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Ich armer Mensch, ich armer Sünder
Text and Translation of Chorale

Author: Christoph Tietze (1663)
Chorale Melody: Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten | Composer: Georg Neumark (1657)

 

Vocal Works by J.S. Bach:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Type

 

1

BWV 179

Mvt. 6

1723

338

371

339

75

A121:6

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 
 
 

German Text (verses in bold print set by Bach)

English Translation

1

Ich armer Mensch, ich armer Sünder,
steh hie vor Gottes Angesicht,
ach Gott, ach Gott, verfahr gelinder,
und geh nicht mit mir ins Gericht !
Erbarme dich, erbarme dich,
Gott, mein Erbarmer, über mich !

I, poor man, I, poor sinner,
stand here before Godís face,
ah God, ah God, deal with me gently,
and do not bring me to judgement!
Be merciful, be merciful,
my merciful God, to me

2

Wie ist mir doch so herzlich bange,
von wegen meiner grossen Sünd,
bis daß ich Gnad von dir erlange,
ich armes und verlornes Kind.
Erbarme &c.

Since I am so sincerely fearful
on account of my great sinfulness,
may I obtain grace twice from you,
I, a poor lost child.
Be merciful etc.

3

Hör und erhör mein seufzend Schreyen,
du allerliebstes Vaterherz :
wollst alle Sünden mir verzeihen,
und lindern meines Herzens Schmerz.
Erbarme &c.

Hear and hearken to my sighing cry,
most loving and compassionate Father:
may it be your will to pardon all my sins
and ease my heartís sorrow.
Be merciful etc

4

Wie lang soll ich vergeblich klagen ?
Hörst du denn nicht, hörst du denn nicht ?
Wie kannst du das Geschrey vertragen ?
Hör, was der arme Sünder spricht :
Erbarme &c.

How long must I lament in vain?
Do you not hear, do you not hear?
How can you endure these cries?
Hear what this poor sinner is saying:
Be merciful etc.

5

Wahr ist es, übel steht der Schade,
den niemand heilet, ausser du :
ach, aber, Vater, Gnade, Gnade !
Ich laß dir doch nicht eher Ruh.
Erbarme &c.

Truly I am in evil plight
that nobody except you may heal:
ah, Father, mercy, mercy!
I shall not let you go until there is peace.
Be merciful etc.

6

Nicht, wie ich hab verschuldet, lohne,
ach lohne nicht nach meiner Sünd.
O treuer Vater, schone, schone,
erkenn mich wieder für dein Kind !
Erbarme &c.

Do not reward me as I have earned by wrongdoing,
oh faithful Father, spare me, spare me,
acknowledge me again as your child.
Be merciful etc.

7

Sprich nur ein Wort, so werd ich leben,
sag, daß der arme Sünder hör :
geh hin, die Sünd ist dir vergeben,
nur sündige hinfort nicht mehr.
Erbarme &c.

Speak only one word , and I shall live,
say so that this poor sinner may hear:
go on your way, your sin is forgiven,
from now on sin no more.
Be merciful etc.

8

Ich zweifle nicht, ich bin erhöret ;
erhöret bin ich, Zweifels frey,
weil sich der Trost im Herzen mehret ;
drum will ich enden mein Geschrey.
Erbarme dich, erbarme dich,
Gott, mein Erbarmer, über mich.

I have no doubt, my prayer is heard;
without doubt , my prayer is heard,
since consolation grows in my heart;
therefore I end my cries.
Be merciful etc.

--

   

Source: Colmarisches Gesangbuch
English Translation by Francis Browne (September 2005)
Contributed by Francis Browne (September 2005)

Cantata BWV 179: Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions
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Chorales BWV 250-438
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Last update: żApril 14, 2008 ż11:00:12