Ach bleib bei uns

Meter: 8.8. 8.8.
Source: Geistliche Lieder D. Martini Lutheri, Leipzig, 1589
Alternate Name: Dankt dem Herrn heut
Proper Text: Lord Jesus Christ, with Us Abide (Ach bleib bei uns Herr Jesu Christ)

Associated Texts

Zahn No. 439

The tune “Ach bleib bei uns” was originally associated with Nikolaus Hermann’s text “Thank Ye the Lord Now and Always (Danket dem Herrn heut und allzeit),” and was in fact known for some time by the name “Dankt dem Herrn heut.” The first extant appearance of the whole tune is as the alto part in a four-part setting by Sethus Calvisius, Hymni sacri Latini et germanici, Erfurt, 1594. The first line of Calvisius’s alto part, however, had already appeared in a hymnal whose full title was Geistliche Lieder D. Martini Lutheri und anderer frommen Christen. Sampt den Responsoriis und Hymnis mit unterschiedlichen Registern, Leipzig, 1589, which provided only the first lines of the tunes for most of its hymns. The tune’s incomplete appearance in this hymnal is a sign that it was by that time already well known as an independent melody. Soon after its appearance in Calvisius, the tune began to appear frequently as the soprano melody in subsequent hymnals.

When the text “Lord Jesus Christ, with Us Abide (Ach bleib bei uns Herr Jesu Christ)” first appeared in its present form in 1611, the associated tune was “Erhalt uns Herr.” Eventually, however, the tune from Hermann’s hymn won out, probably due to a longstanding association between the two hymns: the opening stanza of “Ach bleib bei uns Herr Jesu Christ” originally appeared as stanza 8 of “Dankt dem Herrn heut und allezeit.”