From deep distress to thee I pray

From deep distress to thee I pray

Author: Martin Luther
Published in 8 hymnals

Author: Martin Luther

Luther, Martin, born at Eisleben, Nov. 10, 1483; entered the University of Erfurt, 1501 (B.A. 1502, M.A.. 1503); became an Augustinian monk, 1505; ordained priest, 1507; appointed Professor at the University of Wittenberg, 1508, and in 1512 D.D.; published his 95 Theses, 1517; and burnt the Papal Bull which had condemned them, 1520; attended the Diet of Worms, 1521; translated the Bible into German, 1521-34; and died at Eisleben, Feb. 18, 1546. The details of his life and of his work as a reformer are accessible to English readers in a great variety of forms. Luther had a huge influence on German hymnody. i. Hymn Books. 1. Ellich cristlich lider Lobgesang un Psalm. Wittenberg, 1524. [Hamburg Library.] This contains 8 German h… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: From deep distress to thee I pray
Author: Martin Luther


Aus tiefer Woth schrei ich zu dir. Martin Luther. [Ps. cxxx.] This beautiful, though free, version of Ps. cxxx. was written in 1523. Ps. cxxx. was a great favourite with Luther, one of those he called Pauline Psalms —the others being Ps. xxxii., li., and cxliii. With its versification he took special pains, and the final result ranks with the finest of German Psalm versions. It first appeared in 4 stanzas of 7 lines in Etlich cristlich lider, Wittenberg, 1524, and in Eyn Enchiridion, Erfurt, 1524. The form now in use considerably altered, and with stanza ii. rewritten as ii., iii., appeared in the Geystliche gesangk Buchleyn, Wittenberg, 1524, in 5 stanzas was included as No. 1 in Luther's Christliche Geseng zum Begrebnis, Wittenberg, 1542, and since in almost all German hymn-books, as recently in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851, No. 362. Both forms are included in Wackernagel’s D. Kirchenlied, iii. pp. 7-8, and in Schircks's ed. of Luther's Geistliche Lieder, 1854, pp. 66-68.
The fine melody (in the Irish Church Hymnal called De profundis; elsewhere, Luther's 130th, &c.) is possibly by Luther, and first appeared, with the 5 stanza form, in 1524.
The hymn was sung, May 9, 1525, at the funeral of the Elector Friedrich the Wise in the Court church at Wittenberg; by the weeping multitude at Halle when, on Feb. 20, 1546, Luther's body was being taken to its last resting-place at Wittenberg; and again as the last hymn in the Cathedral at Strasburg before the city was captured by the French in 1681. Stanza v. comforted the last hours of Christian, Elector of Saxony, 1591, of Johann Georg L, Elector of Saxony, 1656, and of King Friedrich I. of Prussia, 1723 (Koch, viii. 211-216).
Translations in common use:—

2. From deep distress to Thee I pray. In full by Dr. H. Mills in his Horae Germanicae, 1845 (1856, p. 71). Thence as No. 70 in the Lutheran General Synod's Collection, 1850-52, and as No. 464 in Temple Melodies, N. Y., 1851. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

-- Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 8 of 8)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Collection of Hymns for Public and Private Worship. 4th ed. #d79
Compilation of Hymns for the Use of the Churches of the Christian Union #d197
Hymns, Selected and Original, for Public and Private Worship, published by General Synod for the Evangelical Lutheran Church. 68th ed. (8th rev. ed.) #d212
Hymns: original and selected, for public and private worship in the Evangelical Lutheran Church (16th rev. ed.) #70Page Scan
Hymns: selected and original, for public and private worship (4th ed. 3rd rev. ed.) #70Page Scan
Hymns: selected and original, for public and private worship (60th ed., 1st rev. ed.) #70Page Scan
Temple Melodies: a collection of about two hundred popular tunes, adapted to nearly five hundred favorite hymns, selected with special reference to public, social, and private worship #464Page Scan
The Mozart Collection of Sacred Music: containing melodies, chorals, anthems and chants, harmonized in four parts; together with the celebrated Christus and Miserere by ZIngarelli #69Page Scan