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Listening to the Eichers Yodel

Yodeling is a distinctive form of singing with rich roots in European culture. In the United States, yodeling is becoming increasingly rare, slowly vanishing in today's increasingly modern society. Among the Old Order Amish yodeling was never widespread. Most Amish have Germanic roots where yodeling was never a common cultural emblem. A few Amish churches, however, have distinctly Swiss roots (Sugarcreek, Ohio: Adams County, Indiana; and Webster County, Missouri). The Amish in these communities speak a slightly different dialect, a Swiss Bernese German. And among these Swiss Amish, yodeling was brought over to the New World. Even today in these small enclaves of Amish, the tradition of yodeling still persists.

I first heard yodeling after I met Lovina's mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, when I was just 18 years old. The rich music is both haunting and soothing. And if you close your eyes it doesn't take much to imagine the early origins of the Amish church in 17th century Europe. The yodel serves as an audio rope spanning the generations to this earlier time. Now, 18 years after first meeting the Eichers I get to watch Lovina's children learn to yodel and there's satisfaction in knowing the craft is safe for at least another generation.

Now we are sharing with you what has been so special to me. I recently recorded a "mini concert" consisting of Lovina, Joe, and all the children doing a traditional Swiss yodel. The yodel is then followed by a short solo yodel by Joe. As an added bonus, there is also a brief duet by Lovina and Joe posted. The total running time is under three minutes, but bears multiple listenings! We struggled with whether to make this available, but I believe it preserves their privacy and I can't find anything in Amish church doctrine that prohibits sharing an audio recording. It's really neat to hear her children learning to yodel in this soundtrack.

There is a $1.49 fee to listen to the audio. As editor of the column, I'm always struggling with determining how much the column is worth to readers and newspapers. Well, here you have a chance decide. You can pick whatever price listed that you feel a ticket to this mini-concert is worth. I would be THRILLED and so GRATEFUL if you pick something other than $1.49, but you definitely don't have to. Whatever you choose, the ticket will be cheaper than that to a Hannah Montana concert and you don't even have to leave your house! You can play the track as many times as you want over a two week period, but then to limit the Eicher's exposure to the internet and to preserve their privacy the audio selection will no longer be available. The registration/payment process only takes a few minutes. Click here to name your price and hear this audio treasure. (FREE LOGIN IS REQUIRED!)

UPDATE II: Most readers have been amazingly receptive and supportive of this yodeling endeavor, and I really appreciate that. A few have savaged me for "charging" to hear the music. I'm sure as readers from South Bend, Tacoma, Traverse City, Hammond and other places read the yodeling promo this week we'll have a "second wave" of such comments. I think perhaps I did not do a good job of explaining WHY there is a fee and WHY the yodel is not in a format that can be saved. I will go into great detail in next week's Amish Cook column about this. There are good - not greedy - reasons.

UPDATE: I really prefer people try paying via PayPal to listen to the yodel. I use PayPal all the time, it's the safest, most secure payment method on the `net. That said, some people A) are still squeamish about any online payment or B) might just not be able to figure out how to use it. So I have a "low tech alternative".....if you really want to listen to the yodel but don't want to pay online, use the CONTACT form to send an email and one of my assistants, Travis or Rachel, will contact you in the days ahead to complete the transaction so you can listen. [NOTE: You still have to register at the site first to get a FREE username and password so you can login to listen!]

Re: Listening to the Eichers Yodel

Could someone PLEASE give directions for what to do after clicking on the link for #1 or #2, I seem to be going in circles HELP!!!!!!!!

Re: Listening to the Eichers Yodel

Click on Yodel #1 or Yodel #2 at the top left hand side of the page and this will take you to another screen.  On this screen there will be a speaker symbol along with an arrow.  Click on the arrow (you might have to click on the arrow twice depends on the computer). There will be a "line" that comes out from the speaker.  It will start buffering and then you should start hearing it.  If this does not work e-mail Kevin, he should be back tomorrow to help you.


not right...I like to hear yodeling, but I'm not paying on the internet.  rip-off.

LuvMaerz's picture
Very sad, indeed!! Nay-sayers, please read

To "boogerbear55", it is very sad indeed that you, and a few others before you, took the time to register with this website, get a user name, etc. just to post a nasty remark in a normally very friendly, courteous community of people. 

If you would take the time to read the column Kevin ("The Amish Cook" editor) posted this past week, you might be more understanding:


Monica answer to your question

Hello Monica,

If you go to the blog "how do I listen to the yodeling, lUV and I have broken down the steps as much as we can for you.


I logged in....I paid....but I can't get it to open the music.  How do I do it?  Help.


  I paid to listen , got a user name etc , but I cannot get it to play. I don't know what else to try.


 I am to dumb to understand how to listen to the yodeling. Someone please rescue

 me. I used pay pal but don't know what to do now?  Please help.




still trying to listen to yodelling

cannot still get to listening to yodelling?

yodeling and paying

I wasn't going to listen to it, no real reason why just didn't want to.  But after all the activity about this topic I had to see what all the fuss was about.  I'll admit, I was cheap and only paid the $1.45.  After listening I have to say I agree with all the positive comments made.  I love listening to the first track and hearing the younger voices.  In my mind's eye I could see these little children sitting around their parents and looking at them as they sang, Lovina and Joe watching them and nodding in approval.  Not to degrate their performance by my low payment but now that I've listen to it, I should have paid more.



Thanks, Kevin

It's nice to hear music from other cultures (makes me want to check out the music of my own "roots,"  the Philippines).

The  solo cadenza that Joe did at the end was great.  I've really enjoyed your column and have learned quite a bit from it.   Thanks again!

I LOVED it!!!

Thank you so much for letting us get an "audio peek" into Amish culture.  As another poster said, they harmonize quite well!  Joe's "solo" was really amazing....I think it was well worth it.....Thank you Kevin and thank Lovina for sharing...people who don't want to pay...I used to work at a newspaper, I don't think people have a clue how little papers pay for columns like Lovina's.....they might feel differently about paying if they did! - Maria - Coldwater, Michigan

I'll second that!

It was beautiful to listen to. Thank you so much, Kevin, for making this available to us. I'm going to be listening it over and over!

re: I'll second that

Thanks so much! Wonderful to see so many listening in!  Brenda, were you able to hear Lovina's children? That's my favorite part...T

re: Wow

Alice - Welcome to!  Thanks for the kind words. I really think it's worth a listen and I appreciate all of you who are taking a listen today!  I think it's really worthwhile to sign up for as an educational/cultural experience.  It was a difficult decision to make it available, but I think it's really unique - Kevin


I'm an avid reader of the column in a tiny town outside of Danville, Illinois.  Just listened to the yodeling.  Thank you so much for sharing that! I was just amazed. Truly is beautiful music! Wish our family could harmonize like that!!

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