A Carol for the Absent

Today’s modern Christmas Carol is also from the Preisner collection. It is probably the best known song on the collection and is on the way toward becoming a new standard. There has even been a translation into English recorded by theBritish perennial Cliff Richards called “Come to us”

The text is by the author and translator Szymon Mucha and the vocal by the actress Beata Rybotycka.

The carol links the traditional empty plate at the Christmas Eve Dinner (the most important holiday event in the year in Poland) with memories of those who have passed away.

Traditionally people who have died over the course of the year are not remembered at the end of the year but rather on All Soul’s Day (November 1). Nonetheless, the song is moving linking as it does the continuation of tradition even as the people carrying it out change. As usual the translation is just meant to give you an idea of the content. The original is far better.

A Carol for those Absent

Once more hope appears within us.
Shadows of those absent will appear.
We will believe once again,
In one more Christmas.
And although the holiday is more quiet ,
Because yet again someone’s voice is missing,
Come here and stay with us,
Despite the so-called twists of fate.

Give us faith, that it makes sense.
That it’s not necessary to mourn our friends,
That wherever they are –  they are well,
Because they are here with us, though in a different form.
And believe that it should be this way,
That the air still moves with their voices.
That they have left in order to live,
And this time eternally.

Come into the world to make up for the loss
To take the empty place at our table
Once more let the child in us rejoice
And forget that there are empty places at the table.

Kolęda dla nieobecnych

A nadzieja znów wstąpi w nas.
Nieobecnych pojawią się cienie.
Uwierzymy kolejny raz,
W jeszcze jedno Boże Narodzenie.
I choć przygasł świąteczny gwar,
Bo zabrakło znów czyjegoś głosu,
Przyjdź tu do nas i z nami trwaj,
Wbrew tak zwanej ironii losu.

Daj nam wiarę, że to ma sens.
Że nie trzeba żałować przyjaciół.
Że gdziekolwiek są – dobrze im jest,
Bo są z nami choć w innej postaci.
I przekonaj, że tak ma być,
Że po głosach tych wciąż drży powietrze.
Że odeszli po to by żyć,
I tym razem będą żyć wiecznie

Przyjdź na świat, by wyrównać rachunki strat,
Żeby zająć wśród nas puste miejsce przy stole.
Jeszcze raz pozwól cieszyć się dzieckiem w nas,
I zapomnieć, że są puste miejsca przy stole.

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