Maurice Manning: A Mighty Fortress is Our God

Maurice Manning
I liked the words, translated into a version of English that was more or less Victorian, and must have seemed elevated to my young ears. But I liked much more the strange rhythm of the hymn. There is such a brief pause between the phrases they nearly fall on top of each other. While the melody moves forward it also jumps or bumps—it isn’t a sweet or smooth movement. I can think this way as an adult; as a youngster I expect I just noted there was something strange in the music of this hymn and I liked it for that. And “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” is a melody I’ve hummed to myself often through the years.