I like this video not so much for the song itself, but for the feel of sitting around in an Amish home in the evening. You’ve got the soft glow of the propane light, the water pitcher at the ready, the utilitarian folding chairs. Dinner’s been eaten, and everyone’s circled around in the kitchen.
The video description is “Understand by and by, Amish youth singing for great-great- grandmother.” I can’t make out much of the lyrics, and not sure if great-great-grandmother is present in the room or not. This song happens to have musical accompaniment – an Amish youth on harmonica, and someone else on guitar.
Update: Thanks to several readers who recognized the song as “Farther Along”.
Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus all the day long;
While there are others living about us,
Never molested, though in the wrong.
Farther along we’ll know more about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.
Sometimes I wonder why I must suffer,
Go in the rain, the cold, and the snow,
When there are many living in comfort,
Giving no heed to all I can do.
Tempted and tried, how often we question
Why we must suffer year after year,
Being accused by those of our loved ones,
E’en though we’ve walked in God’s holy fear.
Often when death has taken our loved ones,
Leaving our home so lone and so drear,
Then do we wonder why others prosper,
Living so wicked year after year.
“Faithful till death,” saith our loving Master;
Short is our time to labor and wait;
Then will our toiling seem to be nothing,
When we shall pass the heavenly gate.
Soon we will see our dear, loving Savior,
Hear the last trumpet sound through the sky;
Then we will meet those gone on before us,
Then we shall know and understand why.
From the lyrics source: There are contradictory claims for the authorship of this song. The words and music are frequently attributed to W. B. Stevens, although others have attributed the words to W. A. Fletcher.