:Flung to the heedless winds

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Flung to the heedless winds
Title Flung to the heedless winds
Author Martin Luther (German)
John A. Mess­en­ger, 1843 (English)
Composer Ma­ria C. Tid­de­man, 1875
Published 1843
Orig. Key D
Orig. Language German
Melody IBStone
1st Line German: Ein neu­es Lied wir he­ben an
English: Flung to the heedless winds
Scriptures Rev 17:6


"Flung to the Heedless Winds" was written by Martin Luther on June 30, 1523 to commemorate the martyrdom of two young Belgian Augustinian monks.[1]

Back Story

On the following day, July 1, 1523, the infant Reformation saw burned at the stake in the Brussels market place both Heinrich Voes and Johann Esch. Since wandering minstrels and their ballads served as the mass media of the day, Luther wrote this first hymn of the Reformation as a ballad recounting the martyrdom of these witnesses. First appearing in 1523 in broadsheet for, it, along with Luther’s tune, was published in Johann Walter’s 1524 Wittenberg hymnal.[1]

Esch and Voes were the very first martyrs of the Reformation. When Martin Luther heard of their deaths, he responded by writing his very first hymn, Ein neues Lied wir heben an (Now Shall a New Song Be Begun, aka With Help of God I Fain Would Tell), which appears in The Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (with an unrelated nineteenth-century text) as Flung To the Heedless Winds.


  1. Flung to the heedless winds,
    Or on the waters cast,
    The martyrs’ ashes, watched,
    Shall gathered be at last.
  2. And from that scattered dust,
    Around us and abroad,
    Shall spring a plenteous seed,
    Of witnesses for God.

  3. The Father hath received,
    Their latest living breath,
    And vain is Satan’s boast,
    Of victory in their death.

  4. Still, still, though dead, they speak,
    And, trumpet tongued, proclaim,
    To many a wakening land,
    The one availing Name.


Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #556


  1. 1.0 1.1 Julian, John, ed., A Dictionary of Hymnology: Setting forth the Origin and History of Christian Hymns of all Ages and Nations<cite>, Second revised edition, 2 vols., n.p., 1907, reprint, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1957, 1:322–25</span> </li> </ol>

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