Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring

Album: 100 Church Classics (1723)


  • The cantata "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" for solo voices, chorus and orchestra was written in Weimar for performance on the fourth Sunday of Advent. Its tenth section, "Jesu bleibt meine Freunde." which we know as "Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring," is one of Bach's best-loved works.
  • This piece is a perennial favourite at weddings when the bridal party enters.
  • Both this piece's original choral version and the famous piano transcription by the English pianist Dame Myra Hess (1890-1965) are equally well known. Hess's transcription was published in 1926 for piano solo and in 1934 for piano duet, but the transcription itself has since been arranged for various instruments and combinations.
  • The Beach Boys 1979 song "Lady Lynda," which was a #6 hit in the UK, is based on the melody of the song, but not the words. The British instrumental studio group Apollo 100 scored a 1972 #6 hit in the US with "Joy," a fast-paced instrumental version of this piece.

Comments: 2

  • Megan from Stevenson, AlAwww! That's sweet! This is true talent! So beautiful!
  • Reg from Kemptville, On, -I first heard this piece as "Joy" by Apollo 100. I liked it so much that ran down the street and bought the 45.
    Years later I had it played at my wedding.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

David Bowie Leads the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men

David Bowie Leads the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired MenSong Writing

Bowie's "activist" days of 1964 led to Ziggy Stardust.

Joe Jackson

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.

Zakk Wylde

Zakk WyldeSongwriter Interviews

When he was playing Ozzfest with Black Label Society, a kid told Zakk he was the best Ozzy guitarist - Zakk had to correct him.

Al Kooper

Al KooperSongwriter Interviews

Kooper produced Lynyrd Skynyrd, played with Dylan and the Stones, and formed BS&T.

Female Singers Of The 90s

Female Singers Of The 90sMusic Quiz

The ladies who ruled the '90s in this quiz.

Krishna Das

Krishna DasSongwriter Interviews

The top chant artist in the Western world, Krishna Das talks about how these Hindu mantras compare to Christian worship songs.