Some of my most memorable moments among the Plain people has been listening to yodeling among the Amish in the Berne, Indiana area. Lovina Eicher and her family are steeped in the traditions of yodeling. It's a haunting harmony that is beautiful and stirring. I'll never forget the first time I heard yodeling, as delivered by the late Elizabeth Coblentz and her daughters. Not all Amish yodel. It's something that is practicing by the Amish who have a Swiss lineage. As time and assimilation take their toll, the tradition has gradually been ebbing among the younger generations. I wanted to share with you some examples of beautiful Swiss Amish style yodeling on today's YouTube Friday. There are several styles and examples of yodeling that I would like to share with you:
STYLE ONE: This is a 2-minute click of Paul and Martha Miller displaying their Swiss style of yodeling. The harmony is a little different than what I've experienced. Miller is not a typical Swiss lineage name (although I don't know what the wife's maiden name is or where this couple is from) so that may explain the slightly different sound. It's a little faster-paced than what I am used to. Martha's yodeling is closest to what I recognize from my time in Berne.
STYLE TWO: I am not certain where this video was taken and geography makes all the difference when it comes to yodeling. This sounds like a mash-up of gospel music and Swiss yodeling. The yodeling parts are quite consistent, though, with what I have been used to hearing in the Berne, Indiana. And traditional gospel hymns have made their way into mainstream Amish culture where they have been infused with the yodeling influence. Click here to listen.
STYLE THREE: This woman seems like a real treasure, just a total sweetheart who you'd want as your grandmother. To my eye it looks as if she was raised Amish and may even still consider herself Amish but probably lives with one of her children who is no longer part of the faith. Just a guess, I don't know that. Her name is Katie Troyer and she is 90 and lives in Muddy Pond, Tennessee. In these videos she was visiting her daughter in Texas. Maybe someone watching this knows more about her. Either way, listening to her is listening to history harmony. Quite fascinating. This is clip one, a short 3-minute clip of her yodeling. The woman sings and yodels more and tells a bit more about herself here in this 10 minute video.
STYLE FOUR: This is just silly. Highly doubt this girl is actually Amish. But if you compare this type of yodeling (pop culture) to the kind in the previous videos you can pick up on the difference.