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November 23, 2008

A humorous look at Amish church singing

Ira Wagler, who grew up Amish in Aylmer, Ontario, explains in a humorous and informative post the ins and outs of Sunday singing in Amish church

An excerpt about the the second song sung at all Amish church services:

Years ago, before my time, in Aylmer, a stranger attended church one Sunday. At Nicky Stoltzfus, the preacher’s place. The stranger was from a very conservative, backwards community (probably had a mustache, even). No name was ever attached to the tale, so he remains anonymous. As was customary, he was asked to lead the Lob Song. He agreed, quite humbly, I’m sure, and promptly launched into a long, slow drawn-out “OOooOOoo.”

One of the youth suddenly had to “go” out to the barn. He got up, walked out, did his business and returned to his seat on the backless bench where his peers sat, gaping. The stranger was just finishing the first syllable of the first line. He’d stretched it out for the several minutes the youth was outside.

The stranger’s name was not legend, but the story was. I wasn’t there, or was too young to remember, so I can’t testify to the actual truth of the tale. The details may have been exaggerated just a bit. But I’d guess the Lob Song took about forty minutes to sing that morning.

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