BWV 120 Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille

Inauguration of the New Town Council.

Poet unknown, probably Picander.

1. Ps. 65:1; 6. Martin Luther, part of verse 4 of the German Te Deum, 1529 (Wackernagel, I, #212).

1728 or 1729, Leipzig.

BG 24; NBA I/32.


1. Aria [Dictum] (A)

God, we praise thee now in the stillness of Zion, and thee we pay our solemn pledges.

2. Chorus (S, A, T, B)

Triumph, all ye joyous voices,
Soaring into heaven, rise!

    Praise God in his holy shrine
    And exalt ye his great fame;
    All his kindness,
    His forgiving heart of mercy,
    Shall at no time ever cease!

3. Recit. (B)

Wake, thou beloved linden town,(1)
Come, fall before thy master humbly,
Acknowledge how he thee,
In all thy splendor's state,
So fatherly
Supports, protects, and guards,
And doth his hand of love
Still over thee steadfastly hold.
Rise up,
And pay thy solemn pledges, which thou the Highest now hast vowed,
And sing thy songs of thanks most humble!
Come, pray now that he town and land
Unending wish e'en more to foster
And this its honored government,
Today with seats and vote renewed,
Through many splendors wish to favor.

4. Aria (S)

Health and blessing
Shall and must at ev'ry hour
Bide with our high government,
In their proper fullness dwelling,

    So that faith and justice shall be
    Led as friends to kiss each other.(2)

5. Recit. (T)

O Lord, so consecrate this government with thine own blessing now,
That ev'ry malice may flee from us,
And that true righteousness within our dwellings flourish,
That thine own Father's seed unspotted
And thy most blessed name's due honor
With us in glory ever reign!

6. Chorale (S, A, T, B)

Now help us, Lord, these servants thine,
Whom with thy blood thou hast redeemed!
Let us in heaven have a share
With the saints forever saved!
Thy people help, Lord Jesus Christ,
And bless them, thine inheritance;
Guard and tend them at ev'ry hour
And raise them high forever more!


1. The expression "linden town" is a rhetorical play on the etymology of Leipzig: > Slavic lipa 'linden.' Cf. BWV 119, note 2, BWV 215/8a and BWV 207a/1.

2. Cf. Ps. 85:10.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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