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Herr [or O] Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht
Text and Translation of Chorale

EKG: 317
Author: Anon (1608)

 

Chorale Melody 1: Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht I | Composer: Anon (before the Reformation?)

Vocal Works by J.S. Bach:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Type

 

-

BWV 335

-

?

294
236

   

83

F170.1

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

Breitkopf 294 with the title: Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht
Breitkopf 236 with the title: O Jesu, du mein Bräutigam
probably from a lost cantata.

 

Chorale Melody 2: Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht II | Composer: Anon (c1455)

Vocal Works by J.S. Bach:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Type

 

2

BWV 58

Mvt. 5

1727

-

-

-

-

A26:5

Aria [B] w/ Chorale [S]

 

1

BWV 118

Ver 1

1736-37

-

-

-

-

B23

Chorus [S, A, T, B]

 

1

BWV 118

Ver 2

1746-47

-

-

-

-

B23

Chorus [S, A, T, B]

 
 
 

German Text (verses in bold print set by Bach)

English Translation

1

O Jesu Christ, mein's Lebens Licht,
Mein Hort, mein Trost, mein' Zuversicht,
Auf Erden bin ich nur ein Gast,
Und drückt mich sehr der Sünden Last.

Oh Jesus Christ, my lifeís light,
my refuge, my comfort, my confidence,
on earth I am only a visitor
and the burden of sin presses heavily upon me

2

Ich hab' vor mir ein' schwere Reis'
Zu dir in's Himmels Paradeis;
Das ist mein rechtes Vaterland,
Darauf du hast dein Blut gewandt.

I have before me a difficult journey
to you in heavenís paradise;
there is my true fatherland,
for which you spent your blood.

3

Zur Reis' ist mir mein Herz sehr matt,
Der Leib gar wenig Kräfte hat;
Allein mein' Seele schreit in mir:
Herr, hol mich heim, nimm mich zu dir!

For the journey my heart is very weak,
my body scarcely has any strength;
but my soul cries out within me:
Lord, fetch me home, take me to you.

4

Drum stärk mich durch das Leiden dein
In meiner letzten Todespein;
Dein Blutschweiß mich tröst' und equick',
Mach' mich frei durch dein' Band' und Strick'!

Therefore through your sufferings strengthen me
in my final agony of death;
may your sweat of blood comfort and revive me,
make me free through your bonds and cords.

5

Dein Backenstreich und Ruten frisch
Der Sünden Striemen mir abwisch,
Dein Hohn und Spott, dein Dornenkron
Laß sein mein Ehre, Freud, und Wonn.

May the blows on your cheek and blows from the rod
wipe clean away the bruises of sin for me,
may your shame and derision, your crown of thorns
be my honour, joy and delight.

6

Dein Durst und Gallentrank mich lab,
Wenn ich sonst keine Stärkung hab;
Dein Angstgeschrei komm mir zu gut,
Bewahr mich vor der Höllen Glut.

May your thirst and drink of gall refresh me,
when I have nothing else to strengthen me,
may your cry of anguish be to my benefit,
preserve me from hellfire.

7

Wenn mein Mund nicht kann reden frei,
Dein Geist in meinem Herzen schrei;
Hilf, daß mein Seel den Himmel findt,
Wenn meine Augen werden blind.

If my mouth cannot speak freely,
may your spirit cry out ín my heart
help me, so that my soul may find heaven,
if my eyes become blínd.

8

Dein letztes Wort laß sein mein Licht,
Wenn mir der Tod das Herz zerbricht;
Behüte mich vor Ungebärd',
Wenn ich mein Haupt nun neigen werd'!

Let your last word be my light
when death shatters my heart,
guard me from distress
when I shall bow my head!

9

Dein Kreuz laß sein mein Wanderstab,
Mein Ruh und Rast dein heilges Grab,
Die reinen Grabetücher dein
Laß meinen Sterbekittel sein.

Let your cross be my walking stick ,
my peace and rest your sacred grave,
let your grave cloths
be my death garment.

10

Laß mich durch deine Nägelmal'
Erblicken die Genadenwahl;
Durch deine aufgespaltne Seit'
Mein' arme Seele heimgeleit!

Through the marks the nails made on you
let me glimpse your grace,
through your pierced side
let my poor soul be led home.

11

Auf deinen Abschied, Herr, ich trau',
Darauf mein' letzte Heimfahrt bau';
Tu mir die Himmelstür weit auf,
Wenn ich beschließ' mein's Lebens Lauf

In your farewell, Lord, I place my trust,
on that I rely for my last journey home;
open wide heavenís gate for me,
when I complete my lifeís course.

12

Am Jüngsten Tag erweck mein'n Leib,
Hilf, daß ich dir zur Rechten bleib',
Daß mich nicht treffe dein Gericht,
Welch's das erschrecklich' Urteil spricht.

On the last day awaken my body,
help me, so that I may stand on your right,
so that I may not face the judgement
where the terrifying sentence is pronounced.

13

Alsdann mein'n Leib erneure ganz,
Daß er leucht' wie der Sonne Glanz
Und ähnlich sei dein'm klaren Leib,
Auch gleich den lieben Engeln bleib'.

Then entirely renew my body
so that it shines like the sunís splendour,
and may it be like your clear body
and remain also with your dear angels.

14

Wie werd' ich dann so fröhlich sein,
Werd' singen mit den Engelein
Und mit der Auserwählten Schar
Ewig schauen dein Antlitz klar.

How joyful then I shall be,
I shall sing with the angels
and with your chosen flock
forever behold your face clearly.

--

   

Source of text: www.gesangbuch.org

 
     

The Colmarisches Gesangbuch has this extra verse, an anonymous addition to Behmeís text in 1644

7

Die heiligen fünf Wunden dein,
laß meine sichre Zuflucht seyn,
wohin ich eil in Sündennoth,
und Rettung sind in meinem Tod.

May your five sacred wounds
be my sure refuge
where I hasten in sinís distress
and which are deliverance in my death.

--

English Translation by Francis Browne (May 2006)
Contributed by Francis Browne (May 2006)

Cantata BWV 58: Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2
German Text | German-2 | Translations: Dutch | English-1 | English-3 | English-6 | French-4 | French-6 | Hebrew-1 | Indonesian | Italian-5 | Portuguese-1 | Russian-1 | Spanish-2

Cantata BWV 118: Recordings | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2
German Text | Translations: Dutch-4 | English-1 | English-3 | English-6 | French-6 | Hebrew-1 | Indonesian | Italian | Portuguese-2 | Russian-1 | Spanish-2

Chorales BWV 250-438
Recordings | General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Chorales in Bach's Vocal Works: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Hidden Chorale Melody Allusions | Passion Chorale
Individual Recordings:
Hilliard - Morimur | Chorales - Matt | Chorales - Rilling | Preludi ai Corali - Quartetto Italiani di Viola Da Gamba
References:
Chorales BWV 250-300 | Chorales BWV 301-350 | Chorales BWV 351-400 | Chorales BWV 401-438
Texts & English Translations of Chorales:
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Articles:
The Origin of the Texts of the Chorales [A. Schweitzer] | The Origin of the Melodies of the Chorales [A. Schweitzer] | The Chorale in the Church Service [A. Schweitzer] | Choral / Chorale [C.S. Terry] | The History of the Breitkopf Collection of J. S. Bachís Four-Part Chorales [T. Braatz] | Chorale Melody Allusions in Bach's Vocal Works [T. Braatz]
Hymnals used by Bach | Abbreviations used for the Chorales | Links to other Sites about the Chorales

Texts & English Translations of Chorales: Sorted by Title

Texts & Translations: Main Page | Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Other Vocal BWV 225-249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-524 | Other Vocal 1081-1089 | BWV Anh | Chorale Texts | Emblemata | Sources | Poets & Composers
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Last update: żNovember 17, 2008 ż13:48:43