The title sums it up: I often hear it said during the debates on liturgy and music styles that are appropriate for worship that even Luther used common bar tunes (equivalent to days pop songs) for his hymns. Is this true?
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Nope, it's not, actually. Luther used a form of music "bar form", but he was actually opposed to use of common tunes (like Calvin) for his hymns. The following is from an essay called "Major Forms of BS" by T. David Gordon:
Additionally, one of the most famous songs set to a drinking song is "The Star Spangled Banner."
Finally, back to Luther. While he did not set sacred music to drinking songs, he is credited with saying, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
Update: At least according to this source I appear to have fallen for a popular mis-attribution. That said, it is a fairly common one.