Word Ways


Daniel W. Galef


In the small north-German hamlet of Dustig-am-See, now long-since absorbed by the industrial sprawl of Bremerhoben, oral historian Joseph Liedermeyer records the following planting chant and children's rhyme (circa 1530), in celebration of the sowing of row upon row of corn, brought over the Atlantic during the Columbian Exchange, the remarkable fortitude of which allowed it to thrive in almost any ground, even in the tarry bogs that historically surrounded Dustig, thus granting the village a new industry and even modest renown through the end of the Holy Roman Empire.