Last week, for the Christmas Family Service in the Tamil fellowship (NZTCF), I thought we could sing the childrens’ carol by the Gettys ‘Jesus Joy of the highest heaven. I had the backing track for one, and secondly, the words were meaningful and pointed to the gospel. As the first stanza is repeated, we had scope for including a Tamil stanza. So I called Vinotha Surendar, and over the phone, we started off by attempting to translate the first verse. We managed to arrive at something sweet that also conveyed the mood of the original and its meaning.
இயேசு, மேலோகத்தின் சந்தோஷம்!
பாலகனாய் பிறந்தார், என்ன ஆச்சரியம்!
நம்மைப் போல அவர் அழுது,
இயேசு குடிலில் வைக்கப்பட்டார்!
வந்தாரே என்னை மீட்க,
தெய்வ பிள்ளையாய் மாற்ற,
Yesu, melogathin Santhosham, paalaganaai pirandhaar. Enna aachariam!
Nammai pola avar azhudhu, thaayaaraal thetrapattu, anaikapattaraam.
Yesu kudilil vaikapattaar; vandhaare yennai meetka, deva pillaiyaay maatra. Enna aachariam!
A few of us who got together sang it and recorded it with the backing track. This recording was then sent to all the group, about 20 in number. On Saturday, this big group came to the front and sang it without mistakes. And to think that we had not even practiced together once!
Unfortunately, we had no video recording of our singing. In fact we do not e en have a photo to show for it. So on Christmas Eve, when our extended family had a gettogether, we sang and recorded the song. I felt it was necessary as the Tamil stanza might be useful to some one some where some time.