Ríu, Ríu, Chíu
Sarah MacDonald

Composer Spanish villancico, attr. to Mateo the Elder (d. 1553), music arr. Sarah MacDonald
Text 16th cent. Spanish villancico/carol
Voicing SATB, a cappella
Topics Christmas, Lessons and Carosl
Lectionary usage Christmas ABC
Price $2.50 (U.S.)
Length 4' 30" Released 1/2021
Catalog no. 405-237
Difficulty Mod. easy

Order now!


Order PDF download! Min. of 5


A lively and expressive setting of the 16th cent. Spanish villancico [carol], for unaccompanied choir. MacDonald has the stanzas sung in unison, with the refrain given various voicings and treatments.

Ríu, ríu, chíu, la guarda ribera,
Dios guardó el lobo de nuestra cordera.
" Ríu, ríu, chíu,” says the kingfisher,
God kept the wolf from our Lamb
[Mary, spared of original sin at birth].

El lobo rabioso la quiso morder
Mas Dios Poderoso la supo defender
Quísola hacer que no pudiese pecar
Ni aun original esta virgen no tuviera.
The raging wolf wants to bite her,
but God Almighty knew to defend her;
Pure he chose to keep withoutt sin;
no original sin was found in that virgin.

Éste que es nacido es el Gran Monarca
Cristo Patriarca de carne vestido
Hamos redimido con se hacer chiquito
Aunque era infinito finito se hiciera.
This one that is born is the Great King,
Christ the Patriarch clothed in flesh.
He redeemed us by making himself small;
he was infinite but became finite.

Muchas profecias lo han profetizado
ya un en nuestros dias lo hemos alcançado
a Dios humanado vemos en el suelo
y al hombre nel cielo por qu el le quisiera.
Many prophets told of his coming,
in our own days, we know it has come ture.
God in human flesh is here with us
and man in heaven reigns because he willed it.

--16th cent. Spanish villancico

review copy

"MacDonald lightly arranges the popular Spanish villancico in this carol using the traditional tune and text. The composer provides an original harmonization for the refrain, and otherwise allows the original material to appear unadorned. Tenors and basses sing the melody of the refrain in unison after which the full choir repeats the refrain in MacDonald's harmonization. Verses appear in monody, alternating treble and bass voices. Each verse is capped by the same harmonization of the refrain until the final repetition that expands the texture with divided sopranos providing a descant. Given the familiarity of the tune, many choirs could learn this carol in a short space, with the abundance of Catalan poetry being the largest hurdle to pass." -AAM Journal, Nov. 2021



Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
Please e-mail us your thoughts.

What's New | Music in Worship | About Selah | Composers & Authors
Licensing | Customer Service | Ordering | Legal Stuff

Children | Choral | Congregational Song | Handbell | Instrumental |
Organ/Keyboard | Video | Vocal Solo

© 2021 Selah Publishing Co., Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa., 15227.