SATB a cappella, solo, and percussion. A medieval Spanish carol (here in English) that is tons of fun to sing!
'Riu, riu, chiu' was a traditional call of the Basque shepherds guarding their flocks. The text (originally in Spanish) is built around strong images of the shepherd as God the Father, lamb that he protects as the Virgin Mary and the wolf as Satan. The original Spanish may be found in the New Oxford Book of Carols (1992).
Riu riu chiu, Shepherd at the river,
Guard us from the wolf, your people to deliver.
Tender is the lamb, the angry wolf no stranger:
But almighty God protected her from danger.
Made in such a way that she could know no sinning:
Spotless was the Virgin from the world's beginning.
Now this new-born child is King of all creation:
Saviour clothed in flesh has come to every nation.
To redeem us all, yet born a child so lowly:
Come to earth from heaven, infinite and holy.
Prophets born of old have told us of his glory:
Angels in the sky are echoing the story.
Glory be to God on high, their voices singing:
Earth resounds their tidings, and with joy is ringing.