Translation: “Bi, a Iosa, im’ Chroidh-se”

A traditional, anonymous Irish devotional poem/song that’s better known today as “Bi Iosa im’ Chroise”, and sung to an entirely different tune. In the old Danta De hymnal, it was set to “The Star”, which is tune #783 in Joyce’s Old Irish Folk Music and Songs.

Bí, a Íosa, im’ chroídh-se i gcuimhne gach uair,
Bí, a Íosa, im’ chroídh-se le h-aithrighe go luath,
Bí, a Íosa, im’ chroídh-se le cumann go buan,
ó, a Íosa, ‘Dhé dhílis, ná sgar, Thusa, uaim.

Gan Íosa mo smuainte ní thaithnigheann liom féin,
Gan Íosa mo sgríobhinn, no foghar mo bhéil;
Gan Íosa mo ghníomha ní maith in san tsaoghal,
ó, a Íosa, ‘Dhé dhílis, bí romham is am dhéidh.

‘Sé Íosa mo Rí-se, mo Chara is mo ghrádh;
‘Sé Íosa mo dhídean ar pheacaidh is ar bhás,
‘Sé Íosa mo aoibhneas, mo sgáthán do ghnáth,
A’s, a Íosa, ‘Dhé dhilis, ná sgar uaim go bráth.

Bí, a Íosa, go síorraídhe im’ chroídh-se is im’ bhéal,
Bí, a Íosa, go síorraídhe im’ thuigse mar an gcéadn’,
Bí, a Íosa, go síorraídhe im’ mheabhair mar léigheann,
ó, a Íosa, ‘Dhé dhílis, ná fág mé liom féin.

Trans: Maureen S. O’Brien, 1/3/10

Be, o Jesus, in my heart, And each hour, be recalled.
Be, o Jesus, in my heart, For repentance when I fall.
Be, o Jesus, in my heart, Be my companion constantly;
So, o Jesus, faithful God, Oh never, never part from me.

Without Jesus, all my thoughts Are unpleasant ones for me.
Without Jesus, all I write Dies in my mouth silently.
Without Jesus, all I do Does nothing good in life, I find.
So, o Jesus, faithful God, Go both before me and behind.

He is Jesus, my dear King, My beloved and my friend.
He is Jesus, my defense; Sin and death — He makes them end.
He is Jesus, my delight, Mirror to show me my true face.
So, o Jesus, faithful God, Oh never leave me; give me grace.

Be, o Jesus, evermore In my mouth and in my heart.
Be, o Jesus, evermore Also in my mind and thought.
Be, o Jesus, evermore In all I learn and all I’m shown.
So, o Jesus, faithful God, Do not maroon me here alone.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Translation: “Bi, a Iosa, im’ Chroidh-se”

  1. David Atkinson

    I’ve spent a little time fitting these words to the tune. Has it already been done and published?

  2. Destiny Woods

    A very belated reply… but I was just looking tonight to see if there was a translation of this that actually fit the tune, and I saw your comment. Do you have it written up anywhere that I could access, or should I just work on it myself? I am always needing songs I can sing for a special music selection at church and this tune is hauntingly beautiful and the words powerful. You can email me at my first name, then the letter J, then last name, at gmail.com.

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