|Title:||PUER NOBIS NASCITUR|
|Incipit:||11234 32115 55671|
|Source:||Latin carol, 16th cent.;European tune, 15th century|
PUER NOBIS is a melody from a fifteenth-century manuscript from Trier. However, the tune probably dates from an earlier time and may even have folk roots. PUER NOBIS was altered in Spangenberg's Christliches GesangbUchlein (1568), in Petri's famous Piae Cantiones (1582), and again in Praetorius's (PHH 351) Musae Sioniae (Part VI, 1609), which is the basis for the triple-meter version used in the 1987 Psalter Hymnal. Another form of the tune in duple meter is usually called PUER NOBIS NASCITUR. The tune name is taken from the incipit of the original Latin Christmas text, which was translated into German by the mid-sixteenth century as "Uns ist geborn ein Kindelein," and later in English as "Unto Us a Boy Is Born." The harmonization is from the 1902 edition of George R. Woodward's (PHH 403) Cowley Carol Book.
PUER NOBIS is a splendid tune in arch form that lifts and then propels itself along to its final note. Try having the choir sing stanzas 1 and 2 in unison. Then all could sing stanzas 3 and 4 in unison with the choir providing the harmony. Stanza 4 could also be sung in canon at one measure, with either a strictly unison accompaniment or one composed to accommodate the canon. All worshipers could sing stanza 5 in unison again. Use a rather light organ registration, but change to a full one for stanza 5.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988