Noche sagrada

O Holy Night

La Natividad
Painting "La Natividad" on display at the Uclés Monastery in Spain. Photo by Jacinta lluch Valero; licensed via Creative Commons.

These are Spanish lyrics to the popular Christmas hymn "O Holy Night."

Oh santa noche, noche tan serena
Tan bella cuando nació nuestro rey,
El santo rey Jesús, que vino al mundo
A darnos paz, esperanza y amor.
El dulce niño, príncipe celeste,
Divino rey Jesús, el salvador.
Noche gloriosa, noche maravillosa,
Oh noche de amor, oh noche divina,
Oh noche de paz, oh noche de amor.

Literal translation of the Spanish lyrics

O holy night, a night so quiet,
so beautiful when our king was born,
the holy King Jesus, who came to the world
to give us peace, hope and love.


The sweet boy, heavenly prince,
Divine King Jesus, the savior.
Glorious night, wonderful night,
O night of love, o divine night,
O peaceful night, o night of love.

Grammar and vocabulary notes

Oh: This interjection is used roughly the same as the English "oh" or the poetic "o," although it is less common than the former.
 

Santa: This is the feminine form of santo, which typically means "holy" or "saintly." It comes from the same Latin source as the English word "saint."

Serena: The feminine form of sereno, typically meaning "calm" or "serene."

Tan bella: Roughly meaning "so beautiful." The feminine form, bella, is used because it refers back to noche, a feminine noun.

Nació: This is a past-tense form of nacer, "to be born." An inverted word order ("cuando nació nuestro rey" instead of "cuando nuestro rey nació") is used here for poetic purposes.

Rey: King.

Vino ... a darnos: Vino is a past-tense form of venir, meaning "to come." Venir a is a common way of saying "to come with the purpose of" or, more simply, "to come to."

Dulce: Like the English word "sweet," dulce can be used to refer to the taste of something or a personal quality.

Príncipe: Prince.

Celeste: This word has very little discernible difference in meaning than celestial, which means "celestial" or "heavenly," although celestial is more common. Celeste was probably used here because it matches the rhythm of the song better.

El salvador: The savior.