Wacht auf, ihr Christen alle

Meter: 7.6. 7.6. D (Iambic)
Source: Souterliedekens, Antwerp, 1540

Zahn No. 5372

Associated Text: Rejoice, All Ye Believers (Ermuntert euch, ihr Frommen)

This melody appeared in the Souterliedekens, Antwerp, 1540, an influential Dutch metrical psalter (see Wikipedia article here), where it was associated with a metrical setting of Psalm 68, “O God wilt my salverē.” There the melody is identified as an existing secular tune, “Waer is mijn alder liefste.” The melody was later joined to the Low German hymn “Waket up, gy Christen alle,” and reworked a number of times. What would become the most standard form of the melody appeared in Franz Eler’s Cantica Sacra, 1588, a scan of which is available here. The text was later rendered in High German as “Wacht auf, ihr Christen alle,” from which the tune derives its present name. A translation of that text by Matthew Carver is available here. Salomon Kümerle’s Encyklopädie der evangelischen Kirchenmusik provides a convenient comparison between different forms of the melody here.