Thursday, December 29, 2016


GI HOMHOM NA SÅGA is not one of the better-known Christmas carols, and, as far as I know, it is only sung on Guam. That could be because it is a fairly recent carol, composed in Chamorro by Påle' Román on Guam in the 1920s or 30s. In those days, Guam and Saipan were politically separated and the missions in both places were run by different priests. Travel and communication between Guam and Saipan were severely limited in the mid 1930s due to political tension.

The original melody is from a Spanish carol,apparently composed by Rafael Villaseca.

Here is a recording, featuring the Johnny Sablan singers :

Gi homhom na såga gi fi'on i ga'ga'
(In a dark place by the animals)

nai gaige i Kristo i Rai Israet.
(is Christ the King of Israel.)

Fan måtto pastores, tifi'e' gue' flores
(Come, shepherds, pick flowers for him)

adora si Yu'us gi liyang Belen.
(adore God in the cave of Bethlehem.)

Chorus : Jesus linangitan, Pastot Israet, Rai-måme yan Saina, Yu'us Emanuel.
(Heavenly Jesus, Shepherd of Israel, our King and Lord, God Emmanuel.)

Dimuye i Niño yan fa' Yu'os-miyo
(Kneel before the Child and make Him your God)

taiguihe i Bithen yan si San Jose.
(just as the Virgin and Saint Joseph have.)

Taotao i annok-ña lao i sanhalom-ña
(His appearance is human but what lies within)

magåhet na Yu'us, Yu'os-miyo gue'.
(is the true God, He is your God.)


Fa' Yu'os-miyo. Literally this means "make Him your God" but the meaning is for us to accept Him as our God, because we cannot make God God. He already is God, whether we accept Him or not.

Taotao i annok-ña. We cannot say that Jesus was human in appearance only (and not truly a man), and this is not what the carol intends to say. Rather, the divinity of Jesus is hidden by His outward appearance as a normal human being. But Jesus is both truly God and truly man at the same time. He was truly human and ate food, slept and bled; but with His human body He walked on water and calmed a storm with His human voice.

No comments:

Post a Comment