I took French in high school, and a little in college. I am by no means fluent, but I do okay. I was a very enthusiastic student, and a symptom of my enthusiasm was my purchase of a French hymnbook (Cantiques), children’s songbook, and Book of Mormon from distribution services.
Not all of the English hymns are in the French hymnbook, and not all of the French hymns are in the English hymnbook. One of my favorites is Hymn number 179, Souviens-toi (PDF). The melody comes from Dvorak’s New World Symphony (Largo, to be specific). Here’s a youtube video of someone singing it, with a translation in the video information. It is a lovely song, addressing a newborn and discussing heaven.
The other day I dug out the Cantiques looking for Christmas songs, and since I had it out I went ahead and turned to this hymn and started singing along with the melody “Souviens-toi, Mon enfant: tes parents divins Te serraint dans leurs bras, ce temps n’est pas loin…”
Wait wait wait. Back up; “tes parentS divinS? Dans leurs bras?” Perhaps you don’t have to speak French to guess was that ‘s’ at the end of ‘parent’ might mean. Just in case here is a rough translation: “Remember, my baby your divine parents held you in their arms not long ago.”
A hymn, a beautiful one at that, with a distinct reference to Heavenly Mother in the first line. How I didn’t notice this years ago is beyond me, but there it is.
We need to get this hymn in the English hymnbook post haste.