Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring Printable Lyrics – PDF

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” is one of the most popular compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach who wrote it around 1716 while he stayed in Weimar for a short period. He was based on the hymn “Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne”, written by Martin Janus (or Jahn) in 1661 and set to melody by Johann Schop. Bach included it in the 6th and 10th movements of his famous cantata “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben”. However, since the 20th century the piece is often performed separately. Starting with Myra Hess’ piano solo transcription in 1926, many more arrangements followed from classical, jazz and pop artists.

The piece is about the appreciation and praise of man’s relationship with Jesus. Although Bach’s work is cheerful and lively, the piece is often played in a slow tempo, making it a favourite at funerals and weddings as well as at Christmas and Easter celebrations. One can find numerous performances of it, both as an instrumental and as a choral. The English lyrics are attributed to the poet Robert Bridges.

On this page you can find the English lyrics, the German text from Bach’s cantata and a printable lyrics PDF file for free download. You can also watch three music videos of the choral; the first is in English, while the two others in German.

Table of Contents

Printable Lyrics PDF

Click on the button to download a PDF file with lyrics to this song for free.

Lyrics PDF download

Lyrics in English

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring 
Holy wisdom, love most bright.

Drawn by Thee our souls aspiring

Soar to uncreated light.

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned.
With the fire of life impassioned.

Striving still to truth unknown
Soaring, dying round Thy throne.

Through the way where hope is guiding,

Hark, what peaceful music rings.

Where the flock in Thee confiding,

Drink of joy from deathless springs.

Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure,
Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure.

Thou dost ever lead Thine own,
In the love of joys unknown.

Lyrics in German

Wohl mir, daß ich Jesum habe,
o wie feste halt’ ich ihn,
daß er mir mein Herze labe,
wenn ich krank und traurig bin.
Jesum hab’ ich, der mich liebet
und sich mir zu eigen giebet,
ach drum laß’ ich Jesum nicht,
wenn mir gleich mein Herze bricht.

Jesus bleibet meine Freude,
meines Herzens Trost und Saft,
Jesus wehret allem Leide,
er ist meines Lebens Kraft,
meiner Augen Lust und Sonne,
meiner Seele Schatz und Wonne;
darum laß’ ich Jesum nicht
aus dem Herzen und Gesicht. 

Music Videos

English version

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

German Version 1 – Wohl mir, daß ich Jesum habe

Kantate Bwv 147: Wohl Mir Dass Ich Jesum Habe

German Version 2 – Jesus bleibet meine Freude

Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Chorale: Jesus bleibet meine Freude (Chorus)

ALL CHRISTMAS SONG LYRICS

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