Front Page Titles (by Subject) No. 16.: My sin it is which binds thee ( Ich bin's, ich sollte bussen ) - Bach's Chorals, vol. 1 The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Passions and Oratorios
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No. 16.: My sin it is which binds thee ( Ich bin’s, ich sollte bussen ) - Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach’s Chorals, vol. 1 The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the “Passions” and Oratorios 
Bach’s Chorals. Part I: The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the “Passions” and Oratorios, by Charles Sanford Terry (Cambridge University Press, 1915-1921). 3 vols. Vol. 1.
Part of: Bach’s Chorals, 3 vols.
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My sin it is which binds thee (Ich bin’s, ich sollte bussen)
Heinrich Isaak’s melody was first published in Georg Forster’s Ein ausszug guter alter ūn newer Teutscher liedlein, Nurnberg, 1539, but to the secular song, “Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen.” Of Isaak, Germany’s first great composer, little is known. He was born circ. 1440, perhaps at Prague, was organist of the Medici chapel, Florence, 1477-93, and composer to the Emperor Maximilian I, 1496-1515. He died before 1531. The tune has survived through its association with Johann Hesse’s (1490-1547) Hymn for the Dying, “O Welt, ich muss dich lassen,” first published as a broadsheet at Nurnberg circ. 1555 and in the Nurnberg Hymn-Book, Geystliche Lieder, Psalmen und Lobgesenge. D. Mart. Luther, Nurnberg, 1569. The words of Hesse’s Hymn are a frank conversion of the travelling artisan’s song, “Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen,” and the melody is styled “Innsbruck” in Hymns Ancient and Modern (No. 86). It was not until sixty years after its publication that Isaak’s melody appeared in association with Hesse’s Hymn. They were first published together in David Wolder’s New Catechismus Gesangbuchlein (Hamburg, 1598 ), and in the Eisleben Gesangbuch, Darinnen Psalmen unnd Geistliche Lieder (Eisleben, 1598). In the latter work the tune virtually assumed the form in which Bach employs it.
Bach uses the melody elsewhere in the “St Matthew Passion” (No. 44), and in the “St John Passion” (No. 8). He employs it also in three of the Cantatas: “Meine Seufzer, meine Thranen” (No. 13), for the Second Sunday after Epiphany; “Sie werden euch in den Bann thun” (No. 44), for the Sixth Sunday after Easter; and “In allen meinen Thaten” (No. 97), for general use. In the Choralgesange there are four other harmonisations of the melody (Nos. 289, 290, 291, 298).
The words of the Choral are the fifth stanza of Paul Gerhardt’s Passiontide Hymn, “O Welt, sieh’ hier dein Leben,” first published in the 1647 (Berlin) edition of Johann Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica. Paul Gerhardt was born in 1607, at Grafenhainichen, near Wittenberg. At the age of fifty (1657) he became third deacon of the Church of St Nicolas, Berlin, during the reign of the Great Elector. For refusing to obey the Elector’s order to treat with moderation the differences between the Calvinist and Lutheran Churches, Gerhardt was deposed in 1666. Three years later (1669) he became archdeacon at Lubben. He died in 1676. After Luther Gerhardt is the most popular of the German hymn-writers. He was the author of 120 hymns, which were collected and published in ten “Dozens” by Johann G. Ebeling (see the “Christmas Oratorio,” No. 33), under the title Pauli Gerhardi Geistliche Andachten (Berlin, 1666-67):
English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 853.
Form. Simple (2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).