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Frölich soll mein Herze springen.--(Goed. 155.)


(Cf. Koch IV, p. 130.)

Appeared in Crü. Praxis, 1653 and 1656, no. 104, in 15 stanzas of 8 lines; reprinted in Wackernagel: no. 5; and Bachmann: no. 44; Unv. L. S.: 1851, no. 35.

Lauxmann, in Koch, VIII, 26, thus analyses it:

"First a trumpet blast: Christ is born, God's Champion has appeared as a Bridegroom from his chamber (I, II). In the following 4 stanzas the poet seeks to set forth the mighty value of the Incarnation: is it not love when God gives us the Son of His Love (III), the Kingdom of Joy (IV) and His Fellowship (V)? Yes, it is indeed the Lamb of God who bears the sin of the world (VI). Now he places himself as herald by the cradle of the Divine Child (VII). He bids, as in Matt. XI, 28, all men (VIII), all they that labor (IX), all the heavy laden (X), and all the poor (XI), to draw near. Then in conclusion he approaches in supplication like the shepherds and the Wise Men (XII-XV). He adores the child as the source of life (XII), his Lamb of God (XIII), his Glory (XIV), and promises to be ever true to Him (XV). It is a glorious series of Christmas thoughts, laid as a garland on the manger at Bethlehem."

Crüger gave the hymn an original melody in 1656 (as in L. Erk's Choralbuch, 1863, no. 86), but the melody generally used (in Church Hymns called "Bonn") is that by J. G. Ebeling in the Geistliche Andachten, 1666, to "Warum sollt ich mich derm grämen."140140Cf. p. 108. The hymn is very beautiful, but somewhat long, hence generally abridged.

English Versions:
1. Let the voice of glad thanksgiving.

A good translation of stanzas I-III, VI-IX, by A. T. Russell, as no. 15, in the Dalston Hospital Hymn Bk., 1848, and repeated, in part, as no. 56, in his own Psalms and Hymns, 1851.

2. All my heart this night rejoices.

A beautiful, but rather free translation omitting stanzas III-V, XIII, XIV, by Miss Winkworth in the 2d series of her Lyra Ger., 1858, p. 13. In America it appeared in the Dutch Reformed Hymns of the Church, 1869, the Hymns and Songs of Praise, N. Y., 1874, etc. Parts have appeared also in the New Zealand Hymnal, 1872, the Evangelistic Hymnal, N. Y., 1890, and Laudes Domini, N. Y., 1884, etc. It is very generally included in cento form in nearly all current American hymnals.

3. All my heart with joy is springing.

A free translation by Dr. Kennedy in his Hymnologia Christiana, 1863, no. 100, omitting stanzas III-V, IX, XIII, XIV.

4. Lightly bound my bosom, ringing.

A translation in full, by Dr. M. Loy, in the Ohio Luth. Hymnal, 1880.

5. Now in His manger He so humbly lies.

A translation of stanza V in the Moravian H. Bk., 1754, no. 435.

6. Up, my heart! rejoice with singing.

As a broadsheet for Christmas, 1770.

7. Rise, my soul, shake off all sadness.

P. H. Molther, in the Moravian H. Bk., 1789 and 1886.

8. Now with joy my heart is bounding.

J. Kelly, 1867, p. 18.

9. Up, with gladness heavenward springing.

E. Massie, 1867, p. 24.

10. Joyful be my spirit singing.

N. L. Frothingham, 1870, p. 260.

11. Joyful shall my heart, upspringing.

M. W. Stryker, 1883, p. 30.

Selected Stanzas:

A. T. Russell, in his Psalms and Hymns, 1851.

1. Let the voice of glad thanksgiving
Upward rise, to the skies--
Praises from all living.
Hark! the angel-choirs from heaven
Hither fly! hark! they cry,
Christ to earth is given!

Miss Winkworth, 1858, in her Lyra Germanica.

1. All my heart this night rejoices,
As I hear, far and near,
Sweetest angel voices:
"Christ is born," their choirs are singing,
Till the air everywhere
Now with joy is ringing.
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