Tu scendi dalle stelle (You Come Down from the Stars) – An Italian Christmas Carol with 2 Videos & a Score

Many people grew up hearing this lovely song at Christmastime. I posted it 2 years ago and and was amazed by the amount of people who wrote in saying how much this song touched them. That inspired me to repost it today with two YouTube videos. I thought you might enjoy hearing two very different renditions of this song.

The first version is a lively rendition at a party with about 8 people playing various string instruments and a piano. Below that video you can find the song lyrics to Tu scendi dalle stelle in Italian with an English translation. Below that I put a 2nd video – a choral rendition of the same song. Enjoy!

Tu scendi dalle stelle

Tu scendi dalle stelle
O Re del Cielo
E vieni in una grotta
Al freddo al gelo
E vieni in una grotta
Al freddo al gelo.

O Bambino mio Divino
Io ti vedo qui a tremar,
O Dio Beato!
Ah, quanto ti costò
L’avermi amato.
Ah, quanto ti costò
L’avermi amato.

A te che sei del mondo,
Il creatore,
Mancano panni e fuoco,
O mio Signore.
Mancano panni e fuoco,
O mio Signore.

Caro eletto pargoletto,
Quanto questa povertà
Più mi innamora,
Giacchè ti fece amor
Povero ancora.
Giacchè ti fece amor
Povero ancora.

You Come Down from the Stars
(English Translation)

You come down from the stars
Oh King of Heavens,
And you come in a cave
In the cold, in the frost.
And you come in a cave
In the cold, in the frost.

Oh my Divine Baby
I see you trembling here,
Oh Blessed God
Ah, how much it cost you,
Your loving me.
Ah, how much it cost you,
Your loving me.

For you, who are of all the world
The creator,
No robes and fire,
Oh my Lord,
No robes and fire,
Oh my Lord.

Dear chosen one, little infant,
This dire poverty,
Makes me love you more.
Since Love made you
Poor now.
Since Love made you
Poor now.

Click the following link for The Sheet Music for Tu scendi dalle stelle – it’s free!

Many thanks to Monique Palomares at Mama Lisa’s World en français for the English translation of Tu scendi dalle stelle.

-Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Friday, December 21st, 2007 at 11:16 am and is filed under Christmas, Christmas Songs, Countries & Cultures, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Italian, Italy, Languages, Mama Lisa, Tu scendi dalle stelle - You Come Down from the Stars, Video, YouTube. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

32 Responses to “Tu scendi dalle stelle (You Come Down from the Stars) – An Italian Christmas Carol with 2 Videos & a Score”

  1. mary gibson Says:

    I have been looking for this song for years you’ve made my day

  2. maria luisa Says:

    I absolutely love this song. I hear St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote this hymn.

  3. Monique Says:

    Indeed! It was composed in 1754 in Nola by Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori, a Neapolitan bishop, but it was published only the next year. The lyrics were first written in Neapolitan dialect “Quanno nascette Ninno” = “When Baby (Jesus) was born”. The song was later re-written in standard Italian by pope Pius IX.


    Thank you for the wonderful song. Several months before Christmas a
    Sister Maria from the local Catholic church brought a cresch to my studio
    It was made to look like a lean to or Swiss mountain barn. She asked if I
    could make a sort of cave like structure or grotto she had seen when
    she had served in the holy land. This little song sort of confirms that it
    was a grotto not a Swiss chalet. Grazia mille, Robert Giannetti

  5. Toni Lockhart Says:

    My father grew up in the tiny village of Torrecuso Italy. He tells me that when he was a child the bagpipers would walk through the town playing this song at Christmas. I think he called them the Zampugnara (not sure of the spelling)….

    Great to hear the song again. Pavorotti has a beautiful version on one of his Christmas CDs.

  6. Marisa A. Di Tomassi Says:

    About forty years ago, I bought an Italian Christmas album. Different artists are featured on the record. The above song is included. I never had heard the song before then. After all these years, it touches my heart and soul!

  7. Raymund A. Martin Says:

    I am a parishioner of St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori Parish. And this song is one of our favorites. Enthusiastic with the song, I searched repeatedly, until I found the complete lyrics. And I am sharing it with you.

    Lyrics (complete)
    Tu scendi dalle stelle, o Re del cielo,
    e vieni in una grotta al freddo e al gelo. (2 v.)
    O Bambino mio divino,
    io ti vedo qui a tremar;
    o Dio beato !
    Ah, quanto ti costò l’avermi amato ! (2 v.)

    2. A te, che sei del mondo il Creatore,
    mancano panni e fuoco, o mio Signore. (2 v.)
    Caro eletto pargoletto,
    quanto questa povertà
    più m’innamora,
    giacché ti fece amor povero ancora. (2 v.)

    3. Tu lasci il bel gioir del divin seno,
    per giunger a penar su questo fieno. (2 v.)
    Dolce amore del mio core,
    dove amore ti trasportò ?
    O Gesù mio,
    per ché tanto patir ? per amor mio ! (2 v.)

    4. Ma se fu tuo voler il tuo patire,
    perché vuoi pianger poi, perché vagire ? (2 v.)
    mio Gesù, t’intendo sì !
    Ah, mio Signore !
    Tu piangi non per duol, ma per amore. (2 v.)

    5. Tu piangi per vederti da me ingrato
    dopo sì grande amor, sì poco amato!
    O diletto – del mio petto,
    Se già un tempo fu così, or te sol bramo
    Caro non pianger più, ch’io t’amo e t’amo (2 v.)

    6. Tu dormi, Ninno mio, ma intanto il core
    non dorme, no ma veglia a tutte l’ore
    Deh, mio bello e puro Agnello
    a che pensi? dimmi tu. O amore immenso,
    un dì morir per te, rispondi, io penso. (2 v.)

    Dunque a morire per me, tu pensi, o Dio
    ed altro, fuor di te, amar poss’io?
    O Maria. speranza mia,
    se poc’amo il tuo Gesù, non ti sdegnare
    amalo tu per me, s’io non so amare! (2 v)


    Ut It Omnibus Glorificeteur Dei

  8. Raymund A. Martin Says:

    I cannot seem to view the video. Could you please email both videos to me?

    Thanks. God bless.

  9. Lisa Says:

    Thank you for posting the complete lyrics!

    I fixed the second video online – it should be working now. If not, sometimes reloading the page helps. Please let me know if you still have problems.

    Best wishes,

    Mama Lisa

  10. Laura Phyllis Says:

    Every year, when I was a girl, we would play this song at midnight and pass around a 200 year old Gesu bambino for everyone to kiss. It is something we still try to do, minus my lovely grandparents who are now gone. I hope my children will continue to do this!
    Laura Phyllis

  11. Alfonse Coppola Says:

    This song brings such great memories of my Grandmother. She sang this song to us every year at Christmas time. The record we listened to had two sides. One was just the instrumental the other had vocals on it. The instruments were a Zampogna and a Ciaramella. Just so beautiful that I can’t describe how touching it is.

  12. Diana Says:

    Oh my goodness! I just saw Andrea Bocelli’s “My Christmas” special on PBS last night and he sang this song. It instantly made me feel a loving warmth and brought tears to my eyes………..my sweet, adored Nonna Maria used to sing this song to me in Italian all through Christmas every year when I was a child (1940’s and 50’s). Never fluent in Italian, I always remembered the “sound” of the words and the melody in Nonna’s sweet, quakey voice. Never since then have I ever heard it sung by anyone – until yesterday. Having accessed the lyrics on the internet, I have come across this web site. Thank you. Gracie tanto, tanto! You have given me a beautiful Christmas gift of memories. Buon Natale!

  13. Nikki B Says:

    WOW, me too, Diana!
    And, though I’m not Italian, did not grow up in an Italian neighbourhood or with Italian friends, I did remember this tune. No idea where from.
    I was drawn to search for it and found it here at mamalisa’s.. If I knew how to spell gratzie, I would.

    I’m planning to practice this tune and sing it at my friends’ house next week when we visit.
    It’s fun!
    Thank you so much for posting… and, thank you Lisa, for the mp3, too. I’d like to have the chords (as I don’t read music – though found that sheet also), but I’ve got a keyboard and I can figure it out from there.
    Happy Holidays!
    Nikki in Vancouver, BC

  14. Monique Says:

    You can find the piano chords on Sibelius music. You’ll maybe need to download their Scortch plug-in to view it.

  15. Larry Izzo Says:

    I love this song, Wher can I get a Cd? Larry Izzo

  16. Phyllis Says:

    As a child this song was played over and over in our home. I never understood the words but the music stayed with me. Every year I would talk about this song and no one was familiar with it. When Andrea Bocelli was on Oprah a week ago, he said to him this was the most beautiful Christmas song. I agree. I’m sorry he did not include it in his American CD My Christmas. I’m so glad I found the song through his fan club. I hope to find a CD with this song.

  17. Sue Says:

    Here is another version of this wonderful song for your site. This song is included in a new Christmas cd by Andrea Bocelli. Enjoy!


  18. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for pointing that out Sue! I re-posted the lyrics to Tu scendi dalle stelle with Bocelli’s video!

  19. Carla Says:

    Thank you so very much. I found this while watching the traditional processional leaving the Christmas Eve Mass televised from St Peter’s. (The choir sings it every year). It was a pleasure to read the lyrics and follow along in Italian. My Mom always sang this song with so much emotion and tears in her eyes. I remember as a child thinking to myself “this song brings so many deep childhood memories to mind for her”…and now it brings touching memories of Christmas past to me as well. I love the name of this song…just the image of coming down from the stars … it says so much!
    Thank you once again for keeping such a treasured memory alive for all of us who love this song…. Happy New Year…

  20. maria Says:

    Mille grazie!
    About 45 years ago, my Italian father purchased a Christmas album by Sergio Franchi, and I remember how I loved this song as a child, and still do. I’m a teacher at an elementary school, and I love to direct plays. This Christmas, we’re putting on an original musical version of Pinocchio, and I wanted a small choir to sing Tu Scende Dalle Stelle. Thank you for posting these beautiful lyrics!

  21. Simona Magliozzi Says:

    I just wanted to say that this is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It reminds me of my father. I ask him to sing and play it every year for us around Christmas time. I watched the videos and they were fabulous. Thank you so much for putting them out there.

    Mille Grazie!

  22. mac diciccio Says:

    i love this song me and my father used to listen to this and domick the donkey

  23. Mark Ingenito Says:

    This beautiful song reminds me of my father. It was his favorite Italian Christmas song. I have been searching for it for years. Not knowing the name, finding it was impossible. Tonight I watched Christmas Mass from the Vatican and the choir sang this song! And, searching for it on the internet brought me to your site. The video is wonderful and reminds me of my childhood. Thank you for your effort in making the lyrics available. Buon Natale!

  24. NELLA Says:

    IF YOU HAVE IT, PLEASE SEND ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Concetta Says:

    My Mom always sang this song when I was young and it brings tears to my eyes remembering how happy singing this seemed to make her. Thank you.

  26. Jimmy Lee Ribble Says:

    My eyes are tearing up, I am from the south, and I love this song…I was just looking for some writings of St. Alphonso Liguri to view in the original Italian…and this popped up. I didn’t know that he was a musician till just now…and I have been loving this song for 10 years, with no idea..of when or where exactly it came from. I also work with the homeless, and wow so did he…I just learned. Jesus today, yesterday, and always….

  27. Stacy C Says:

    This is one of the most beautiful Christmas songs I have heard and what a perfect example of celebrating Christmas…family and friends, covering many generations, gathered together singing traditional Christmas songs. Takes me back to my childhood days. Thank you so much for posting it on your site.
    Buon Natale!

  28. Ginny D Says:

    When we were children (50 years ago) my cousins and siblings and I had to process down the four flights of stairs in my Nonnie’s house to the adults singing this song, with the youngest carrying the Baby Jesus. The Baby Jesus was placed in the manger under the tree by the youngest child. We hated it then, and couldn’t wait for the next youngest to be old enough to walk down stairs so we didn’t have to do it again next year.
    Now, it’s a cherished memory and the song has such meaning for me. Thank you for sharing it. I’ve been searching for it for a long time.

  29. claire Says:

    How to I actually hear the song? Can’t get youtibe to play….tx

  30. Elaine Marie Gavette Says:

    Where or how can I actually HEAR this song recorded?? When I was growing up my mom would sing this to me frequently. Is there a video or website I can access to HEAR the song being sung?

  31. Lydia Fermano Nelson Says:

    St Peter’s church in Malden Ma played and sang this at midnight mass every year. Beautiful memories.

  32. Joan M Bosky Says:

    As a child, this song was part of the Christmas tradition of our Italian family, brought to America by my grandmother and her sister. Mom, who was an opera singer, taught my brothers and I this song. She died a few days after Christmas and our last words together before she went home to Gesu’ were singing this song. I am doing an “Italian” table at our Christmas tea at church and want to have the Italian and English words for the ladies at my table. I only know the Italian.. Gracie tanto!! Buon Natale! Joni

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