BWV 133 Ich freue mich in dir

Third Day of Christmas (St. John, Apostle and Evangelist).

Poet unknown.

1. Kaspar Ziegler, verse 1 of the hymn, 1697 (Fischer-Tümpel, I, #567); 2-3. based freely on verse 2; 4-5. based freely on verse 3; 6. 4th and final verse of the hymn.

27 December 1724, Leipzig; Neumann Hb: again after 1735.

BG 28; NBA I/3.


1. Chorus [Verse 1] (S, A, T, B)

I find my joy in thee
And bid thee hearty welcome,
My dearest Jesus-child!
Thou hast here undertaken
My brother dear to be.
Ah, what a pleasing sound!
How friendly he appears,
This mighty Son of God!

2. Aria (A)

Take hope! A holy body holds
Almighty God's mysterious being.

    I have now God---how well for me this moment!---
    From countenance to countenance regarded.
    Ah, this my soul must now recover.

3. Recit. (T)

An Adam may when filled with terror
From God's own countenance
In paradise seek hiding!(1)
But here Almighty God himself doth come to us:
And thus no fear oppresseth now my heart:
It knoweth his forgiving disposition.
Of his unbounded kindness
He's born a tiny babe
Who's called my Jesus-child.(2)

4. Aria (S)

How lovely to my ears it ringeth,
This word: for me is born my Jesus!
How this doth reach into my heart!

    Who Jesus' name can't comprehend,
    He whom it strikes not to the heart,
    He must of hardest rock be made.

5. Recit. (B)

Well then, to fear and pain of death
No thought will give my strengthened heart.
If he from heaven would
The road to earth now journey,
Then will he, too, of me
Within my tomb be mindful.
Who Jesus truly knows
Will die not when he dies,
If he calls Jesus' name.(3)

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

Lead on, 'tis my desire
To cleave to thee, O Jesus,
E'en though the world should break
Into a thousand pieces.
O Jesus, thou, just thou,
Thou art my life alone;
In thee, alone in thee,
My Jesus, will I sleep.


1. Cf. Gen. 3:8.

2. This and the preceding line are verbatim from verse 2 of the hymn.

3. This and the two preceding lines are verbatim from verse 3 of the hymn.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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