IF GOD WERE NOT BESIDE US NOW – By Martin Luther 1524
From Martin Luther: Hymns, Ballads, Chants, Truth page 17-18:
Luther’s friend Justus Jonas in 1524 wrote an eight-stanza paraphrase of Psalm 124. In contrast to the smooth-flowing style of Jonas, Luther also undertook the paraphrasing of the same psalm, his being shorter, more rugged, and closer to the text of the psalm. After Luther’s version was published in Walter’s Wittenberg hymnal of 1524, both his and Jonas’ paraphrases were included in early Lutheran hymnals. Walter’s tune is the one most associated with this text.
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“A New Song Shall Now Be Begun” – Composed by Martin Luther 1523
From Martin Luther: Hymns, Ballads, Chants, Truth page 8-13:
On July 1, 1523, the infant Reformation saw executed in the Brussels market place Heinrich Voes and Johann Esch, two Belgian Augustinian monks and followers of Luther. Since wandering minstrels and their ballads served as the mass media of the day, Luther wrote this first hymn of the Reformation as a ballad recounting the martyrdom of these witnesses. First appearing in 1523 in broadsheet for, it, along with Luther’s tune, was published in Johann Walter’s 1524 Wittenberg hymnal.
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