My sister, Henrietta lives in Amish country, and sometimes I go to see her. I particularly like to go in April and May – though this year there may be snow through June. Manure in the fields smells horrid, but it’s the sweetest horrid smell I know. I also enjoy the hex signs on barns and occasionally seeing a black buggy with the incongruous orange triangle on the back.
Speaking of incongruous, have you ever seen Amish on rollerblades? It’s an accepted mode of travel according to their custom, and a real hoot to come across!
Back when Cral and I did the TV show, one of our songs was about such people who have the courage to be so different, and so add a bland but important spice to all of our lives. The tune is kind of like I Love Paris except the sizzles part, and the verses are completely different...
The tune is less unlike I Love Paris
than it's unlike many other tunes like Mary Had a Little Lamb
and Take a Chance on Me by ABBA.
I Like the Amish
words by Headley Hauser
tune stolen unfaithfully
I like the Amish in the Spring-time
And those hearty Quakers in the Fall
The Mennonites so jaunty in the Summer
I’m sad that there’s no Shakers left to call
I like carpentry with Gunther
I’m giddy when I sew with Winifred
You’ve never partied till you’ve met the Swensons
They’re wild enough to paint the whole barn red
Now Inga, she was such a rebel
With all she did, she risked the elder’s glower
She once took off racing on the plow horse
Got up to over seven miles an hour
Herman, he was quite the vain one
And all admit his wardrobe had no lack
Once he went parading through the pasture
Dressed in nearly every shade of black
After the show ended, one of my two watchers emailed me to tell me that there were indeed a few Shakers up in Maine still. Of course by then I had my show’s cancellation to be sad about, but it was some consolation.
Here’s today’s video - which due to some foul-up on my end is related to the subject - Wield Al does a song about the Amish that also doesn't much resemble I Love Paris.