Click to enlargeMy Jesus - BWV 487 (SATB a cappella)

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The composer of the original tune is not known, the connection between Bach and the figured bass is somewhat tenuous, and the author of the German lyric may be one of two or more people, nobody today knows for sure. This is still an incredible piece of music.

The form of this piece most familiar today is probably the Stokowski transcription for string orchestra. While it is a wonderful piece, the original German hymn is so steeped with wonderful meaning for passion week it is sad that more people are not familiar with it.

For this version, the arranger went back to the original figured bass and "re-figured" it, changing the harmony slightly in a few places. It is also presented here with a new English lyric by the arranger based loosely on several stanzas of the German.

It is intended this piece be performed slowly in a conemplative mood, possibly during distribution of communion during a tenebrae service on Good Friday, or a Maundy Thursday service.


My Jesus! Deep grief and bitter pain
Falls on You in dark Gethsemane.
Mine alone was the transgression.
Oh, Savior! My debt on You is lain.
To You is given this burden of grief.
Willingly You bear my condemnation.
My Lord! You weep!
You tremble in Your anguish,
All alone You languish,
Praying to the Father on high.
For our wretched race You are sent to die.

My Jesus! You sweat great drops of blood!
Human frailty overwhelming,
Your heart breaks from heavy sorrow.
Oh, Savior! You face the waiting cross of wood,
The crowd with curses railing,
The thorns You'll wear tomorrow.
Your arms outstretched,
In Your bitter pain
Hanging in the rain,
You will pay the awful debt.
Such great love Your people can not forget.


MP3 sound sample: entire piece (synthesizer/midi).

MY JESUS - BWV 487, attributed to J. S. Bach, arranged by Tom Kirkland for unaccompanied SATB choir, comes in a pdf file of 392K, with an eight-page score and a license page, nine pages in all. Performance time should be just under five minutes.

The majority of our sheet music pieces use electronically-produced demos on the item pages. We would much prefer to use actual recordings, so if you email us a digital recording or link to an online video and we end up using it as a demo on our site (fully credited), we will send you a coupon code good for US$25 toward your next purchase from our site.

Many of our sheet music licenses state that the purchaser does not have the right to record the work. We have modified our policy on this, and unless the license page states that you must obtain permission from a party other than to record the work, we will allow a small number (less than 50) of copies of an audio or video recording of a live performance to be made and distributed and/or posted to a free web site for viewing/listening, so long as, the composer, arranger, and lyricist are credited.


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Last update: 24 APR 2023