O sacred head, surrounded (Johann Sebastian Bach)

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  • (Posted 2021-01-08)  CPDL #62316:       
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2021-01-08).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 49 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: The hymn with four-part harmony and underlaid words in the version published in Hymns Ancient & Modern New Standard
  • (Posted 2021-01-08)  CPDL #62315:       
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2021-01-08).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 99 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: The hymn in the version published in Hymns Ancient & Modern New Standard, melody with words.

General Information

Title: O sacred head, surrounded
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Tune: Passion Chorale
Lyricist: Paul Gerhardt

Translation by Henry Williams Baker

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredHymn   Meter: 76. 76. D

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella or keyboard

First published:
  2nd published: 1983 in Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard, no. 68
Description: 

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

O sacred head, surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding head, so wounded,
so shamed and put to scorn!
Death’s pallid hue comes o’er thee,
the glow of life decays;
yet angel-hosts adore thee,
and tremble as they gaze.

Thy comeliness and vigour
is withered up and gone,
and in thy wasted figure
I see death drawing on.
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesu, all grace supplying,
turn thou thy face on me.

In this thy bitter passion,
good Shepherd, think of me
with thy most sweet compassion,
unworthy though I be:
beneath thy Cross abiding
for ever would I rest,
in thy dear love confiding,
and with thy presence blest.