"Plattdeutsche Volkslieder" picked up in Schwanewede
I made my first contact with Plattdeutsch (lower German) when moving to Schwanewede, Lower Saxony, in 1972. Being English, Plattdeutsch is relatively easier to understand than High German. Musically I first became aware of the richness of this language when hearing a children's choir singing Dat du mien Leefsten büst
I first became really involved in this field of music as chairman of a music club called "Die klingende Runde für jung und alt" in 1979. At that time the club took part in a competition promoting Plattdeutsch. Under the leadership of Bernd Gerken we formed a Plattdeutsch folk group comprising Bärbel Urhahn, Renate Buth and Magda Hielscher (vocals) and myself on penny whistle. Bernd also sang and played the guitar. We played and sung for about two years enjoying moderate success.
Later Bernd Gerken joined the Idle Fellows at which point my involvement in Plattdeutsch became more serious as I started sing these songs myself.
Most of the listed songs were learned from Bernd Gerken either when in "Die klingende Runde für jung und alt" or the Idle Fellows. Today as a solo performer, I occasionally have the opportunity of singing Plattdeutsch, mostly to the more senior citizens although many young Germans have an active interest in this branch of folk-music.
Geoff Grainger, Bremen-Vegesack, January 2001