Santo, santo, Santo (Le lo le lo lai lo)


This joyous setting of the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) by Puerto Rican priest and composer William Loperena, O.P. follows an antiphonal (call and echo) structure. Inspired by liturgical and musical reforms following the Second Vatican Council, it reflects the African heritage of Puerto Rico with its use of bomba, a popular, percussion-driven musical style that moves people to dance. 

Each phrase is sung by the cantor and echoed back by the assembly, with one small melodic variation at the end of each section. Leaders often use their hands to cue the group at that moment. 

Originally written in Spanish, an English translation by Jorge Lockward makes it possible for communities to experience the joys of bilingual singing.

Spanish:
*Le lo le lo lai lo,
Le lo le lo lai lo,
Le lo le lo lai lo,
Lo le lo le lo lai.

Santo, santo, santo, Dios de gloria y poder. (Santo, santo, santo, Dios de gloria y poder.)
Cielos y tierra proclaman tu gloria. (Cielos y tierra proclaman tu gloria.)
Hosana, hosana, hosana en los cielos. (Hosana, hosana, hosana en los cielos.

Bendito aquel que viene en el nombre de Dios. (Bendito aquel que viene en el nombre de Dios.)
Hosana, hosana, hosana en los cielos. (Hosana, hosana, hosana en los cielos.)

English singing translation (Jorge Lockward):
*Le lo le lo lai lo,
Le lo le lo lai lo,
Le lo le lo lai lo,
Lo le lo le lo lai.

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your 
glory.
Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest.

Blessed in the one who comes in the name of the Lord. 
Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest. 

*a kind of lyrical “scat” sung by traditional jíbaro singers (rural farmers) 

 


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