Batter My Heart
A setting of one of John Donne’s Holy Sonnets for mixed chorus with piano accompaniment.

Duration: 5' 35"
Difficulty: 4/5

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Voicing/Instrumentation
Mixed Chorus (divisi, no solos)
Piano
Text
Batter my heart, three-person'd God
from Holy Sonnets
John Donne (1572–1631)

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
Commission & Performance History
Batter My Heart was commissioned by John Dickson and the Louisiana State University A Cappella Choir. It was presented on 11 March 2016 at an interest session, “The Music of J.A.C. Redford,” for the 2016 regional conference of the Southern Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Batter My Heart was first performed publicly on 24 April 2016 at the First United Methodist Church, Baton Rouge, LA. In August 2016, John Dickson and the choir performed the work at Winchester Cathedral for the Gala Concert of the Association of British Choral Directors (ABCD).