This week’s Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs edition is Lob Song, a translation of a sixteenth century Amish hymn. Lob Song (Praise Song) was traditionally sang as the second hymn at every Amish worship service. It was written by Leonard Clock, a Mennonite minister from southern Germany. An old song book claims that Clock wrote “over 400 worthwhile and edifying songs.”

 

Last week marked the fifth anniversary of my father’s death. As a tribute to him, I sang the last verse of Lob Song at his funeral. The Amish tune I used, although extremely slow by modern standards, was not, however, the ‘Slow’ tune. If I remember right, Dad used to claim that Lob Song, sang properly and using the ‘slow tune’ took twenty-two minutes. (Actually I’m second-guessing myself and wondering if he said “twenty-seven minutes.”) Amish hymns achieve this feat by singing each syllable as though it were the line of a song.

 

The following translation is from Songs Of The Ausbund Vol. I, Song 131.

 

O God Father we praise you

And your goodness exalt,

Which you, O Lord so graciously

Have manifested to us anew,

And have brought us together, Lord,

To admonish us through Your Word,

Grant us grace to this

 

Open the mouth, Lord, of your servants,

Moreover grant them wisdom

That they might rightly speak your word,

Which ministers to a godly life

And is useful to your glory,

Give us hunger for such nourishment,

That is our desire.

 

Give our hearts understanding as well

Enlightenment here on earth,

That your word be engrained in us,

That we may become godly

And live in righteousness,

Heeding Your Word at all times,

So man remains undeceived.

 

Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom alone,

And the power altogether.

We praise you in the assembly,

Giving thanks to your name,

And beseech you from the depths of our hearts

That you would be with us at this hour

Through Jesus Christ, Amen.