Martin Luther and “Tavern Music”

Way back in 2011 I posted this concerning Luther’s, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” With Reformation Day coming up in a few weeks I thought it might be appropriate to repost it.

The Rankin File

“If I had a dollar for every time I have heard that Martin Luther used tavern music for his hymns and that ‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God’ was a drinking song, I would be a wealthy man. Yet such assertions are simply not true. These are falsehoods perpetrated on the evangelical world.” Thus, Paul S. Jones begins his chapter entitled, “Luther and the Bar Song: The Truth, Please!” in his excellent 2006 work, Singing and Making Music: Issues in Church Music Today.

Jones clearly dispels the myth that EIN’ FESTE BURG was a popular tavern song that Luther “stole” for the tune of his great hymn. He also puts to death the popular belief that Luther quipped, “Why should the Devil have all the good music?” (There is no record that he ever said that)

What is the truth concerning “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God?” According to…

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