A traditional carol from the Algarve area of Portugal. It was adapted into English by Italian-American Eduardo Marzo in 1923 as "All That Wondrous Christmas Night".


Here is a much longer version collected in the Castello Branco district in 1886. It was sung for Christmas in several towns from the former Beira Baixa Province and in Alentejo in Portugal.

Pela noite de Natal (On Christmas night)
Noite de tanta alegria, (Night of so much joy)
Caminhando vai José (Joseph goes walking)
Caminhando vai Maria. (Mary goes walking.)

Ambos os dois p'ra Belém (Both to Bethlehem)
Mais de noite que de dia (More by night than by day)
E chegaram a Belém (And they arrived in Bethlehem)
Já toda a gente dormia. (Everybody was already sleeping.)

"" Abri a porta, porteiro. (Open the door, doorkeeper)
Porteiro da portaria! (Doorkeeper at the portal)
Não deu resposta o porteiro (The doorkeeper didn't answer)
Porque também já dormia. (Because he was already sleeping too.)

Só encontraram pousada (They only found lodging)
Dentro duma estrebaria ; (In a cowshed)
Ali ficaram os dois (There they both stayed)
Até ao romper do dia (Till daybreak.)

Buscou lume São José (Saint Joseph looked for fire)
Porque a noite estava fria (Because the night was cold)
Lá ficou ao desamparo (There the Virgin Mary stayed)
Sozinha, a Virgem Maria. (Alone and helpless.)

Quando voltou São José (When Saint Joseph came back)
Já viu a Virgem Maria - (He saw the Virgin Mary already)
Co Deus Menino nos braços (With the God Child in her arms)
Que todo o Mundo alumia. (Illuminating the World.)

E veio um anjo do Ceu (And there came an angel from Heaven)
Cantando : Ave Maria ! (Singing Hail Mary!)
Agora mesmo em Belém (Right now in Bethlehem)
Nasceu Jesus de Maria. (Jesus was born of Mary.)

Veio ao mundo esta noite (He came to the world tonight)
Dentro duma estrebaria (In a stable)
Entre um boi e uma mula (Between an ox and an ass)
E sem outra companhia. (Without any other company.)

Demos graças a Deus Padre (Let's give thanks to God the Father)
E a Jesus Christo também (And to Jesus Christ too)
Que sejam ambos louvados, (Let them both be praised)
Para todo o sempre : Amen. (Forevermore: Amen)

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Thanks and Acknowledgements

Translated by Monique and Lisa.