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The following are links to English translations for Bach's cantatas and other works rendered in Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC. We are pleased for you to peruse these translations for your own enjoyment, but please respect the artistic product they represent and reprint only by permission. Contact office@bachvespersnyc.org for more information.

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Text for Cantata 71
Gott ist mein König
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Gott ist mein König von altersher,
     God is my king from age of old
der alle Hilfe tut,
     who enacts all help
so auf Erden geschicht.
     so directed toward earth.

     (chorale is shown in bold text)

Ich bin nun achtzig Jahr,
     I am now eighty years,
warum soll dein Knecht sich mehr beschweren?
     why should your servant be anymore be burdened?
Soll ich auf dieser Welt
mein Leben höher bringen,
     Shall I pass my life any further
     upon this world,
durch manchen sauren Tritt
     by many a bitter stride    
hindurch ins Alter dringen,
     pressing through into old age,
Ich will umkehren,
     I want to turn back
daß ich sterbe in meiner Stadt,
     that I might die in my city,
So gib Geduld, für Sünd
     Thus grant patience for sin
und Schanden mich bewahr,
     and protect me from harm
auf daß ich tragen mag
     in order that I might be carried
bei meines Vaters und meiner Mutter Grab,
     next to my father’s and my mother’s grab.
mit ehrengraues Haar.
     with honorably gray hair.

Dein Alter sei wie deine Jugend,
     Your old age is the same as your youth
und Gott ist mit dir in allem, das du tust.
     and God is beside you in all that you do.

Tag und Nacht ist dein.
     Day and night are yours.
Du machest, daß beide, Sonn und Gestirn,
     You cause that both sun and star
ihren gewissen Lauf haben.
     have their established course.
Du setzest einem jeglichen Lande seine Grenze.
     You set the boundaries for each individual land.

Durch mächtige Kraft
     Through mighty power
erhältst du unsre Grenzen,
     you preserve our borders,
hier muß der Friede glänzen,
     here peace must shine,
wenn Mord und Kriegessturm
     when storm of murder and war
sich allerort erhebt.
     are levied in all places.
Wenn Kron und Zepter bebt,
     When crown and scepter writhe
hast du das Heil geschafft
     you have achieved salvation
durch mächtige Kraft!
     through mighty power!

Du wollest dem Feinde nicht geben
     You would not allow the enemy
die Seele deiner Turteltauben.
     the soul of your turtledove.

Das neue Regiment
auf jeglichen Wegen
bekröne mit Segen!
     Crown the new rule
     with blessing upon every course!
Friede, Ruh und Wohlergehen,
     Peace, quiet and prosperity
müße stets zur Seite stehen
     must ever stand astride
dem neuen Regiment.
     the new  rule.

Glück, Heil und großer Sieg
     Fortune, health and great victory
muß täglich von neuen
dich, Joseph, erfreuen,
     must thrill you daily anew, Joseph,*
daß an allen Ort und Landen
     that in every place and land
ganz beständig sei vorhanden
     in full permanence ever exist
Glück, Heil und großer Sieg!
     fortune, health and great victory!

*Kaiser Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor (1678–1711)

COMPOSED: February 4, 1708 (Mühlhausen) for the Inauguration of the New Town Council
LIBRETTIST: unknown;  Mvt. 1. Psalm 74:12; Mvt. 2. Samuel 19:35 & 37, plus Johann Heermann, stanza 6 of O Gott, du frommer Gott  (1630); Mvt. 3. Deuteronomy 33:25 and Genesis 21:22; Mvt. 4. Psalm 74:16-17; Mvt. 6. Psalm 74:19.
TRANSLATION: Tobin Schmuck 2012 © Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC
Use by permission only please.  office@bachvespersnyc.org

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