Touch of Dutch 10/17



Der letscht Sunndaag vum Oktower waar immer Reformations-sunndaag in die alde Deitsche Karriche. [Heitesdaags iss es noch gfeiert warre in deel Karriche.] Viele Zeide hen sie em Martin Luther sei „Ein Feste Burg ist unser Gott“ in Hoch Deitsch gsunge datt in dem Gottesdinscht. Der Florence Baver ihre Drupp, Die Bushkill Fersammling, hen en Karrichlied Bichli ghatt un sell Lied waar drin. Awwer es waar in unser Deitch vum William H. Larose iwwersetzt warre, un ich wa es schreiwe dodrin:

„En mechdich Feschtung iss der Gott“


En mechd_ich Fescht_ung iss der Gott,
en Boll_werk, dass net fehl_t.
Er scheht uns bei darr_ich der Fluss,
as die Mensch_heit be_gwell_t.
Der Deiw_el gwehlt uns so, er will uns schaad_e do;
Sei Graft un G’walt is gross, mir sin vun ihm ver_hasst.
Uff Erd iss net sei Gleich_heit.

Gott loss uns ken Zeit ganz a_llee;
A_llee kent mer net lew_e.
Deet net der recht Mann bei uns schteh, der Mann bei Gott uns geww_e.
Froog doch net, wer iss des; des iss Ye_sus Grischd_us.
En gross_er Droscht iss Er, fer e_wich iss Er Herr.
Der Kriek muss Er ge_winn_e.

Der Welt iss voll mit Schlecht_ich_keit, des meecht uns all ver_nichd_e.
‚Siss uns net bang die Waahr_heit schteht, fer des iss Gott_es Will_e.
Der Deiw_el, der iss mien, mir hen ken F’richt fer ihn.
Sei Zann macht uns net bang, end_lich schteht er net lang.
Ee glee Wart leegt ihn nidd_er.

Es Wart iss grees_er wie die Welt, ken Dank zu ihn_e gheer_t.
Der Geischt un Sohn iss bei uns gschtellt, dar’ch ihn, wo mit uns seid_t.  Losst Godds un Freind_schaft geh, des erd_lich Lew_e aa.
Der Kar_’ber maag ver_geh, die Waahr_heit dutt noch schteh.
Sei Keen_ich_reich schteht e_wich.

Reformation Sunday


The last Sunday of October was always Reformation Sunday in the old ‘Dutch’ churches.  [Today it is still commemorated in many churches.]  Many times they sang Martin Luther’s “A mighty Fortress [strong castle] is our God” in High German in that worship service.  Florence Baver’s group, The Bushkill Fersammling, had a little hymn book and that song was included.  But therein it was translated in our Dutch by William H. Larose, and I will include it in this article.

“A mighty Fortress is our God”


A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing;
Our shelter, He, amid the flood, Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe, Doth seek to work us woe.
His craft and pow’r are great, And armed with cruel hate.
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, The Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?  Christ Jesus, it is He.
Lord Sabaoth, His name, From age to age the same.
And He must win the battle.

And tho’ this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim – We tremble not for him.
His rage we can endure, For lo! his doom is sure;
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly pow’rs – No thanks to them – abideth.
The Spirit and the gifts are ours, Thro’ Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also;
The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still.
His kingdom is forever.

[The underscore “_” was in the original Dutch translation and I kept it here to show how words are divided when singing.  In hymn metrics, the English translation by Frederic Hedge (which is the one used here) is listed as, where each pair of numbers, 87, for example, represents a two line couplet with eight syllables in the first line and seven in the following line.  The final line, the last ‘7’, stands by itself.  By dividing the words into their syllables, you can see that the Dutch maintains that metric pattern, with some minor tweaking. The poetic metrics, the rhythmic structure of each line, is a more complicated matter and basically beyond me, even though I note that the endings of some of the lines in the Dutch do not rhyme, as their corresponding English ones and also the type of metric foot seems to vary from the English version.]

-Larry Gradwohl


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