Amish Schoolchildren Sing “The Ninety-Nine” (Video)

Amish schoolchildren singing
Image/video by Philip Sarlo

It’s hard to watch this video and not smile. A class of Amish schoolchildren sings “The Ninety-Nine” for the camera in what looks to be a Holmes County, Ohio Amish school.

So enjoy this sweet rendition of a 120-year-old hymn…and can you tell from the video why I guessed this to be that community?

The Ninety-Nine

William G. Schell, pub. 1897

The ninety-nine within the fold
Are safe from fears and storms of night,
But one is on the mountains cold,
’Twill perish there—how sad the sight!

Go search it out and bring it home,
No more in darkness let it roam;
You’ll find it there in dreadful plight,
Oh! go and bring it back tonight.

The ninety-nine are safe today,
They’re all at home, so fully blest,
But one is wand’ring far away,
Upon the mountain’s snowy crest.

The ninety-nine with care are fed,
And rest within the Shepherd’s fold;
But one is starving, nearly dead,
Upon the mountains bare and cold.

The Shepherd dear, aloud doth weep
Because one lamb afar doth roam;
The ninety-nine He’ll safely keep—
We’ll seek that lamb and bring it home.

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    1. Mark -- Holmes Co.

      Well, I know why you guessed Holmes County! 🙂 Fun to see some faces I recognize.

      1. Ah that’s neat to hear that Mark…well I’m sure this one was easy for you, so thanks for not giving it away 😉

    2. Al in Ky

      Is the clue (to the children being from Holmes County) the style, and especially the color black, of the girls’ coverings?

      1. You’re right in the ball park Al, yes it is about the differences on their heads 🙂

        1. Al in Ky

          Here’s an addition to my guess — the school children look like it is a mixed group of Old Order Amish (Holmes Co. affiliation) and a more conservative affiliation (Swartzentruber?) Amish children. I see at least one boy (on the right side of the front row) with a Swartz. style haircut and at least one girl (on the left end of the front row) with a Swartz. style head covering. Most (maybe all) of the other boys have Old Order Holmes Co. style haircuts and most girls have Old Order Holmes Co. style head coverings. If I am correct, several Holmes County Amish schools have students from more than one affiliation and this is likely more true in Holmes County than in other Amish settlements

          1. That’s right Al – I was basing it on the haircuts and prayer coverings of the children. You can see the different Swartzentruber-style coverings of a couple of the girls, and the one little boy has a classic Swartzentruber haircut. Some Amish schools in Holmes County will have a mix of children from the different affiliations.

            Maybe Mark picked up on other clues besides that, but that’s the first thing that jumped out at me 🙂

            1. Mark -- Holmes Co.

              The haircuts & coverings stood out, but I have to admit I know the school and know it has always had a mixture, so “prior knowledge” and all that.

    3. The Children did very well with the "99"

      Does the 100th get saved in the end?
      I well behaved class of pupils – it must be a pleasure to teach in AMISH Land.
      Couldn’t help noticing a well earned yawn towards the end !
      God bless you all.

    4. Alex Knisely

      "Spot the community"

      Till I saw the adult women’s caps, sorry, bonnets, I thought — Indiana, Jay County or thereabouts. But to my recollection adult women wear black Kappe there. So not quite right for those settlements.

      Don’t know Holmes County garb. After a girl joins church, does her bonnet colour change there?

    5. Alejandro Ramírez

      How can I visit an Amish Community?

      Hello Erick. How can I apply for living in an Amish Community? Please ?

    6. Mark -- Holmes Co.

      Alex, the “bonnet” is the (usually black) outer piece of headwear worn over the cap, so you were right when you said “caps.” Most Amish bonnets are black, but there are a few communities that have brown and younger girls in PA communities often have blue ones.

      I don’t know of any community/ group where the cap changes color with baptism — it’s usually black for single girls at church, white for married at all times. During the week, it varies depending on group. There are Swiss Amish communities (like in Ind.) where all caps are black no matter if the person is married or single.

    7. Katie Troyer

      The teachers are also from two different groups of Amish according to their dress code.

      1. Aha Katie, is that by the kapp – they look slightly different to me – or something with the dresses?

    8. Jane

      So enjoyed

      I so enjoyed their singing this song. I noticed they were well mannered as they took their places to sing. I did not think they liked to be photographed. Would they have gotten parents permission to do this video?

    9. Amish girl-Rebecca

      There are “Dan Amish” , Holmes OldOrder, Swartzentruber, and a New Order teacher.
      Black caps are generally the color for school girls everyday. They would wear white for dress up, except for church when all single girls wear black. Once you’re out of school that is the only time you wear black ( for church).
      My Canadian friends wear black all the time and the married women wear white.

    10. Rita

      Thanks for sharing this!

      Thoroughly enjoyed this. I live 1/2 mile from an Amish school and often wonder as I drive past what might be going on in there. As for the song, I had it as an instrumental when I learned to play the organ as a young girl, but never heard the song or the words since. Thanks for sharing this with us today.

    11. Carol

      The Ninety-Nine

      Thanks for sharing this video, Erik. Such a blessing to my ears and heart! Blessings to you, Erik. Carol

      1. Both a pleasure to listen to and share here. Thanks Carol, and glad you liked it.