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Was frag ich nach der Welt
Text and Translation of Chorale

EKG:
Author: Balthasar Kindermann (1644)
Chorale Melody: O Gott, du frommer Gott - Melody 3 | Composer: Ahasverus Fritsch (1679)

 

Vocal Works by J.S. Bach:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Type

 

1

BWV 64

Mvt. 4

1723

255

280

255

14

A14:4

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

1

BWV 94

Mvt. 1

1724

-

-

-

-

A115:1

Chorus (Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

2~

BWV 94

Mvt. 2

1724

-

-

-

-

A115:2

Aria [B]

 

3

BWV 94

Mvt. 3

1724

-

-

-

-

A115:3

Recitative & Chorale [T]

 

4~

BWV 94

Mvt. 4

1724

-

-

-

-

A115:4

Aria [A]

 

5

BWV 94

Mvt. 5

1724

-

-

-

-

A115:5

Recitative & Chorale [B]

 

6~

BWV 94

Mvt. 6

1724

-

-

-

-

A115:6

Aria [T]

 

6~

BWV 94

Mvt. 7

1724

-

-

-

-

A115:7

Aria [S]

 

7,8

BWV 94

Mvt. 8

1724

290

281

291

72

A115:8

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 
 
 

German Text (verses in bold print set by Bach)

English Translation

1

Was frag' ich nach der Welt
Und allen ihren Schätzen,
Wenn ich mich nur an dir,
Herr Jesu, kann ergötzen!
Dich hab' ich einzig mir
Zur Wollust vorgestellt,
Du, du bist meine Ruh';
Was frag' ich nach der Welt!

Why should I have any concern about the world
and all its treasures
when only in you can I,
my Jesus, take pleasure
It is you alone that I
have placed before me for delight
You, you , are my peace ;
Why should I have any concern about the world!

2

Die Welt ist wie ein Rauch,
Der in der Luft vergehet,
Und einem Schatten gleich,
Der kurze Zeit bestehet;
Mein Jesus aber bleibt,
Wenn alles bricht und fällt;
Er ist mein starker Fels,
Was frag' ich nach der Welt!

The world is like smoke
that vanishes in air,
and just like a shadow
that exists for a short time;
but my Jesus remains
when everything breaks and falls;
he is my strong rock,
why should I have any concern about the world!

3

Die Welt sucht Ehr' und Ruhm
Bei hocherhabnen Leuten
Und denkt nicht einmal dran,
Wie bald doch diese gleiten;
Das aber, was mein Herz
Vor andern rühmlich hält,
Ist Jesus nur allein;
Was frag' ich nach der Welt!

The world seeks honour and glory
among people of great prestige
and in doing this does not once consider
how soon these things slip away ;
but what my heart holds
as glorious before all else
is only Jesus alone;
why should I have any concern about the world!

4

Die Welt sucht Geld und Gut
Und kann nicht eher rasten,
Sie habe denn zuvor
Den Mannon in dem Kasten;
Ich weiß ein besser Gut,
Wonach mein Herze stellt:
Ist Jesus nur mein Schatz,
Was frag' ich nach der Welt!

The world seeks gold and possessons
and cannot rest until
it has money in the chest;
I know a better possession,
that my heart sets before it:
Jesus is my only treasue,
why should I have any concern about the world?

5

Die Welt bekümmert sich,
Im Fall sie wird verachtet,
Und wenn man ihr mit List
Nach ihren Ehren trachtet;
Ich trage Christi Schmach,
Solang es ihm gefällt;
Wenn mich mein Heiland ehrt,
Was frag' ich nach der Welt!

The world is troubled
that in its fall it may be despised
and that people may use deceit
in dealing with its honours;
I bear Christ’s disgrace
for as long as it pleases him;
if my saviour honours me,
why should I have any concern about the world?

6

Die Welt kann ihre Lust
Nicht hoch genug erheben,
Sie darf noch wohl dazu
Den Himmel dafür geben.
Ein andrer halt's mit ihr,
Der von sich selbst viel hält;
Ich liebe meinen Gott,
Was frag' ich nach de Welt!

The world cannot exalt
its pleasures high enough,
it would happily
give heaven for them.
Other people share its view
of its own great importance;
I love my God,
why should I have any concern about the world

7

Was frag' ich nach der Welt!
Im Hui muß sie verschwinden;
Ihr Ansehn kann durchaus
Den blaßen Tod nicht binden;
Die Güter müßen fort,
Und alle Lust verfällt.
Bleibt Jesus nur bei mir,
Was frag' ich nach der Welt!

Why should I have any concern about the world!
It must vanish in a flash;
its prestige can by no means
bind pale death;
possessions must disappear
and all pleasures decay.
If Jesus remains with me,
why should I have any concern about the world?

8

Was frag' ich nach der Welt!
Mein Jesus ist mein Leben,
Mein Schatz, mein Eigentum,
Dem ich mich ganz ergeben,
Mein ganzes Himmelreich,
Und was mir sonst gefällt.
Drum sag' ich noch einmal:
Was frag' ich nach der Welt!

Why should I have any concern about the world!
My Jesus is my life,
my treasure , my property,
to whom I give myself completely,
my whole heaven
and everytthing else that pleases me.
Therefore I say yet again:
why should I have any concern about the world!

--

Source: Gesangbuch.org
English Translation by Francis Browne (January 2006)
Contributed by Francis Browne (January 2006)

Cantata BWV 64: Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions
German Text | Translations: Catalan-1 | Dutch-3 | English-1 | English-3 | English-6 | French-4 | French-6 | Hebrew-1 | Indonesian | Italian-2 | Russian-1 | Spanish-2 | Spanish-3

Cantata BWV 94: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
German Text | Translations: Catalan-1 | Dutch-6 | English-1 | English-3I | English-3P | English-6 | English-10 | French-4 | French-6 | Hebrew-1 | Hungarian-1 | Indonesian | Italian-2 | Russian-1 | Spanish-5

Chorales BWV 250-438
Recordings | General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Chorales in Bach's Vocal Works: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Hidden Chorale Melody Allusions | Passion Chorale
Individual Recordings:
Hilliard - Morimur | Chorales - Matt | Chorales - Rilling | Preludi ai Corali - Quartetto Italiani di Viola Da Gamba
References:
Chorales BWV 250-300 | Chorales BWV 301-350 | Chorales BWV 351-400 | Chorales BWV 401-438
Texts & English Translations of Chorales:
Sorted by Title
Chorale Melodies:
Sorted by Title | 371 4-Part Chorales sorted by Breitkopf Number | Explanation
MIDI files of the Chorales:
Cantatas BWV 1-197 | Other Vocal Works BWV 225-248 | Chorales BWV 250-438
Articles:
The Origin of the Texts of the Chorales [A. Schweitzer] | The Origin of the Melodies of the Chorales [A. Schweitzer] | The Chorale in the Church Service [A. Schweitzer] | Choral / Chorale [C.S. Terry] | The History of the Breitkopf Collection of J. S. Bach’s Four-Part Chorales [T. Braatz] | Chorale Melody Allusions in Bach's Vocal Works [T. Braatz]
Hymnals used by Bach | Abbreviations used for the Chorales | Links to other Sites on the Chorales

Texts & English Translations of Chorales: Sorted by Title

Texts & Translations: Main Page | Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Other Vocal BWV 225-249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-524 | Other Vocal 1081-1089 | BWV Anh | Chorale Texts | Emblemata | Sources | Poets & Composers
Discussions: Texts | Translations: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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Last update: ýSeptember 24, 2011 ý13:48:14