Saturday, March 05, 2016

"Jesu, Thou Joy of Man's Desiring" -- on the futures list for Clayville jam sessions?


This morning at Clayville, we played our improvised, all-by-ear version of Pachelbel's Canon in D and it sounded good to our ears -- as it always does. And it reminded me of the time several of my friends got together in a pickup old-time/bluegrass band in grad student days. It lasted a few months, if memory serves, and they got a few gigs playing for drinks and tips at bars around the UT campus. One of their songs was a banjo arrangement of "Jesu Thou Joy of Man's Desiring," the chorale from Bach's cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147.

No doubt it was a desecration, but I was learning to play the dulcimer at the time, and Jesu was one of the first melodies I worked out on the dulcimer -- another desecration, no doubt -- at least the first few measures up to where the melody wanders off into a chord progression the dulcimer can't get to.

All of which got me to thinking -- wouldn't it be fun to play "Jesu" at Clayville?

So here, to add to my ever-growing list of projects I may or may not get around to sometime, are some notes on "Jesu Thou Joy of Man's Desiring."

And some YouTube videos:

Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring-Christopher Parkening

Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring: fingerstyle guitar -- Joseph Sobol. arranged and played by Joseph Sobol on a custom Fylde Falstaff guitar. Thanks to Daniel Santiago of East Tennessee State University for the videography, and to Roger Bucknall of Fylde for the guitar.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Jesu, joy of man's desiring (BWV 147), The Choir of Somerville College, Oxford

Celtic Woman also have a typically hyped-up schmaltzathon of an arrangement at ... oh, hell, on second thought, if you want to hear it, you can Google it yourself.

Sheet music of a number of classical pieces, BTW, inculuding Grieg's "Morning" and a couple of others I want to learn, at

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