BWV 227 Jesu, meine Freude

Possibly for the Funeral of Johanna Maria Kees, née Rappold.

Johann Franck, the six verses of the hymn, 1650 (Fischer-Tümpel, IV, #103); Rom. 8:1 and 4, 2, 9, 10, 11.

18 July 1723?, Leipzig.

BG 39; NBA III/1.


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

Jesus, my true pleasure,
Of my heart the pasture,
Jesus, my delight,
Ah how long, how long now
Is my heart made anxious
As it longs for thee!
God's true lamb, my bridegroom thou,
More than thee to me on earth now
Shall nought be more treasured.

[Rom. 8:1 and 4] (S1, S2, A, T, B)

There is now nought of condemnation in them who in Jesus Christ abide, walking not in flesh's error, but the Spirit's call.

[Verse 2] (S1, S2, A, T, B)

Under thy protection
Am I from the tempests
Of all foes set free.
Let then Satan bluster,
Let the foe grow bitter,
By me Jesus stands!
Though it now soon crack and flash,
Though soon sin and hell strike terror,
Jesus me will shelter.

[Rom. 8:2] (S1, S2, A)

Because the law of Spirit, who is the giver of life within Christ Jesus, hath now set me free from that, the law of error and of dying.

[Verse 3] (S1, S2, A, T, B)

'Spite the ancient serpent,
'Spite the jaws of dying,
'Spite the fear they bring!
Tremble, world, with leaping;
I'll stand here with singing
In most sure repose.
God's great might holds me in awe;
Earth and chasm shall grow silent,
Though they yet so rumble.

[Rom. 8:9] (S1, S2, A, T, B)

Ye are, though, in the flesh not, but in Spirit, if truly God's Spirit in you dwelleth. But who Christ's Spirit doth not have is not of him.(1)

[Verse 4] (S, A, T, B)

Off with other treasures!
Thou art my sole pleasure,
Jesus, my desire!
Off, ye empty honors,
I refuse to heed you,
May I know you not!
Woe, distress, cross, scorn and death
Shall now, though I much must suffer,
Not from Jesus take me.

[Rom. 8:10] (A, T, B)

If, though, now Christ doth dwell in you, although the flesh is dead by its sin's corruption, the Spirit still yet is living because of goodness and justice.

[Verse 5] (S1, S2, A, T)

Now good night, O creature
Which the world doth favor,
Thou dost please me not.
Now good night, corruption,
Get thee far behind me,
Come no more to light!
Now good night, thou pomp and pride!
Once for all, thou wicked life here,
Now "Good night" I bid thee.

[Rom. 8:11] (S1, S2, A, T, B)

If now that Spirit,(2) which Jesus from the dead hath caused to waken, be in you dwelling, so shall too that very one, which Christ forth from the dead hath caused to be awake, unto your mortal bodies give life immortal, for this reason, that in you dwells his Spirit.

[Verse 6] (S, A, T, B)

Yield, ye mournful spirits,
For my pleasure's Master,
Jesus, comes to me.
And in those God loveth,
Must as well their sadness
To pure sweetness turn.
Here I've long borne spite and scorn,
But thou bidest e'en in sorrow,
Jesus, my true pleasure.



1. With wer Christi Geist nicht hat in the bass part, read "Christ's Spirit doth not have."

2.The hiatus produced by "Spirit" is intended to reflect the gasp in the music.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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