"Oh, sacred head, sore wounded"

Christ crowned with thorns (15th century)
Public DomainChrist crowned with thorns (15th century) - Credit: Aelbrecht Bouts
Oh, sacred head, sore wounded is the title and opening line of a Christian Passion hymn written in the Middle Ages, translated to English in this translation in 1830.  Whilst the original music for the hymn was written around 1600, it was rearranged by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) with five of the verses as part of his St Matthew Passion (1727).  

Bach's full work sets two chapters of St Matthew's Gospel, around the crucifix ion, to music in what is considered a masterpiece of sacred classical composition.  He went on to create musical settings for the remaining three gospels, but only St Matthew and St John now survive.

In yet another reference to the crucifixion, the song is an address to Christ upon the cross.  In it, the singer laments his own faults, regrets Christ's suffering, and begs to stay close to him after his own death.