St. Nicholas

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Sinterklaas, goed heilig man!
St. Nicholas, good holy man!


Sinterklaas, goed heilig man!
Trek je beste tabberd an,
rij er mee naar Amsterdam,
van Amsterdam naar Spanje,
appeltjes van oranje,
appeltjes van de bomen
Sinterklaas zal komen!


Sinterklaas, good holy man!
Put your best robe on,
Ride away to Amsterdam,
To Amsterdam from Spain,
Little apples from Orange bring,
Apples from the apple trees,
Sinterklaas will come!


Musical notation PDF

Two more translations

Saint Nicholas, holy man and good,
Put on your cloak, put on your hood;
Hasten to Amsterdam, and again
From Amsterdam go into Spain,
There the apples big and sweet
Grown in Orange, roll the street;
Grown in Orange and Granada
Under sun and under shadow.

Oh, Saint Nicholas, my good friend,
I have served thee without end,
If my wish thou'lt now give me,
I'll devote my life to thee.
Saint Nicholas dear holy man!
Wear your best robe if you can.
Then you ride to Amsterdam.
From Amsterdam to Spain you go,
Where the orange apples grow,
Where pomegranates, as treats,
Are rolling down the streets.

Saint Nicholas, my dear old friend!
To serve you well is my intent.
Find me something you will give,
I'll serve you for as long I live.*


This old Dutch/Flemish song has been around for a long time. It was paraphrased on the broadside with the earliest image of St. Nicholas that was produced in the United States. Here is another version.

Saint Nicholas with dog & beehive, children & fireplace
Earliest American image of St. Nicholas
Broadside by Alexander Anderson
New York Historical Society
St Nicholas Center Collection


Saint Nicholas, good holy man!
Put on the Tabard,* best you can,
Go, clad therewith, to Amsterdam,
From Amsterdam to Hispanje,
Where apples bright** of Oranje,
And likewise those granate*** surnam'd,
Roll through the streets, all free unclaim'd.

Saint Nicholas, my dear good friend!
To serve you ever was my end,
If you will, now, me something give,
I'll serve you ever while I live.

*Kind of jacket, **Oranges, ***Pomegranates

* English translation by Ruben 't Lam, Dutch Saint Nicholas songs translated into English. Used by permission.

Mp3 file courtesy of Jennifer Wolfe and the Hope College Music Department.
Audio player from 1pixelout, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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