Manuel Lekuona classified Christmas songs according to their age: ancient Christmas greeting songs, later songs with a focus on religion, then follow the stories of the oral tradition of the shepherds, and finally the modern songs. The structure of ancient Christmas songs consists of rhyming stanzas, and those are the songs that have been traditionally sung by wassailers at Christmas and New Year. Christian mysteries were mentioned but did not take much space in those ancient songs. The verses personally addressed to the household members constituted the main part of the songs. Although the house-to-house wassailing custom is now on the decline in some places, in the past it was extensively widespread throughout most of the Basque territory.
The song titled Dios te salve hereunder comes to show that the old rhyming stanza pattern was also used in the locality of Ziburu in Lapurdi on New Year’s Eve.
Dios te salve