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Chorale: Ich hab mein Sach Gott heimgestellt
Singable English Translation of the Chorale

Author: Johann Leon c. 1530-1597
Melody: The melody was originally a secular folksong documented 1500 with the original title: “Es ist auf Erd kein schwerer Leidn”; then as a contrafact religious song/chorale „Ich weiß mir ein Röslein hübsch und fein“ (which is an allegorical reference to the Gospel - not a pretty young girl as one might otherwise expect) as such it was contained in a hymnal by Johann Rau, Frankfurt am Main, 1589. Precisely when the melody became associated with Leon’s text is not known, but probably this occurred at the very end of the 16th century.
Cantatas: BWV 106/2
Chorale: BWV 351
Organ chorales
: BWV 707 and 708 (Kirnberger); BWV 1113 (Neumeister)
English: Moravian Hymnbook 1754/revised Alexandra Glynn 2010

 

Vocal Works by J.S. Bach:

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Work

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German Text (verses in bold print set by Bach)

English Translation

1

Ich hab mein Sach Gott heimgestellt,
er machs mit mir, wie’s ihm gefällt.
Soll ich allhier noch länger leben,
ohn Widerstrebn
seim Willen tu ich mich ergebn

My life I now to God resign,
And to his statutes pure, divine.
Will he prolong my mournful days?
His promised grace
Suffices me to run my race.

2

Mein Zeit und Stund ist, wann Gott will;
ich schreib ihm nicht vor Maß noch Ziel.
Es sind gezählt all Härlein mein,
beid groß und klein;
fällt keines ihn den Willen sein.

The hour will come, the bell will chime;
I cannot go before that time.
He counts the hairs upon my head.
All things are led
To go as he has willed and said.

3

Es ist allhier ein Jammertal,
Angst, Not und Trübsal überall;
des Bleibens ist ein kleine Zeit
voll Müh und Leid,
und wers bedenkt, ist stets im Streit.

What is this life? A scene of shame,
Of sighs, of constant care and pain.
The years of sin and months of woe
Here ebb and flow
Till we are called away to go.

4

Es hilft kein Reichtum, Geld noch Gut,
kein Kunst noch Gunst noch stolzer Mut;
fürn Tod kein Kraut gewachsen ist;
mein frommer Christ,
alles, was lebet, sterblich ist.

And what is man? A clod of earth,
A needy mortal from his birth,--
Brought nothing with him when he came
But sin and shame;
And naked leaves the world again.

5

Heut sind wir frisch, gesund und stark
und liegen morgen tot im Sarg;
heut blühen wir wie Rosen rot,
bald krank und tot;
ist allenthalben Müh und Not.

No gold, no pledge, no wit, no pay,
From death can take a bit away.
With death, no physic can prevail.
No fee or bail
Can cancel Adam's sad entail.

6

Man trägt eins nach dem andern hin,
wohl aus den Augen, aus dem Sinn;
die Welt vergisset unser bald,
ob jung, ob alt
auch unsrer Ehren mannigfalt.

Today we healthy rise from bed,
Tomorrow we are sick or dead.
At evening, blossomed like a rose--
What mortal knows
If dawn in death his eyes shall close?

7

7. Ach Herr, lehr uns bedenken wohl,
daß wir sind sterblich allzumal,
auch wir allhier kein Bleibens han,
müssn all davon,
gelehrt, reich, jung, alt oder schön.

Lord, make us number all our days,
To set our heart on wisdom's ways
And know how swift our moments fly,
That all must die,
Poor, rich, young, old, the low and high.

8

Das macht die Sünd, du treuer Gott,
dadurch ist komm’n der bittre Tod,
der nimmt und frißt all Menschenkind,
wie er sie findt,
fragt nicht, wes Stands und Ehrn sie sind.

This is the fruit of Adam's fall:
Death like a conqueror seizes all;
Through sin, death rules the human race.
There is no place
Exempt from his continual chase.

9

Ich hab hier wenig guter Tag,
mein täglich Brot ist Müh und Klag.
Wann mein Gott will, so will ich mit hinfahrn in Fried;
Tod ist Gewinn und schadt mir nit.

But evil, few, as Jacob says,
I count my earthly pilgrim days;
When God shall call me from the way
Then I shall stay
In hope and dreams of endless day.

10

Und ob mich schon mein Sünd anficht,
dennoch will ich verzagen nicht;
ich weiß, daß mein getreuer Gott
für mich in’ Tod
sein’ liebsten Sohn gegeben hat.

10. For though I feel the guilt of sin
Assaulting me outside, within,
God has the war through Jesus won;
His only Son
Erased the sins that I have done.

11

Das ist mein Trost zu aller Zeit
in allem Kreuz und Traurigkeit.
Ich weiß, daß ich am Jüngsten Tag
ohn alle Klag
Wird auferstehn aus meinem Grab

'Tis he, my Lord and Savior, he
Was slain for my iniquity,
And rose triumphant from the grave,
That I, a slave,
He might from Satan's power save.

12

Mein’ lieben Gott von Angesicht
werde ich anschaun, dran zweifl ich nicht,
in ewger Freud und Seligkeit,
die mir bereit’;
ihm sei Lob, Preis in Ewigkeit

To him I give my life and breath;
His love shall guide my soul through death
And bring me to that blessed place
Where face to face
I shall behold the God of grace.

13

 

How glad I am! What comfort sweet
To know in all the pain I meet
That I shall rise, when Christ appears
Without the tears
I shed on earth these few sad years.

14

 

My dearest, faithful God is he
Who takes my bones in custody;
He, from whose hand no dust at all
Shall ever fall,
Shall from the grave my bones recall.

15

 

I plead, O Christ, in my distress,
Oh, clothe me in your righteousness.
For in your wounds I crave a place,
O spring of grace--
A sinner's joy is your embrace.

16

 

Amen, O mighty King of Love,
Grant me the blessed day above
Where all who by your blood shall be
Redeemed and free
May rest in you eternally.

--

(Thomas Braatz supplied the text of this chorale and information about the melody.

English Translation by Alexandra Glynn (February 2010)
Contributed by Alexandra Glynn (February 2010)

Singable English Translations of Chorales: Sorted by Title

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Last update: ýFebruary 15, 2010 ý22:19:25