O sacred head (Johann Sebastian Bach)

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  • (Posted 2013-03-09)  CPDL #28480:        (Sibelius 3) (Sibelius 5) (Sibelius 6)
Editor: Andris Solims (submitted 2013-03-09).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 43 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: There are two arrangements in this edition with improved text of J. W. Alexander. The harmonizer of both scores is J.S. Bach, from his St. Mattäus-Passion, nr. 15/17 ("Erkenne mich mein Hüter"/"Ich will hier bei dir stehen") and nr. 54 ("O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden"), respectively.

General Information

Title: O sacred head
Composer: Hans Leo Hassler
Arranger: Johann Sebastian Bach
Lyricist: James Waddel Alexander

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredHymn

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1601
Opus: BWV 244 , mvt. 15
Description: Tune simplified in late-19th-century "hymnal" style (by an unknown arranger), derived loosely from J. S. Bach's arrangements. This hymn tune is derived from Hassler's part-song Mein G'müth ist mir verwirret. See Herzlich thut mich verlangen (Johann Sebastian Bach) for other arrangements from this tune.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

O sacred head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, your only crown;
O sacred head, what glory
and blessing you have known!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I claim you as my own.

My Lord, what you did suffer,
was all for sinners’ gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but yours the deadly pain.
So here I kneel, my Savior,
for I deserve your place;
look on me with your favor
and safe me by your grace.

What language shall I borrow
to thank you, dearest Friend,
for this your dying sorrow,
your mercy without end?
Lord, make me yours forever,
a loyal servant true,
and let me never, never
outlive my love for you.

My Savior, be you near me
when death is at my door;
Then let your presence cheer me,
forsake me nevermore!
When soul and body languish,
oh, leave me not alone,
but take away mine anguish
by virtue of yours own!