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lullaby, rhyme, almanac, Pennsylvania Dutch, Lee A. Waerner, Zodiac signs
A handwritten letter from Lee A. Waerner addressed to Alfred L. Shoemaker, dated February 26, 1948. Within, Waerner writes to provide Shoemaker with a Pennsylvania-Dutch lullaby and a Zodiac rhyme he heard as a child.
Lee A. Waerner
Alfred L. Shoemaker
I am an ardent reader of your column appearing in the Reading Eagle.
I’ll introduce myself first. My name is Lee Waerner age 19, and I am a nephew of the Gerry Hartman you mentioned in today’s column (2-25).
As a child, my mother and uncle taught me some rhymes which I still remember, and in which I think you might be interested. I will try to write them in “Dutch” to the best of my ability, as I have never attempted it before.
This is a lullaby.
Shlofe bublie shlofe,
Die mommie heid die shofe
Der daudie heid die rohda kie
Una kumpt met hame bis mory a frie
Another one I remember well is a rhyme designed, I suppose, to teach the signs of the Zodiac as they were depicted in the old almanacs:
Die kinner sin base,
Der weider der shtayed
Der ox der rendt,
Der grebbs der grendt
Die yung frau shprecht,
Der scorpio shticht
Der shtabuck shpringt
Der fish der schwimdt
Der wasserman giesdt
Der shitz der sheest
Die wog die galed
Der labe der brilled
I know of a few more rhymes myself and might be able to pick up some more from older acquaintances of mine. The same goes for “Hexerie” stories. I will only enclose these two this time because of my very inferior Dutch grammar and spelling. If you would care to have me submit some more rhymes and other folklore please let me know and I will supply all I can to the best of my ability.
I am deeply interested in your aim and think you have a cause that should be supported by every full-blooded “Dutch-man”.
If there is anything I can do for you just let me know.
I am yours
“So dutch as sauerkraut”
Lee A. Waerner
English and Pennsylvania German
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Waerner, Lee A., "Letter From Lee A. Waerner to Alfred L. Shoemaker, February 26, 1948" (1948). Alfred L. Shoemaker Folk Cultural Documents. 40.
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