Wedding Music

Be Thou With Them

A touching mood pervades this contrafactum of a Bach aria.

Full Title Be thou with them by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Notes This is clever: the music is "If thou are near" (Bist du bei mir), a well known song by Bach, but with new words, appropriate for a wedding. An aria in the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach, traditionally attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach, but the melody is part of Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel’s opera Diomedes, performed in Bayreuth in 1718, and thought lost until rediscovered in 2000 in Kiev.

A contrafactum is a song to which new words have been fitted.


Performers required

  • Solo Singer accompanied by Organ or Piano
  • Choir accompanied by Organ or Piano

Source of printed music My arrangement for choir.

Be thou with them, dear Lord and Father,
their lives and souls dost thou unite.
O how blest are they, thy children,
when in thy spirit, living, moving,
they grow in love before thy sight.

© Fergus Black

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