The East Frisian Anthem

Until now, East Frisia has not re-established its independence, and that is why there is no official anthem. But one song is sung again and again by all the East Frisians and became an inofficial anthem: “In Oostfreesland is’t am bestem” (In East Frisia it’s best to live): 

In Oostfreesland is’t am bestenIn Oostfreesland is’t am besten
over Freesland geit der nix!
War sünd woll de Wichter mojer,
war de Jungse woll so fix?
In Oostfreesland mag ik wesen,
anners nargens lever wesen,
over Freesland geit der nix.

Nargens bleiht de Saat so moje,
nargens is de Buur so riek,
nargens sünd de Kojen fetter,
nargens geiht de Ploog so liek,
nargens gifft’t so feste Knaken,
weet man leckerder to maken
Botter, Kees’ un Karmelkbree.

Nä,’t is nargens, nargens bäter
as war hoch de Dieken staan,
war up’t Eiland an de Dünen
hoch herup de Bulgen slaan;
war so luut de Nordsee bullert,
war ji könen up de Dullert
Dreemast-Schepen faren seen.

War in’d Wagen Törf un Kienholt
worden haalt van’t Hochmoor her;
war de ganse Welt sück lüstig
makt up’t Is bi’t Eierbeer;
war s’ int Feld mit Kloten scheten,
wor se Bookweit-Schubbers eten,
Harm up Freersfoten geit.

För Oostfreesland, för Oostfreesland
laat ick Blot un Leven geern,
was’k doch man weer in Oostfreesland,
war so mennig söte Deern!
In de Frömde wünsk ik faken:
Kunk doch Moders Breepott smaken;
sat’k doch weer in ‘d Hörn bi’t Für!


The melody of the song is the same as the one of the famous German folk song “Weißt Du wieviel Sternlein stehen?”

Noten

According to the lore, Enno Hektor versified this sentimental song in the year 1850, while doing a break at a tavern in Knieps in Dernau (south of Bonn in Germany). He was on the way south, because he had, as so many before and after him, to leave his East Frisian home in Dornum for economical reasons. However, he devoted is live to spread and support East Frisian culture and language. That is why we call him the first East Frisian ambassador!

The song was originally called “Sehnsucht nach der Heimat” (Longing for the Home), but is called after its first line “In Oostfreesland is’t am besten” today, or just East Frisian song. The text is not only sentimental but also very self-deprecating: it lampoons a lot the quirks of the East Frisians. Because of this, it is assumed that Enno Hektor wrote it as a kind of a parody of the “Deutschlandlied”, the lugubrious national anthems of the Germans, written shortly earlier by Hoffmann von Fallersleben on the island Helgoland.