Friday, July 8, 2016
The little Lieder Sammlung (Song Collection) was a well used and loved songbook. Unlike most other Amish communities who used it mostly for the youth Sunday evening hymn singings, our community also used them as their church songbooks, and our schools used them once a week on our German days.
I got my first one when I was seven and beginning to be able to read German.
I got a new one around my 16th birthday and the time I started attending the Sunday hymn singings. As was tradition in some communities, I added a little more than just my name inside the front cover. Sad how time makes the colors of the artwork fade while at the same time yellows the pages.
Every hymn singing started off with the song on page 227 and after two hours of singing it would end with one of the boys announcing page 312.
After the song was over the boys would tuck their songbooks into a pocket in their vest and head outside to hitch their horses to the buggies, while the girls visited for a little while before heading outside to wait for their ride to drive up. It was a bit challenging to be able to tell all the horse and buggies apart in the dark, but I was one of the lucky girls who managed to always make it onto the right buggy.
The days of transporting it in the pocket of my dress on the way to and from the singings are over, but the memories remain, and every once in a while I'll sing the songs again.