Lancaster Amish Family Evening Singing At Home (Video)

I like this video (see bottom of post) 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.

Video & images: Daniel Stoltzfus

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 fellow on harmonica, and someone else on guitar.

Update: Thanks to several readers who recognized the song as “Farther Along”.

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.

Refrain:
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.

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    8 Comments

    1. Marilyn Curtis

      Song “Farther Along”

      This song is one we sang a lot in the early 1950s in the Pentecostal church in rural Oklahoma.
      Chorus: Farther along we’ll know all about it. Farther along, we’ll understand why. Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunlight. We’ll understand it all by and by.
      You can Google the verses.

      1. Thanks Marilyn, I’ve updated the post and added the lyrics.

    2. Debra Clarke

      Anyone else notice the Iphone on the chair in front?

      1. I didn’t notice it, but there’s a good chance it belongs to one of the not Amish-looking fellows on the ends.

    3. C. J.

      Amish or Mennonite?

      Thanks for sharing this Eric! I enjoyed the upbeat 4 part harmony. That being said, I wonder if this family is Mennonite, since they are singing with guitar and harmonica accompaniment? Not sure that Amish allow musical instruments, however, I do realize that their church districts are not all alike.
      THAT song…”Farther Along” is an old gospel song, that my sisters and parents sang together many times 60-70 years ago,4 part harmony & without accompaniment.
      My grandfather also played the harmonica for us grandchildren when we were small. Seems to me, 4 part harmony, as well as Harmonicas, are both pretty much a lost art, in our crazy society.

      1. Glad you liked it, C.J. It’s true that musical instruments are not prominent among the Amish but you are right in that not all places are alike. Harmonica is actually fairly common in the Lancaster Amish community. Guitar is played by young people in some of the more progressive communities. In this case I think the guitar player might be from outside the church or maybe an unbaptized relative. Thanks for letting me know which song this is by the way. I need to listen to another cleaner version of this to hear it better.

    4. Maureen Salinas

      Song

      Thank you for the lyrics and so true, so true.
      We will know all about it and get in the sunlight !
      We need to get out of the dark.
      Amen !!

    5. Aj

      Hard to tell if they are active Amish. There are phones, cameras filming, instruments, and apparently non-Amish in the video. I’ve seen quite a few non-active Amish families in Lancaster who still dress as Amish attending the “tent events” hosted by evangelical groups. I don’t want to assume too much, but they could be former Amish or Amish who are singing along with non-Amish neighbors and haven’t fully made the transition to a new church yet. Still, they could be active dedicated Amish who just wanted to express their feelings for their grandparents in this one-off rare occasion on video with neighbors presents.