Category Archives: Personal

A Guide for Union Church Conversations

Prepared for Use by the Commission on the Welfare of the Union Church (no date)


The settlement of America and in particular of Pennsylvania began the process of “the changing scene”. From the time our Pennsylvania German ancestors chopped down the first trees and out of hewn logs built their rude homes, change has been a part of our American way of life. Now with the building of great highways, huge shopping centers and in some areas entire new communities the rate of change has accelerated.

Our forefathers were pioneers. They left the shores of Europe to establish new homes in a strange land. Today we often look backward and long for the days of the pioneers. In fact, in the church, we often try to keep all things exactly as they were in the day of the pioneer. Our fathers would be disappointed in us. They would want us to be pioneers in our own day as they were in theirs. They not only accepted change in life, but they brought about change. The disappearance of the wilderness and the appearance of villages, towns and cities were directly the result of their work.

In the middle seventeen hundreds in the midst of developing of Penn’s Woods, the German Lutheran and Reformed settlers began to form and build the Union Churches that we know today. There were few pastors available and the German immigrants were poor. The faith that was kindled in their hearts in the Fatherland was strong. They brought along with their Bibles and catechisms the desire for worship and education in the faith. Soon small congregations gathered together in the crossroads communities. A pastor visited every four to eight weeks.

Soon the people discovered that if they had a common house of worship they could afford to build one. They also discovered by attending each other’s services they could worship twice month rather than once a month. The Union Church, then, was born out of economic necessity rather than out of a sense of mission that the Lord has wanted us to be one church. Each denomination brought its own catechism and tradition.

The small congregations grew stronger and ministers became more plentiful. Some union Churches began to dissolve that each might call its own minister and reach out to a community where population was slowly but surely growing in numbers. Others have maintained the union to this day. They have found that it is cheaper to share a building and in most cases share a pastor with two or more congregations of the same denomination.

Scientific advance has brought rapid change in the life of the people of Pennsylvania which is unique in that it has aided in the increase of an already large production of farm produce, and yet at the same time has made the state an urbanized industrial area which leads the country in manufacturing. All this has occurred as the nation has passed from the age of the gasoline engine through the atomic age to the space age. While seemingly the church has changed little, there are many town and country churches, however, that have met the challenge of change by making adjustments in parish boundaries and in the ministry to the community through ecumenical cooperation.

Pennsylvania has increased in population from 10,498,012 in 1950 to 11,319,366 in 1960. The increase from 1960 to 1970 is expected to be even greater. In this period of expansion the membership of most Union Churches has not increased with the population growth.

On the American scene the church has been the institution most reluctant to change. Systems, methods, and ideas in many cases are as they were generations ago. One often hears the statement, “If it was good enough for my grandfather, it is good enough for me.” The present generation needs to recover the spilt of the pioneer. Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers would not have made the “good enough” statement. They felt the methods of the day were not good enough. Therefore, they left their homeland and sought a new life in a new land. They looked forward and not backward. They call us to look forward.

Change is a vital part of the Christian faith. Our Lord has said, “Put off the old man and put on the new.” Indeed, His resurrection was to new life. We look to a pioneering ministry not based on economic necessity for the Union Church, but rather for a ministry unto newness of life through the risen Christ who is the head of the church.


Change which had become a pattern for American life accelerated greatly after the Second World War. New factories, new highways, new people and in some areas even new communities increased the pressure on the Union Church to submit to change. Potential members began to pass the Union Church and seek the active program of the one denomination church rather than adjust themselves to an alternating schedule for worship, a church school that may change its curriculum every two or three years, and a limited schedule of lay activities.

To help pastors, councils and consistories who then, even as now, faced changes that at times seemed overwhelming, representatives of synods of the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical and Reformed Church, now United Church of Christ, met in Reading, Pa. on April 13, 1945 and formulated six principles for the Union Church. On November 23, 1948, following an open meeting of pastors and laymen of both denominations which took place at Red Church near Schuylkill Haven on November 4, 1948, “The Commission on the Welfare of the Union Church” was formed.

The purpose of The Commission is to study the life and work of the Union Church so that there can be offered counsel and guidance for administration, worship, long-range planning and interdenominational relationships. To this end The Commission has provided for consultants who work directly with the congregations through a study committee. The Consultant for the Eastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Lutheran Church is the Rev. Fred S. Blank, Assistant to the President of the Synod and for Central Pennsylvania Synod of the Lutheran Church, the Rev. Martin L. Tozer, D.D., Director of Home Missions. The Consultants for the United Church of Christ are the Rev. Earl R. Marks, Assistant Conference minister of Penn Northeast Conference, the Rev. John C. Shetler, D.D., Assistant to the Conference Minister of the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference, and the Rev. Richard H. Whitney, Assistant to the President of Penn Central Conference.

As of January 1, 1968 there were 149 Union Churches in Pennsylvania and Maryland. They are divided among the Lutheran Synods as follows: Eastern Pennsylvania Synod 98, Central Pennsylvania Synod 45 and Maryland 6. The distribution among the United Church Conferences is as follows: Penn Northeast 54, Pennsylvania Southeast 44, Penn Central 43, Penn West 2 and Central Atlantic 6. Approximately 40% of these churches are in process of negotiation with the consultants.

The consultants enter into negotiations with a Union Church upon invitation of the council or consistory and the first meeting for the purpose of explaining the work of The Commission is a joint meeting of the council and consistory. The consultants do not come to tell a congregation what to do, but to assist and guide the local representatives in their own study, and planning. Consultants are always available to discuss any Union Church situation with pastors, official boards or congregations even though a study committee may not be in process. Union Church negotiations normally take from two to four years.


There are several alternatives before all Union Churches at all times. When consultations on the welfare of the Union Church take place, these must be considered. They are:

1. Make no change. Maintain the status quo.

2. Make some minor change and/or adjustments). For example – each congregation conduct a worship service every week; make improvements) in the Christian Education Program; adjust the charge or parish alignment; etc.

3. Enter into a self-study using forms prepared for the Union Church. Each congregation’s study committee prepares its own self-study and shares findings with the study committee members of the other congregation. The study committee discusses the implications of the findings at a regular meeting.

4. Dissolve the union relationship.

a. One congregation dissolves in order for its members to unite with the denomination of the other congregation. This makes possible a new congregation of one denomination. The Lutheran Church in America and the United Church of Christ have an understanding whereby the equity rights are transferred from the dissolving congregation to the new congregation by the Conference or Synod, without financial consideration. At times there may be an imbalance in a particular area but across the state and over a longer period of time balance is maintained. This balance may be not only in the number of congregations but also in the number of members in the congregations. The dissolution of one of the congregations in one area will be matched with the dissolution of a congregation of the other denomination in another area.

b. One congregation dissolves, moves out, and erects its own church building. When church relocation is involved, it is important to secure proper approval by the Conference or Synod and the Pennsylvania Council of Churches to assure adequate planning for overall community churching and elimination of unhealthy competition.

c. One congregation dissolves and unites with another of the same denomination nearby.

d. When two Union Churches in close proximity are involved, by mutual consent both congregations can consolidate so that one congregation of each denomination results. This can be effected by one of two (2) methods:

(1) Consolidation within a building – the members of one congregation unite with the congregation of the other denomination. The congregation changing denominational affiliation must dissolve so that consolidation can take place. This can be considered anywhere within the area of the Synod or the Conference involved.

(2) Consolidation within the charge or parish – members maintain their denominational affiliation, but transfer their membership to the building in which their denomination assumes full responsibility.

e. One congregation may disband, permitting its members to assume membership with a congregation of their choice.


Constructive work for the welfare of the Union Church can be accomplished best through a study committee. This committee, properly authorized by the consistory and the council meeting separately, is the only group in a Union Church authorized to deliberate upon and make recommendations for the welfare of that Union Church.


The study committee is comprised of three persons from each congregation named as regular members of the study committee; one person from each congregation named as the alternate study committee member; and the pastor of each congregation. The study committee meets only when the consultants for The Commission on the Welfare of the Union Church are present. All persons should be in attendance, but only three (3) have right of vote, namely, the study committee members. Pastors and consultants have right of voice but not of vote.

Alternate study committee members have right of voice at all times, but vote only if one of the regular study committee members is absent. Alternate study committee members should attend all meetings to keep abreast of study committee de-liberations. Study committee membership is not limited to consistory and council members, but at least one member of each denomination on the study committee ought to be a member of the official board of that congregation at the time of his appointment. Members of the study committee are appointed for the entire period of discussions. If the study committee recesses at any time, membership does not expire but continues with the resumption of discussions.

Whenever a Union Church agrees to engage in study of its situation, it is wise not to make any major change or renovation until the results of the study are complete.


The only authority the study committee has is to engage in study of the union situation and make recommendations to official boards. The study committee is to be alert at all times to participate in responsible area planning and to make suggestions for the same to the official boards. Minutes of all the study committee meetings are recorded by one of the consultants while the other conducts the meeting. These roles alternate from meeting to meeting. A quantity of the minutes is mailed to each pastor (or designated person) for distribution to each member of the study committee and official board of that congregation. The consistory and the council are to discuss each set of minutes and give either approval or disapproval of recommendations as required. Council and consistory should not take action which limits the freedom for study and discussion by the study committee prior to the presentation of recommendations from the study committee. When congregational action is required, it is sought after recommendation is made by the study committee and majority approval is given by both the consistory and the council.


Minutes of the study committee do not contain references to individuals and/or their comments relative to discussions.

Usually there are no motions since all action in the study committee is by common consent. Thus, any proposal arising out of the study committee is a union proposal. Neither consistory nor council should offer a proposal, since this would merely encourage discrimination and later might bring reproach to someone who was sincere in raising questions, issues, or suggestions.

All remarks made in the study committee meetings must be treated as confidential.



Equity is the valuation placed on the total union church property, excluding the cemetery and personal property of either congregation, such as hymnals, vestments, literature, etc.


There are numerous, related, significant reasons why equity should be set on the Union Church property. If any renovation or building is contemplated, equity could determine whether such added expense is wise. At the same time it could serve as the base or the starting point, if renovation or building are decided upon, for future determination of equity. Equity is not market value. Neither is it insurance or replacement value.

The Union Church property normally is of value onlv to two groups, namely, one or the other congregation in the union arrangement. If any decision on dissolution is ever contemplated it is wise to agree on equity first. Agreement on equity may reveal what our forefathers volunteered for the Union Church property and what we in our generation have contributed toward it. Setting of equity may be the means whereby the boundary lines are clarified, the deed located and verified, and misunderstanding of financial support and records clarified, approved, or brought to a mutually, agreeable basis.


Experience has taught the Commission one successful way of establishing equity. It begins with a small group, the study committee, comprised of three members from each congregation.

Each member of the study committee is instructed to prayerfully, and conscientiously seek the figure that in his opinion he and his congregation would be willing to give or receive as his congregation’s share in the equity of the Union Church property.

The figure submitted is a figure on the total equity. Obviously each congregation owns one-half of the property and shares one-half of the equity. It is emphasized that the figure submitted is on a BUY or SELL basis. Either congregation should be willing to BUY or SELL on the approved equity.

Following careful instruction and after each member of the study committee has had adequate time to be prepared and permission having been granted by the council and the consistory, the study committee proceeds to set equity by one of several acceptable methods. Normally, we proceed as follows: Each member of the study committee puts his figure on a separate slip of paper. There will be six figures. The consultants gather the figures, add them, average them, and present the average figure. No one ever knows the individual figures submitted except the consultants.

If one or two figures are entirely out of line with the other figures. that is, extremely high or low, the consultants reserve the right to eliminate those figures.

The equity must first be approved by the study committee.

It is then presented to council and consistory for approval and then to the congregations, each one acting on the recommendation separately.


Usually equity is set for a five year period, however, an appeal for reconsideration can be presented at any time by either congregation. Up until that time when dissolution actually occurs the equity is considered a “gentleman’s agreement. Up until that time it is not a legal, binding agreement.

Ordinarily, however, if the economy of the nation continues in its present trend there is no need of reconsideration for as building costs rise the depreciation on the old building also increases. We believe under present normal circumstances, costs balance depreciation.


The consultants strongly stress that before either congregation in a union relationship makes a decision about its future that equity be approved. Human nature being what it is, we all prefer to buy at the lowest price and sell at the highest price.

Therefore, if either congregation has determined to buy or sell before equity is set, it will be more difficult to arrive at a fair equity figure. If you intend to continue to discuss your union relationship and meet the challenge of the changing day, then be sure to consider equity early in the discussions.


A congregation is a legal entity and acts as a body. Therefore in Union Church procedures the votes of each congregation are taken within the separate and distinct meetings of each congregation and are counted separately by respective representatives of each.

Each congregation has one vote (“YES” or “NO”), approval or disapproval, on each particular recommendation.

The vote is determined by a simple majority of those present and voting unless otherwise specified by the constitution and bylaws of the local church. A simple majority vote of approval by the members of one congregation means the recommendation has passed for that particular congregation. Approval must be given by both congregations of the Union Church for a recommendation to be approved on union matters. If one congregation disapproves, then the recommendation does not carry for the Union Church. If disapproval does occur, then the procedure of education and voting may be repeated when feasible.


After the study committee is appointed the question arises, “How do we keep the congregation informed?” Immediately all sorts of rumors will spread through the congregation and the community. No method or system has yet been discovered in all of history to curtail or ban gossip.

Nevertheless, there are several ways to avoid uncontrolled rumors. When a study committee is approved and appointed, announcement of the same should be made by spoken word, bulletin and/or letter in each congregation in a similar way and, if possible, on the same Sunday. It would be helpful if the announcement in the bulletin in each congregation could be of the same wording. Explanation of what a study committee is could be made to the congregations. From the time of the appointment of a study committee, attention could be called to the fact that it is meeting, studying, and that just as soon as an agreement is reached or a proposal is to be presented, the congregations will be informed.

But, here’s the rub. Nothing specific can be reported to the congregations until a recommendation, approved by council and consistory, is. to be made to the congregations. For this reason minutes of all study committee meetings are recorded. Enough copies are always supplied for members of council, consistory and representatives of Conference and Synod. In this way each of them can be kept abreast of the discussions and at monthly meetings each group can be informed. Thus two-way communications, to some degree at least, can be maintained.

But people can be impatient. Some will think after the first meeting of the study committee all problems have been solved.

The truth is that negotiations on the average take from two to four years until a solution is reached. It is urgent, therefore, that meetings of the study committee be announced to the congregations and that the official boards read and discuss the minutes.

Normally the pastors are responsible for the printing of the church bulletin and the distribution of the minutes. By mutual agreement they can do much to satisfy the people with the news that can be shared. It is when people hear nothing of the proceedings that alarm and verbal reaction fill the vacuum.

If, and when, a recommendation is presented to the congregations, usually two congregational meetings are held in each congregation: one for discussion and one for voting. The consultants are present at their respective congregational meetings.

One of the consultants normally prepares a sample letter announcing and informing the memberships of the meetings. The same letter is to be mailed to both memberships on the same day.

If any action in the proceedings warrants the engaging of an attorney, one attorney will suffice; never engage two. The attorney’s chief task is to put into proper legal language that to which both congregations have already agreed.


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萱 澤雪村








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The Italian Conference, by Thomas Burgess (1919)

For the first time—September ninth, tenth and eleventh—our Italian missionaries have met and prayed and eaten and hobnobbed and planned together. Called by our new Americanization department (“foreign missions at home”), to New York from Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and places between, they came, seventeen of our twenty-two Italian clergy in active service. Four others have not yet returned from war service, and only one other could not come.

“Why, I know you, quoth the priest from Gary, Indiana, to the curate of Calvary, New York, “you used to go to school to me in Italy. That was nine years back. This was said on the close of the General Theological Seminary on the first afternoon of the conference, as they were coming in to find the rooms assigned in Dodge Hall.

For three days the seminary was taken charge of by the conference. The dean had kindly invited us and placed at our disposal a dormitory, a lecture room and the chapel. Between sessions and services and late into the nights on the close or gathered on chairs and desks in the dismantled rooms the welkin rang with vociferous Italian and English.

If nothing more had been accomplished than the mere get together, the time and money was most well spent.

But much more was accomplished, which bids fair to be a great new beginning of the grasping of our opportunity to minister to the nearly three millions out of four utterly unchurched men, women and children of our neighbors from sunny Italy. These are a mighty means for the upbuilding of our country, if given a helping hand; or a mighty menace, if let alone to lapse still further into neglected atheism and the prey of the forces of discontent. It depends on the Nation-Wide Campaign what our answer shall be.

The conference began with a session in the Italian language.

At four o’clock Father Huntington, O. H. C., gave the first of the two meditations in the chapel, which were to set the spiritual tone of the conference and crystallize its aim, “The Glory of God, the saving of the lost, the sanctification of the faithful.” Such are the essential roots of true Americanization. Evening Prayer was said in Italian, with English hymns.

The next morning we gathered at the Altar, making our special intention the work in hand.

At ten o’clock came the morning’s session of the conference, held in the Church Mission House. At this were not only the Italian clergy but a goodly number of native-born Americans who have been most active in our Italian mission field at home, coming from Erie, Boston, Philadelphia and nearer places and New York, a bishop, priests and laymen and women. Here are the subjects discussed, each discussion led by a ten-minute paper prepared beforehand:

An Italian Periodical, the Reverend Nicola Accomando; The Second Generation, the Reverend F. I. Urbano; Training of the Clergy, the Reverend T. E. Della-Cioppa; Unification, the Reverend Siste Noce (who came all the way from North Carolina, where he is trying to recover from a breakdown from years of overwork): Social Service, Deaconess Gardner: Neighbors, Miss Skinner; Spread of the Work, the Reverend Oreste Salcini.

The discussions were exceedingly lively at times à la Italienne—not the easiest matter in the world for the presiding officer—and “change of name” and “ceremonial extremities” crept in out of order and had to be referred back to the General Convention.

Nevertheless the spirit was fine and the papers and talk thoroughly worth while. On the stroke of twelve we all went downstairs to the chapel for the usual noonday prayers.

Next, the conference walked way over to the Grace Chapel Settlement House for luncheon, presided over by Dr. Slattery, and served in the building where for many years Italian work has been done with the full equipment it ought to have everywhere. There 1,000 Italians have been confirmed and nearly 20,000 visits a year are received from Italians seeking advice on American life. After the luncheon the conference continued.

That evening was the great service in the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. To be sure the congregation was not as large as hoped for, for all New York had turned out that day to greet General Pershing and had watched for hours the parade of the famous First Division. You could not blame the people for being tired. But the choir was nearly full with some one hundred and fifty choristers, the combined Italian choirs of the city, lifting to God their glorious Italian voices, and the Italian clergy and a number of other clergy.

The service was sung in Italian, except America and The Star Spangled Banner, different Italian priests taking part and Canon Nelson, who has done so much for Italian work, reading the lesson. Addresses were made by Bishop Burch, Mr. Fred C. Butler, Federal Director of Americanization, representing Secretary Lane, of the Department of the Interior: and the senior Italian priest present, the Reverend Carmelo DiSano. This last spoke in Italian, gesticulated dramatically and drew forth and waved at the right place a small silk American flag. Of course our flag and that of Italy were carried in procession and also a beautiful banner of one of our Italian Church societies. It was an inspiring service.

At the seminary dormitory that night we sat around and discussed theology and kindred topics till after midnight.

Next morning, after the Holy Eucharist and breakfast in the little restaurant where we ate together, came the final session. There we summed up the results of our discussions and parted with mutual congratulations.

Here are the resolutions adopted by the final session:

General Missionaries: That two missionaries be appointed by the General Board of Missions for itinerant work among Italian missions, and to survey and establish new missions.

Uniform Control: It is the opinion of this conference that the Italian work and missionaries should be taken under the authority of the General Board, and the salaries paid by the same.

Hymnal: It is the opinion of this conference that, although it is advisable to use the English Hymnal, an Italian Hymnal is necessary. That the Hymnal prepared by the Reverend Della Cioppa be published.

Prayer Book: That this conference of Italian clergymen recommends to the Commission on the Italian Prayer Book, that a new translation be made instead of correcting the old one.

Periodical: This conference commends that an Italian periodical be published for use by all Italians in this country for their Americanization and religious instruction. That it be published by the Department of Christian Americanization, with the co-operation of a committee of Italian priests, selected by the secretary of said department.

Bi-lingual Publications: It is the desire of this conference that the publication of condensed service books or pamphlets be made in Italian-English in parallel columns.

English Language: Although in many cases the use of the Italian language is absolutely
necessary, this conference commends the wide-spread practice of using the English language as much as possible in the services and instructions.

Thanks: Vote of thanks to the Secretary.

The Spirit of Missions (New York), October, 1919, Vol. LXXXIV, No. 10, pp. 661-662.

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The Faithful Pastor’s Monument, by J.H.A. Bomberger (1852)

The Faithful Pastor’s Monument: A Sermon, Occasioned by the Death of the Rev. Thomas Pomp, for Fifty-Six Years Pastor of the German Reformed Church of Easton, Pa.
By J. H. A. Bomberger, Surviving Pastor of the Congregation.
Easton: Published by the Consistory, 1852.
Digitized by Richard Mammana, 2022.

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“The Upper Places:” Nazareth, Gnadenthal and Christian’s Spring (1929)

“The Upper Places:” Nazareth, Gnadenthal and Christian’s Spring
By Elizabeth L. Myers
Easton: Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society, 1929.

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Pennsylvania German Dialect Pseudonyms

Beam, C. Richard15 Feb 192526 Jan 2018Es Bischli-Gnippli
Dieffenbach, Victor26 Oct 188226 Jun 1965Der Oldt Bauer
Druckenbrod, Richard29 May 192927 Oct 2003Pit Schweffelbrenner
Erb, William H.30 Apr 187031 Jan 1940Der Gus
Frey, John William23 Jul 191621 Aug 1989Der Glee Bill
Graeff, Arthur D.22 Sep 189928 Mar 1969Der Dichter vun de Dolpehock, Der ewich Yeeger
Grumbine, Ezra L.1 Feb 184516 Feb 1923Wendell Kitzmiller
Grumbine, Lee L.25 Jul 185818 Aug 1904Old Schulmashter
Harter, Thomas H.28 May 185431 May 1933Gottlieb Boonastiel
Landis, Henry K.186527 Dec 1955Der Gross Henner
Miller, Harvey M.27 Sep 187117 Jun 1939Solly Hulsbuck
Rauch, Edward H.18268 Sep 1902Pit Schweffelbrenner fum Scheifeltown
Reitnauer, Clarence12 Nov 19005 Apr 1989Der Shdivvel Knecht
Rittinger, John A.16 Feb 185529 Jul 1915Joe Klotzkopp
Snyder, G. Gilbert15 Jun 189717 Nov 1956Die Wunnernaus
Swope, Pierce E.15 Aug 18849 Dec 1968Kaspar Hufnagel
Troxell, William S.11 Jun 189310 Aug 1957Pumpernickel Bill
Schuler, Henry A.12 Jul 185014 Jan 1908Der Kalennermann

This is a dynamic list open to corrections and additions. Please write to with either.

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Nine generations of Venango County Rials

Compiled by Richard J. Mammana, 1999-2022. Please contact with corrections, additions, or changes.

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May 6, 2022 · 12:48 pm





























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Mammanas of Valledolmo 2022 edition

Six generations of descendants of Stefano Mammana and Rosolia Fioretta of Valledolmo, Palermo, Sicily, Italy, compiled by Richard J. Mammana 2019-2022. Almost all births after 1960 are omitted for privacy. Please contact me with any corrections, additions, or any other changes.

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H.M.S. Pinafore in Pennsylvania German

William H. Crane, promotional poster (gouache and graphite on paper, c. 1885).

H.M.S. Pinafore
oder Das Maedle and Ihr Sailor Kerl:
‘N translation fun dem bekannte Opera

Scene.—Deck of H.M.S. Pinafore. View of Portsmouth in the distance. Sailors led by Boatswain discovered cleaning brasswork, splicing rope, etc.

Opening Chorus

Mir fahren auf der meer,
Unser schiff iss shay und shteady;
M’r drinken nix oss beer,
Und m’r sinn aw immer ready
Wo’s fechterei iss sinn mir sphry,
Und mach’t der feind es fiehle;
Und wan’s ferbei iss, tzimlich glei
Gebt’s zeit genunk f’r shpiela.

Enter Little Buttercup with basket.


Buttercup—Hello! ihr shiffleit—kennen ‘r nimmie hara?
Sailors—Rushing towards her. Hello! glaene Buttercup.
Buttercup—waving them back. Nun, sagen mir: hen ihr betzawlsdawg kerzlich kotta?
Sailors—Airsht geshta.
Buttercup advancing Sell suit mich gude.
So kummen g’schwind dohaer,
Do kennen ‘r hendlich all euer geld fetzahra.

GESANG (Little Buttercup)

Sie haysen mich Buttercup—shay glaene Buttercup—
Und ich waiss gaw net warrum;
Doch bin ich die Buttercup—orum glay Buttercup,
Zu euer Buttercup kum.
Had duwok und shpella, und shayna korrella,
Und messer und watcha und sheer;
Und hingle und brilla, und zucker und pilla,
Das kennet ihr oll koffa fun mir.
Hab matches und taffy, bolognies und koffe,
Un naegel und frische pork chops,
Hab shnitz und kaduffla, und cigar und ruffla,
Und nummer ains peppermint drops.
Dann kofft fun euer Buttercup—shay glaene Buttercup,
Zu euer Buttercup kum.

Vell, little Buttercup, bisht du ols noch leddich? Du gukst yust so yung shmart und shay os wie olfort.

Yaw, aber kannst du mir sawga wass ess iss dos es hertz im kopf drawgt?

Well, nay, ich muss sawga ich hob noch net an so ebbes gedenkt.

Well—ich kann.

Sailors recoiling

Yaw—’N graut-kup.


Wass fehlt sella kerl? Iss er net g’sunt?

Du musht ‘n net minda, er is olfort so—Er iss bissel drei-eckich.

Well, ich set sheer denka. Aber wer kumt do?

Sell iss der Relf Reckstraw, der besht kerl uff ‘m shiff.

Relf!—that name!—remorse—remorse.

Enter Ralph.


The Nightingales’ Song (Ralph)

Ez tsipchia peift
Und der boppagoi greisht zurick
Der hawhna graeht
Und der blo-fogle fresst der mick—
Doch lieb ich sie.

Doch lieb ich sie.

Es maedchen weint,
Ihr lieben schatz kumt nicht mehr,
Der shonshtay shmokt,
Und der brunne iss sheer gaw lehr—

Doch lieb ich sie.

Recit. Ralph

Ich glaub wohl buwa os ihr’s recht,
Doch my undankbarkeit ‘r misst net ferdenka
Wann lieb und leida bol des herz verbrecht!
Ich lieb, yaw wohl, ich lieb der Cap sei tochd’r.

Er liebt—yaw wohl, er liebt der Cap sei tochd’r.

Er liebt—yaw wohl, etc.

A Maiden Fair to See (Ralph)

Sie iss’n maedle shay,
Demuethig, gude und glay,
Der shensht zu mei’m gewissa;
Und ich ‘n or’mer drup,
Mit net fiel in der kup,
Und gar ken gelt im kossa.

Er hut ken gelt im kossa

Doch habe ich’s uff mich genomma, kreftiglich
Die Liebe in mei herz zu plantza:
Weiss wohl es bot mich nix,
My lieb iss in ‘ra fix—
Ich kann ken horn pipe danza.

Er kann ken horn pipe danza.
Icnh bin net awrig g’scheit.
Mei larnung geht net weit.—
(Die Liebe war schumayshter)
Sie herschet mir in’s herz.
Mit sorga und mit schmerz,
Der Cap sei shayne tochd’r.

Ah! du or’mer drup, du groddelsht zu hoch; si hiaert dich net

Nay, des dut sie net.

Shem dich doch!

Deadeye, du bisht’n bopplemoul.

Relf, wos felt dew naws.

Enter Captain.

My gallant crew—good morning.

Guda morryea.

I hope you are all quite well.

All g’sunt—und du Cap?

I am in reasonable health and happy
To meet you all once more.

Unser ganze achtung.

SONG (Captain)

I am the captain of the Pinafore!

Und ‘n nummer ains Cap bisht du.

You’re very, very good,
And be it understood,
I command a right good crew.

Danke shoen, dabei.
Muss es gude fershtana sei
Oss er hut’n first rate crew.

Though related to a peer,
I can hand, reef and steer,
And ship a salvagee;
I am never known to quail
At the fury of a gale,
And I’m never, never sick at sea.

Was; gar net!

Nay; gar net.

Was; gar NET?

Well, sheer gar net.

He’s hardly ever sick at sea!
Then give three cheers, and one cheer more
For the hardy captain of the Pinafore!

I do my best to please you all—

Und mir sin mit dir content.

You’re exceedingly polite,
And I think it only right
To return the compliment.

Mir sin ivveraus polite
Und er meent es wer yust right,
Wen er uns aw compliment.

Bad language or abuse,
I never, never use,
Whatever the emergency;
Though “bother it,” I may
Occasionally say,
I never use a big, big D—

Was, gar net?


Was, gar net?

Well, sheer gar net.

Hardly ever swears a big big D—
Then give three cheers, and one cheer more
For the well bred captain of the Pinafore!

Exit all but Captain.

Captain (solus)
Es blogt mich der ganza dawg ‘n nagel im shoo. ‘Mol sehna ep ich ‘n net rous griega kann.

BALLAD (Josephine)

Thraenen und leid sin so der Liebe,
Schwer iss es herz oss hoft ohn hoffnung,
Krisslich die seiftzer shteigen auf,
Tief fum dem Herz der Lieb betruebef,
Tieff iss das elend und heftig die noth
Won Liebe erwecket und hoffnung iss tod.

Kald iss der tag won’s scheint ken sun,
Dunkel die nacht wo’s blickt ken mond;
Feicht iss die erd wen die wolke weinen,
Und shay die shtund die sterna scheinen.
Tief iss das elend, etc.

Tochd’r, wass iss letz? Du husht mir so awrig fun der Liebe g’sunga, es iss mir bang du denksht shun an die buwa.

Oh, wass sul ich sawga!

Now, ‘s iss net d’wart oss du in a hurry bisht dot d’wega. Ich will dir shun ‘n mon rous picka won’s tzeit kummt.

Dawdy, ich hab shun aner rous gepicked.

Der Dauzig!

Nay aber’n kommona sailor uf deim egena shiff.

Und mensht du wetsht ihn hiara?

Net bis er mich frawgt.

My gehorsames kind.

My guda dawdy.

They embrace.

BARCAROLE (invisible)

Ueber das grosse wasser
Kummt der Josef Borter, K.C.B.
Doch mawg er geh wohie er will,
Krachen die grosse flinte shtill.
Greish ueber das grosse wasser
For der Josef Borter, K.C.B.

During this the crew have entered on tiptoe, listening attentively to the song.

Do kumt der old Sir Jo,
Mit ‘n boat-load harlich weibsleid.
Nun laszt uns danzen so,
Und singen wie net recht g’scheit.
Mir fahren auf der say,
Unser shiff iss shay und shteady,
Mir trinken nix oss TAY
Und mir sin aw immer ready.

My child, I grieve to see that you are a prey to melancholy. You should look your best today, for Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B. will be here this afternoon to claim your promised hand.

Enter Sir Joseph’s Female Relatives. They dance.

Gayly tripping, lightly skipping, flock the maidens to the shipping

Flieg der lumpa fum der fenshter
Laszt uns froehlich sei im ernster.

Sailors sprightly, always rightly, welcome ladies so politely.

Weibsleid oss so haerlich singen,
Werden lusht und freude bringen.

Enter Sir Joseph.

Do kumt der Jo; now geb drei cheers.

Hurray! hurray! hurray!

SONG (Sir Joseph)

(spoken) Ich hab so’n holve notion—das
Ich bin der kaynich fum der meer,
Das grosse shiff ich steer,
Die ganze welt iss mich bekannt.

Und mir sin sei shwester und sei cousins und sei aunts

Und mir sin, etc.

Sir Joseph
Ven at enker here I ride
My bozzum swells mit bpride;
Und I snep my fingers on der foeman’s taunts.

Und so could sel schweshter und sei cousins
Oss er tzahla kann bei dutzens, und sei aunts.

Sir Joseph
Die buwa guken tzimlich sowa d’moyra.

Salors (saluting)
Danke shoen.

Sir Joseph
Sie sin feina kerls.

Sailors (salute)
Unser ganze achtung.

Sir Joseph
Dusht sie gude treat?

Sailors (singing)
“M’r drinken nix oss tay.”

Sir Joseph
Was; gar net?

Sailors (emphatically)

Sir Joseph
You’ve a remarkably fine crew, Captain Corcoran.

Captain (suppressing them)
Sh-sh-h…! (leads Sir Joseph to front and whispers)—
Ols a’ mol.

Sir Joseph
So-o-o-o. Sawg seller kal sol mohl do raus kumma (pointing a general way to the sailors)

Captain (puzzled, imitates his motion and says)
Sawg, du, kum mol do rous; der Jo will mit dir schwetza.

Sailors (not knowing which one is meant, they all file up and surrounding Sir Joseph, salute)
Ich bin do.

Sir Joseph (furiously)

Sailors (retreat)
Ich bin zurick.

Sir Joseph
Ich hab sella kerl DAT gemehnt (pointing to Ralph)

Du grumnasicher; feesel die foula karper do funna.

Was husht g’sawt?

Wie mensht? Ich glaub ich fershtay dich net.

Wann ich so gude sei will.

Captain (angrily)
Was, du—

Sir Joseph (rebuking)
Tut-tut-tut. Er hut recht. Wann er so gude sei will.

Hum-m-m! Wann du so gude sei wit (Ralph comes forward)

Sir Joseph
For I hold dot on dem seas
Dot expression “off you blease”
A particularly gentlemanly tone implants.

Cousin Hebe
Und so thun sei schwester und sei cousins und sei aunts.

Sei schwester und sei cousins
Oss er tzahla kann bei dutzend,
Und sei aunts.

Sir Joseph
Captain, es war mir geshta g’sawt du hetsht so’n shaene tochd’r. Iss es waar?

Oh, hibsch, hibsch, sehr hibsch.

Sir Joseph
Gukt sie wie ihre Papaw?

Nay, gar net.

Sir Joseph (relieved)
Ah! dann kannsht du sie officially informa das ich sie sehne will im kabin und won sie mich suit du ich sie hiara naksht Sontag.

Exit Sir Joseph and Captain.


A British tar is a soaring soul
As free as a mountain bird;
His energetic fist
Should be ready to resist
A dictatorial word. (Etc.)

Exit all excepting Ralph.

Mei mind iss uff g’macht. Ich frag die Josephine der naksht mohl oss ich sie sehn. Ich bin yusht so gude oss anicha mann except der Jo—der Jo secht yo selvet im des shtick oss er uff g’macht hut, und s’iss aw die wahrheit. Ah! sie kumt!—Herz, mei herz, laszt no die ew’ge unruh (retires backstage as Josephine enters).

‘S iss gar net d’wart, ich kan der Joe net gleicha. Der Pap het’s of course awrig gern oss mir hiara det’n, und ich det sheer ainich ebbes f’r der Dawdy zu obliga aber DASS kann ich net; mei herz iss net mehr mein eigenes. ‘S iss yusht a nawme oss mich tsitter macht, und dass is—Ralph. (Ralph approaches tenderly and deferentially, and overcome at her confession, takes her hand and says:)

Josephine, ich liebe dich! (Josephine looks startled a moment, but recovers herself and sternly repulses him)

Duett (Josephine and Ralph)

Geh wek, du wieshta ding,
Du husht ken recht do;
Fergess net wer ich bin,
Und wem du schwetsht zu
Doch lieb ich ihn fum herz und darf es gar net sawga,
Mei leida und mei schmerz muss ich alanich drawga—
Es iss mir bang das alend macht mich mawga,
Sei gruma naws dut mich so awrig plawga.

Stolz lady, wie du’s husht—hard-herzig beauty.
Du sawgst, also ich muss—es iss mei duty;
Und du mei maedle bisht der Cap. sei tochd’r.
Doch, kennt sie mich yusht gleicha waer ich ganz zufrida.
Sie shput und lacht, doch muss ich sie mei lieb owbida—
Fum noth und elend det ich sie b’heeta,
Und wie en airlich mensch ich det sie treata.

Die naws, die naws iss grum.

Mei herz, mei herz iss grawt.

Ralph (recit.)
Can I survive this overbearing
Or live a life of mad despairing,
My proffered love despised, rejected?
No, no; it’s not to be expected!
(calling of)
Messmates, ahoy!
Come here! Come here!
(Enter sailors, Hebe and relatives)

Ya, mir sinn do,
Sinn do, sinn do.
Now sawg uns g’schwind
Was hut sie g’sawt?

Ralph (to cousin Hebe)
Es maedel secht sie wot mich net,
Sie kann mich gar net leida, lady;
Mei gruma naws gukt sie deruff,
Und shickt mich der Sals Rever nuff.

Oh, cruel one!

Sie will dich net, Oho! Oho!
Ich hab dir g’sawt es genkt dir so.

Mir shtanden’s net. ‘S iss yo’n shond.
Lieb kumt zugleich zu niedrig und stolz/
Mir sinn all sowa, sober sailor leid,
Und missen mir es shtanda? Nay!

Ihr missen’s shtanda, eb ihr wollen
Oder net, Oho! Oho!
‘N lady sie—ich hab yo g’sawt
Es genkt euch so.

Ralph (drawing a pistol)
Mein freund der Tod sei Hand mir rechet,
Fur oh! mei herz—mei herz verbrechet;
Won ich kabud bin, oh! sawgen sie
Wie ich g’liebet hat—nur sie
Wich ich g’liebet hat—nur sie

During chorus he has loaded pistol.

Nem warnung, kumraade all,
Und bleiben immer leddich,
Fur Josephine ich fall!

Puts pistol to his head. Chorus stop their ears. Josephine enters.

Sheese net—sheese net—ich lieb dich.

Sheese net—sheese net—sie liebt dich.

Ralph (incredulously)
Liebt mich?

Liebt dich.

Ya, ya, ya, ya, sie liebt dich.

Dick Deadeye
Er meent er het sei Josephine,
Doch sinn sie all erbarmlich green.
Es kummt ‘n donnerschlag
Und reist die Liebe all zu nix.
Der Captain hut ‘n wort zu sawga—
Sie missen airsht der Dawdy fraga
Und wann sie dun—ich sawg’s gewiss
Das ganz unewa liebe kumt ins ew’ge Finsternis.

Josephine, Hebe, Ralph (alternating)
This very night with bated breath and muffled oar
Without a light as still as death we steal ashore.
A clergyman shall make us one at half past ten,
And then we can return, for none can part us then!

Forbear, nor carry out the scheme you’ve planned.
She is a lady—you a foremast hand!
Remember, she’s your gallant captain’s daughter,
And you the meanest slave that crawls the water!

Back, vermin, back, nor mock us!
Back, vermin, back, you shock us!
Let’s give three cheers for the sailor’s bride
Who casts all thought of rank aside—
Who gives up home and fortune too
For the honest love of a sailor true!
For a British tar is a soaring soul
As free as a mountain bird;
His energetic fist should be ready to resist
A dictatorial word!
His foot should stamp and his throat should growl,
His hair should twirl and his face should scowl,
His eyes should flash and his breast protrude,
And this should be his customary attitude.



Scene. Deck of H.M.S. Pinafore. Night. Captain discovered singing and accompanying himself on a mandolin. Little Buttercup seated on quarter deck, gazing sentimentally at him.

SONG (Captain)

Zu du, du gude mond
Will ich en solo singa.—
Ich glaub ich geh nous Vest,
Zu de Incha and onra sotta dinga.

Ah! Little Buttercup, still on board? That is not quite right, little one. It would have been more respectable to have gone on shore at dusk.

True, dear Captain—but the recollection of your sad, pale face seemed to chain me to the ship. I would fain see you smile before I go.

DUET (Little Buttercup and Captain)

Mein freund,
Sache sinn net alfort grawt wie sie guken,
Dick millich gukt wie rohm aber es iss net;
Und shay g’blackda shtuywel gucken wie patent-leather, aber sie sinn aw net:
Und ‘n micke-ware kann pohawna federa drawga.

Captain (puzzled)
Very true, so they do.

All trup shoaf huts schwatza dabei,
Alles was glaenzed iss net brass,
Der shoensht kerl im class kann shmaert oss’n bluck sei,
Und ‘s iss net alford de grest grut oss es weidsht jumpa kann.

Ich glaub es wohl alle mohl.
Ich denk dahinter steht was shrecklich,
Ueberaus, und ganz unglicklich
—’S iss nich waar.

Es iss waar.

Ich hais mich net so ueberaus g’scheit,
Aber so kennt ich shwetza fum now bis naksht Grischdawg;
Es war mohl ‘n katz hut die gichdera kotta.
Wo’s feier hut, hut’s aw shmoke.

Frequentlee I agree.

M’r kann oft guka was m’r net gern sawga det.
Es liderlich kind set’s briggle shpeera,
‘N tayleffle molossich iss besser oss gar ken zuker im koffe.
Der geitzich hund shloaft ols noch im geilsdroag.

Ich glaub es wohl alle mohl.

Paw of cat the chestnut snatches,
Worn out garments show new patches,
Only count the chick that hatches;
Men are grown up catchy catches.

Yes, I know that is so
Aside Though to catch my drift he’s striving,
I’ll dissemble—I’ll dissemble;
When he sees at what I’m driving
Let him tremble—let him tremble.

Ich denk dahinter shteht was schrecklich,
Ueberaus und ganz unglicklich;
Doch ich glaub sie schnitzled hesslich,
Es iss waar, ganz und gar.
Doch ich glaub sie schnitzled hesslich,
Was sie sawgt iss ungewisslich;
Ihr gedanken sinn unmesslich,
Ess iss waar.

‘S iss nicht waar.

Exit Little Buttercup melodramatically.

Incomprehensible as her utterances are, I nevertheless feel that they are dictated by sincere regard for me. But to what new misery is she referring? Time alone can tell!

Enter Sir Joseph

Sir Joseph
Captain Korkoran, I was very much disappointed mit your daughter. I don’t dink she vil do.

She won’t do, Sir Joseph?

Sir Joseph
Dot vos it. Der fact vos, dot although I have urge my suit mit as much eloquence as vos inconsistent for an official utterance, I don’t vos successful. How you make dot oud?

Really, Sir Joseph, I hardly know. Josephine is of course sensible of your condescension.

Sir Joseph
Yaw, dot vos drue.

But perhaps your exalted rank dazzles her.

Sir Joseph
You dink it vould?

I can hardly say; but she is a modest girl; and her social position is far below your own. It may be that she feels she is not worthy of you.

Sir Joseph
Dot vos really a very sensible suggestion of human nature as I had given you credit fo.

See, she comes. If your lordship would kindly reason with her, and assure her officially that it is a standing rule at the Admiralty that love levels all ranks, her respect for an official utterance might influence her to look upon your offer in its proper light.

Sir Joseph
Dot vos not unlikely. I vill took your suggestion. But hush! I hear feetsteps!

The hours creep on apace,
My guilty heart is quaking!
Oh, that I might retrace
The step that I am taking.
It’s folly it were easy to be showing,
What I am giving up and whither going.
A simple sailor, lowly born,
Unlettered and unknown,
Who toils for bread from early morn
Till half the night has flown!

Sir Joseph (coming down)
Josephine, it has been represented to me dot you vas oxcited by my exalted rank. I vould like to told you officially dot off your hesitation vos attributed to dat circumstance it vos uncalled for.

Oh! then your lordship is of opinion that married happiness is NOT inconsistent with discrepancy in rank.

Sir Joseph
I vos offically mit dot opinion.

That the high and lowly may be truly happy together, provided that they truly love one another?

Sir Joseph
Josephine, I vould like to told you OFFICIALLY—dot vos it.

I thank you, Sir Joseph. I DID hesitate, but I will hesitate no longer. (Aside) He little thinks how eloquently he has pleaded his rival’s cause. (Captain has entered, during this speech he comes down.)

TRIO (First Lord, Captain and Josephine)

Never mind the why and wherefore.
Love can level ranks and therefore
I admit its jurisdiction!
Ably have you played your part,
You have carried firm conviction
To my hesitating heart.

Laszt die glocken jubeltoenen, Reisst die luft mit lust gesang, etc.

Sir Joseph
Frag uns net f’r explanation,
Sei zufrida wann mir sawgen
Dass es kann ken dif’rence mache
Eb du gelt husht oder net,
Es kennt mich net besser pleasa
Wann der Dawdy millyona het.

Sir Joseph, I cannot express to you my delight at the happy result of your eloquence. Your argument was unanswerable.

Sir Joseph
Captain Korkoran, dot vos one of ther habbiest karackteristics of dis happy guntry, dot official utterances could invariably be regarded as unanswerable.

At last my fond hopes are to be crowned. My only daughter is to be the bride of a cabinet minister. (During this speech Dick Deadeye has entered.)

Dick (Mysteriously)
I’m come to give you warning.

Indeed Do you propose to leave the navy then?

No, no; you misunderstand me; listen!
Gude Cap, ich det dir gern mohl eppes sawga,
Singt hey tra la, gude Captain oss du bisht;
Doch ‘s iss mir bang es wird dir wenning plaga.
Singt hey tra la, gude Captain oss du bisht.
Tra la mei guda Captain.—

Tra la, du narrish sailor.

Gude Cap. dei glaene tochd’r hut ‘n plawn gesetzt,
Tra la, mei guda Captain oss du bisht.
Auf diese nacht mit Ralf zu heiarawden yetzt,
Tra la, mei guda Captain oss du bisht—
Tra la, mei guda Captain.—

Dick Deadeye, I thank you for your warning. I will at once take means to arrest their flight. This boat cloak will afford me ample disguise. So! (Envelopes himself in a mysterious cloak, holding it before his face.)

Aha! Sie sinn g’fixed! sie sinn g’fixed! (Enter crew on tiptoe, with Ralph and Boatswain, meeting Josephine, who enters from cabin on tiptoe with bundle of necessaries, and accompanied by Little Buttercup. The captain, shrouded in his boat cloak, takes the stage unnoticed.)

(Captain stamps.)

All (much alarmed)
Was der dausig war dann dass?

Sei’n doch shtill, es war die katz!
Pull ashore, in fashion steady,
Hymen will defray the fare,
For a clergyman is ready
To unite the happy pair.

(Stamps as before)

Was der dausig—war shon wider dass?

Se’in doch shtill, es war die katz!

Shon wieder war’s die katz!

Sie hen recht—es war die katz.

(throwing off cloak)
Shoen tochd’r fun mei’m,
Sei so gude mir zu sawga,
Wohie oss du geh wit
Mit die salors vun mei’m.
Sinn first rate-a kerls und kennten
Anich ebba dresha.
Doch sinn sie net gude company
Mei lady, fur dich.

Proud officer, that haughty lip uncurl!
Vain main, suppress that supercilious sneer.
For I have dared to love your matchless girl—
A fact well known to all my messmates here!

Oh, horror!

Ralph and Joseph
I (he) humble, poor and lowly born.
The meanest in the port division—
The butt of epauletted scorn—
The mark of quarter-deck derision—
Have (has) dared to raise my (his) wormy eyes
Above the dust to which you’d mould me (him),
In manhood’s glorious pride to rise.
I am (he is) an Englishman.

Guk’n mohl aw!
Er iss ‘n Englisher.

Oss er iss ‘n Englisher,
Und er hut’s yo selvet g’sawt

Oss er iss ‘n Englisher.

Captain (trying to repress his anger)
In uttering a reprobation
To any British tar,
I try to speak with moderation,
But you have gone too far.
I am sorry to disparage
A humble foremast lad,
But to seek your captain’s child in marriage,
Fadultzei, ‘s iss zu awrig.

All (shocked)

Yaw, fadultzei, ‘s iss zu awrig. (During this Sir Joseph has appeared on deck. He is horrified at the bad language.)

Sir Joseph
My pain und my distress
I found it was not easy to express
May amazement, my surprise
You may found out by looking on my eyes.

My lord, one word: the facts are not yet before you:
The word was injudicious, I avow!
But hear my explanation, I implore you,
And you will be indignant, I avow!

Sir Joseph
I vill hear of no defence.
Attempt none, vos you sensible.
Dot vord of evil sense
Vos wholly indefensible.
Go, ribald, got you hence
To your kaeben mit celerity.
Dis vos der gaonsequence
Of ill-advised asperity!

(Exit Captain, disgraced, followed by Josephine.)

Sir Joseph
Now, you told me how it vos dot your Captain swear at you. It vasn’t your fault, vos it?

Please, your honor, it was thus wise. You see I was only a topman—a mere foremast hand—

Sir Joseph
Don’t be ashamed of dot. Your position as topman vos a very oxalted one.

Well, your honor, love burns as brightly in the foksle as it does on the quarter deck, and Josephine is the fairest bud that ever blossomed upon the tree of a poor fellow’s wildest hopes.

Enter Josephine; she rushes to Ralph’s arms. Sir Joseph is horrified.


Sir Joseph
Insolent sailor, you shall repent dis outrage. Seize him!

The marine seizes him and handcuffs him.

Oh, Sir Joseph, spare him, for I love him tenderly.

Sir Joseph
Got oud!—I teach dot presumptuous marine to discipline his affections. Haf you got such a ding as a penitentiary on board?

Amnes (lugubriously)

Sir Joseph
So-o-o! Vell, you tie a chain on him and take him righd avay pooty qwick oud.

At the end Ralph is led off in custody.

Sir Joseph
My pain and my distress I found itw as not easy to oxpress. My amazement, my surprise, you may found out by looking on my eyes. Josephine, I would like to told you officially dot I vos hurt. You! a daughter of a Captain in der Royal Navy—

Buttercup advancing
Hullup! Ich hab eppes zu sell zu sawga.


Yaw, ich! Ralph, kumm haer. (Ralph comes forward and kneels on her left.)
Captain, do rous mit dir. (Captain comes from Cabin and kneels at her right.)
o, mach die awga zu. (Joseph obediently shuts his eyes. Marine brings tray to Buttercup and transformation begins.)


Bout fertzich yahr zurick—
Un ‘s iss aw net geluga—
Wie ich noch yung und shay war,
Hab bavies uff getzuga.

Now this is most alarming,
When she was young and charming,
She practiced baby farming
A many years ago.

Zwee war’n mir mohl gebracht,
Der ain’d war wiesht und orrum:
Der onner reich und shmart—
‘N rechter hoch geborner.

All (explaining to each other)
Now this is the position:
One was of low condition,
The other a patrician,
A many years ago.

O, schwer iss meiner kreuz,
Wie hab ich’s dann du kenner?
Ich hab sie uff gemixt—
Die orrum glaener kinner.

How could you do it?
Some day, no doubt, you’ll rue it.
Although no creature knew it
So many years ago.

Dann kumt amohl ‘n zeit,
Die bavies mich verlossen.
Der wieshter war der Cap,
Der onner Ralph ihr cousin.

They left their foster mother,
The one was Ralph our brother,
Our captain was the other
A many years ago.

Transformation takes place during this song, and at the end Ralph rises as Captain, and Captain as Ralph.

Sir Joseph
Hm-m-m! Now dot vos a very singular circumstance (pointing to Captain). Sawg sella Kerl set mohl do do’rous kum.

Ralph (as Captain)
Sawg, du grumnaisicher; feesel dei foula karper do funna.

Was husht g’sawt?

Wie mensht? Ich glaub ich versteh dich net.

Wann ich so gude sei will.

Sir Joseph
Er hut recht! “Wann er so gude sei will.”

Why certainly. Wann du so gude sei wid. (Captain steps forward.)

Sir Joseph to Captain
Du bisht ‘n first rate-a kerl, gella?

Falluss dich druf.

Sir Joseph
So it seems dot you vos Ralph and Ralph vos you.

So it seems, your honor.

Sir Joseph
Vell, I need not told you dot on top of dis I don’t marry Josephine.

Don’t say dot, your honor; love levels all ranks.

Sir Joseph
Yes, he do pooty much, but he don’t lefel ‘m gvite so much as all dot. (Hands Josephine over to Ralph and calls Hebe to himself.)


Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen
The clouded sky is now serene!
The god of day, the orb of love,
Has hung his ensign high above,
The sky is all ablaze
With wooing words and loving song
We’ll chase the lagging hours along.
And if he finds the maiden coy,
We’ll murmur forth decorous joy
In dreamy roundelay.

I shall marry with a wife
In my humble rank of life!
(Turning to Buttercup)
And you, my own, are she—
I must wander to and fro,
But wherever I may go,
I shall never be untrue to thee!

Was, gar net?

Nay, gar net.


Well, ols amohl.

Hardly ever be untrue to thee! Then give three cheers and one cheer more for the faithful seaman for the “Pinafore.”

Doch gleicht er sei Buttercup, orrum glay Buttercup,
Und ich waiss gar net warrum;
Doch gleicht er sei Buttercup, shay glaene Buttercup,
Zu dei glay Buttercup kim.

Doch gleicht er sei Buttercup, orrum glay Buttercup,
Und mir wissen gar net warrum.
Doch gleicht er sei Buttercup, orrum glay Buttercup,
Iss er now net hesslich dum!

Sir Joseph
Ich bin der kaynich fun der meer,
Und ven ich hiar dir (to Hebe)
I vos true mit dot devoton vot my lofe implants.

Then good-bye to his sisters and his cousins and his aunts!
Especially his cousins,
Who he reckons up by dozens,
His sisters and his cousins and his aunts!

Ols er iss ‘n Englisher,
Und er hut’s yo selvet g’sawt.
Yaw, er hut’s yo selvet g’sawt,
Ols er iss ‘n Englisher.


This Pennsylvania German version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor was serialized in The Morning Call (Allentown) newspaper on May 16, May 23, and May 1959.

The Pennsylvania German translation of Pinafore was first published in Allentown in 1882 as H.M.S. Pinafore, oder Das Mædle und ihr Sailor Kerl: ‘n Translation fun dem bekannte Opera. That text was presented in parallel Pennsylvania German and the original English libretto, and translated by Alfred C. Moss and Ellwood Newhard. It was revived in 1901 in Allentown, Altoona, Bethlehem, Easton, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading, Scranton, and other Pennsylvania towns to great regional acclaim. A second revival focused in eastern Pennsylvania took place in 1910 and was still recalled by scholars and residents of Northampton County and Lehigh County in the 1960s.

The Pennsylvania German text digitized here was edited and corrected by Preston Albert Barba (1883-1971) in 1959 and published in his ‘S Pennsyvaanisch Deitsch Eck (The Pennsylvania German Corner) column with notes and commentary. A third text was prepared in the 1970s or 1980s in typescript for an unknown purpose by the Rev. Dr. Richard Druckenbrod, a German Reformed United Church of Christ pastor and president of the Pennsylvania German Society.

Dr. Barba notes: “The Pennsylvania German version is not in the best Lehigh Countian Pennsylvania German and contains many errors, but it was meant to be burlesque. Joined with the light music of Sullivan and Woody Newhard’s dialect ad libs it proved a roaring success.”

This text was transcribed by Richard Mammana in 2022 for purposes of free use non-commercial language study with no further assertion of copyright.

November 1977 article from The Morning Call.

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