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¡Llega la Navidad! is a villancico, a Latin-American style Christmas carol, in the style of merengue, the Dominican national dance. Not only on the Iberian peninsula, but in the “New World” as well, the theatrical energy of movement contributed to the happiness and vigor with which Christmas was celebrated. Although some ultra-conservative pedants found the inclusion of dance rhythms in such a solemn occasion as too arousing, the great Italian theorist (frankly, he was more than a little pedantic himself) Pietro Cerone, defended the joy expressed through the villancico with these words: “There are some people so lacking in piety that they attend church but once a year, and miss all the Masses of Obligation, because they are too lazy to get up out of bed. But let it be known that there will always be villancicos, and there is no one more devout in the whole place, none more vigilant than these people, for there is no church, oratory or shrine that they will not visit, nor do they mind getting up in the middle of the night in the freezing cold, just to hear them.” It is hard to

imagine anyone sleeping through the vigorous rhythms or the happy joy of this island carol, brought to life by Díaz and Guzmán. With the simplest of means – plain, four-part harmonies, and a few percussion instruments added for good measure – composer and arranger have been able to create a vibrant sense of anticipation and rejoicing.

¡Llega la Navidad!

El Niño Jesús nos trae
la tan deseada paz.
Cantémos le agradecidos
y Èl nos bendecirá.

Los Santos Reyes de Oriente
con su buena voluntad,
nos darán felices Pascuas
y una alegre Navidad.

Venid, vamos, que en Belén
ha nacido un Niño
para nuestro bien.

Alabemos la bondad
del Rey de los hombres
que nos trae la paz. .

¡Llega la Navidad!

Christmas is coming!

The baby Jesus brings to us
the gift of peace.
Let us sing our thanks
and receive His blessing.

The holy kings of the Orient
with their good will,
bring joy and celebration
and a happy Christmas.

Come, let’s go, for in Bethlehem
a child has been born
for our good.

Praise the kindness
of the King of men
who brings us peace

Christmas is coming!