I’m headed home this weekend to celebrate my German heritage with my family and hundreds of other people in the tiny town where I grew up.
Haubstadt was settled many years ago by a group of families who came over from Germany seeking a better life.
So now, every year we celebrate with our annual Somerfest and bierstube.
For the most part, it’s just like any other festival in America. There is a giant parade with elaborate floats and people handing out candy. There are rides and carnival games and food booths galore. There’s a talent show and a 5K run. And at night, for the adults, there is a beer garden with live music (That’s the bierstube part, which I assume is German for something involving beer and entertainment).
I know. I know. I should know more about my heritage. I will admit that I don’t know a single German word. And the people in Haubstadt will gasp when they find out I don’t even know the little German ditty they all love to sing.
In fact, I couldn’t even remember the name of the song. Fortunately, the Internet and social media made it really easy to find the answer to that.
I logged on to Facebook and typed out a post that read, “OK Haubstadt people, I need your help. What's the name of the German song that everyone there sings? Bonus points if you can tell me some of the words. I know it sounds like a weird request, but I need it for a column I'm writing. Thanks.”
Within a few minutes, a former journalism professor had posted a YouTube video of the song. It’s called “Schnitzelbank” apparently.
There’s not much information out there about this song, and its origins are somewhat of a mystery — at least to me.