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Call Number : DCS-001A

Pokuvin Pokuvin Yowseppinte

( പോകുവിൻ പോകുവിൻ യൗസേപ്പിൻ്റെ )

(Hymn to St. Joseph)


Jimmy J. Palackal

Jimmy J. Palackal sings an old hymn to St. Joseph

See also CMSI-211.


We are glad to post this video of an old devotional song in honor of St. Joseph on the eve of the feast on the Saint (March 19), in the voice of Jimmy J. Palackal. Jimmy currently lives at Adelaide in Australia, but carries the memories from his childhood at the Palackal family home at Pallippuram. We used to sing this song at the end of evening family prayers especially in the moth of March that is dedicated to special devotion to St. Joseph. We learned this song from our parents.

The song text is unique because of several scriptural allusions. The anonymous author ingeniously combines the biblical references to Joseph (Yawsep in Aramaic) in the Book of Genesis and Joseph the foster father of Jesus. The opening couplet "Go, go to the feet of Joseph" is a direct quotation from Gensis 41:55: when the people cried out in hunger during the seven years of famine, the Pharoah told people to "Go to Joseph" and do what Joseph told them. The author uses those words to ask the devotee to go to the foster father of Jesus to obtain abundance of divine grace.

The song text is pure literate Malayalam, but the name of Joseph appears in its Aramaic form, YAWSEP, meaning "he shall flourish." The reference to the great Spanish-reformer-saint-nun Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) indicates that the song text originated after the sixteenth century. The melody most probably is of Indian origin. The song belongs to family-music genre because it is not part of the official liturgy in Church. The performance practice is in the call-response format; the leader sings the verses and the rest of the family members sing the chorus. In the recording, Jimmy does the entire singing. The ornamentation on the final syllables of verses is particular to the singer and not part of the common performance style.

It is heartwarming to know that Jimmy, an expatriate Syro Malabar Catholic, continues to preserve and celebrate his childhood Memorie associated with religious practices in Kerala.

We hope the song will become a part of the repertory of cotemporary Kerala Catholics. See more details on our Directory of Christian Songs.

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York
18 March 2022

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