Benedicam Domino (Robert Johnson)

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  • (Posted 2016-10-18)  CPDL #41475:   
Editor: Daisy Gibbs (submitted 2016-10-18).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 79 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Transposed up a tone from the original. This edition has been reconstructed from the surviving sources: two treble parts, a bass part which lacks the final stanza, a keyboard arrangement (the 'Mulliner' book) and a lute arrangement of the lower three parts. The parallel fifths and octaves are original, unfortunately.

General Information

Title: Benedicam Domino
Composer: Robert Johnson

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredAnthem

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published:
Description: This macaronic carol was probably originally composed either in the last years of Henry VIII or under Edward VI. The earliest source, which dates from the 1540s-1550s, lacks the final stanza which prays for 'Queen Elizabeth' and which survives only in sources of the 1560s and later.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English and Latin.png Latin text

Benedicam Domino in omni tempore: semper laus eius in ore meo.

O Lord with all my heart and mind I will give laud and praise to thee,
thou art so loving and so kind thy majesty preserved me
when I was thrall and full of woe.
Therefore semper laus eius in ore meo.

I was in care and heaviness, my enemies were so full of grudge,
they thought their power should me oppress
but thou O God wast my refuge,
thy mercy was with me also.
Therefore semper laus eius in ore meo.

Let us give laud to God most high,
and for Queen Elizabeth let us pray,
that she may reign to thy glory:
we may rejoice both night and day
to praise his name wherever we go:
laus eius in ore meo.