“No Me Mueve, Mi Dios”

The lyrics are by an anonymous poet who wrote during Spain’s post-reconquest/colonial period. They have been attributed to St. Juan of Avila, Br. Miguel de Guevara, Lope de Vega, St. Teresa of Avila, etc. The poem is called “Soneto a Cristo crucificado” (Sonnet to Christ Crucified), and whoever it’s by, it’s a great poem of Spanish literature. (And isn’t it annoying, how we don’t learn this stuff even if we take Spanish lit classes in college? Bah.)

Here’s a setting by Domenico Mazzocchi (1592-1665). The singing’s a tad off in places, but that’s probably nerves and difficulty (or the recording being misleading). Anyway, it’s proof of concept.

Apparently there used to be a popular hymn version in the Philippines, but I haven’t found that for sure. Possibly this setting from a Choral Sacred Music group in Tarazona, Spain, may be it.

So of course there’s a contemporary song version on YouTube. Several, all different. It’s a very good song text for setting. Here’s more of an art song version, from Costa Rica. Here’s a more folk setting from the Dominican Republic.

No me mueve, mi Dios, para quererte
El cielo que me tienes prometido
Ni me mueve el infierno tan temido
Para dejar por eso de ofenderte.

[It doesn’t move me, my God, to desire you –
The Heaven that you have promised me.
Nor does the Hell, so much feared, move me
To leave this by which I offend you.]

Tú me mueves, Señor, muéveme el verte
Clavado en una cruz y escarnecido;
Muéveme ver tu cuerpo tan herido,
Mueveme tus afrentas y tu muerte.

[You move me, Lord; the seeing you moves me,
Nailed on a cross and mocked.
It moves me to see your body so injured,
It moves me, the insults [against you] and your death.]

Muéveme, en fin, tu amor, y en tal manera,
Que, aunque no hubiera cielo, yo te amara,
Y, aunque no hubiera infierno te temiera.
No tienes que me dar porque te quiera;
Pues, aunque cuanto espero no esperara,
Lo mismo que te quiero te quisiera.

[In the end, what moves me is your love; and in such a manner
That even if there’d been no heaven, I’d’ve loved you,
And even if there’d been no Hell, I’d’ve feared you.
You do not have to give to me, because I would love you.
Then, even if I’d not have hoped how much I hope,
I’d’ve desired you the same that I desire you.]

Three poetic translations into English.
Translation by Alix Ingber.

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