge without beginning / endless wisdom / your seat is higher than the clouds.  Why now do you leave / the riches of heaven?)

2. Saina hao, Yu'us Lahi-ña / ni i bula minaåse' / mama'taotao yan humuyong / Yu'us Taotao, che'lon-måme.  I Mesias hao, i Kristo / hagas ham man ma sangåne.  Koro...
(You are Lord, God the Son / full of mercy / you were made man and became / God and man, our brother.  You are the Messiah, the Christ / which was told to us from of old.)

3. An humålom i chatanmak / ya ma chakchak i ha'åne / un na' sulo' gi san kattan / i atdao-mo, bula guåfe.  Hågo i ma'lak na åtdao / i mañiñila' na kåndet.  Koro...
(When the dawn comes / and the day breaks / you make shine in the east / the sun, full of fire.  You are the bright sun / the shining light.)

4. Cha'-mo chåchågo' Asaina / guine gi fanågon-måme / gos manengheng i san hiyong / meggai lokkue' i mañakke.  Maila' hålom, Påtgon Yu'us, sa' yan-måme dinanña'e.  Koro...
(Don't go far, Lord / from our shelter here / it is very cold outside / there are many thieves as well.  Come inside, God Child, because we would like to join together.)

5. Guai fanhakman i gimå'-ta / yagin magof hao humåtme.  Maila' hålom giya hame / sugo' ya un ma adahe / kalan i ma'gas i gima' / yan Rai i lekka' na långet.  Koro...
(Our house has a door / if you would like to enter.  Come inside among us / visit and be cared for / as the head of the house / and King of heaven exalted.)

6. Nangga nåya gofliion / in sangåne hao magåhet / i taotao-mo hao yumute' / sa' mañåguat manmandage.  Ti u cho'gue i Chamorro / sa' ti ennao påyon-mame.  Koro...
(Wait for a while, beloved / we tell you truthfully / your people abandoned you / because they are insolent liars.  The Chamorro will not do that / because that is not our custom.)

7. Sugo', dikkike' na påtgon / maila' ya un ma dandåne / ni man na' magof na dåndan / guine gi åtpa yan låbbet.  Hago ha' siña dumåndan / sa' manungo' hao yan faye.  Koro...
(Stay, little child / come and we will play for you / joyful songs / here with harp and violin.  You alone can play / because you know how and you are capable.)

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