Monday, December 27, 2010

The Swabian Train

Swabia is a part of southwestern Germany that includes Ulm and Stuttgart. Like the Bavarians, the Swabians are proud of their regional customs and dialect. At the same time, they don't mind poking a little fun at themselves. This postcard from circa 1920 was illustrated by Hans Boettcher.

The rhyme at the bottom of the card is written in  Swabian dialect. Here's my best effort at making it rhyme in English:

A farmer made the choice one day
To take a trip on the Swabian train;

Goes to the counter and tips his hat:
"A ticket, please - thank you for that!"

He'd bought himself a goat that day,
And so he wouldn't run away;

He tied him with a piece of rope
To the back of the railway coach.


  1. I love all the action on the platform, the passengers look as though they are just waiting to see what happens next, even though no full glass of beer are arriving.

  2. Very interesting. This is where we believe my mother's ancestors came from over 200 years ago.

  3. For a moment, I thought that the lady has a belt with beer glasses...:)
    Nice card, mit Schwabs.
    Happy New Year, Christine, Master Deltiologist!

  4. I, of course, didn't mean that my family fell off the back of the train car. I meant they came from Schwabing. Well, they could have fallen off the train. And as I look at the card I have to admit that my family has owned 5 dachshunds so...oh forget it. I'm starting to think the guy shaking his finger at the goat just might be my relative. From a long line of finger-shaking-at-goat people.

  5. T & L,
    I didn't for a minute think that your family fell off the back of a train, but they have to be good people if they had five dachshunds. I am also assuming that your family came from Schwaben, not Schwabing. Schwabian is Swabia; Schwabing is a very fun section of the City of Munich. They could just as easily have dachshunds in Schwabing though.

  6. I never thought of it before, but is this where the term 'to goose' somebody comes from- do they have a tendency to nip you in the butt?

  7. I'd love to live in a land where men carried trays of beer outside for everyone to share!
    This illustration is delightful.

  8. Almost like a picture out of Enid Blyton book.

  9. How sweet - someone's even pulling the dog's tail, but I feel sorry for the poor goat! Jo



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