Rostock Ballad

Written by Emma Johannesdotter (Johannes branch) for the first reunion at Rostock June 22, 1952.

Translated into English by Håkan Larsson (Johannes branch).

Melody: from the Swedish ballad "In the low Horseman Holding"


The merry Rostock Family have gathered here today
From many different regions and trades of all to say
Here Petter Samuel Nilsson became head of a family great
I don't remember grandfather much, for that I was too late.

My grandmother Catarina stands clearly in my mind
She was a busy woman and to all the children kind
When we came to Rostock our grandmother to see
It was for us a pleasure, the best place where to be.

My grandfather was a farmer with go-ahead spirit I can tell
Eight children on the farm and everything went well
They all became good women and men of ready mind
Of honour to the old ones who brought them up that kind.

About my father Johannes Pett(er)son, I want to tell you all
With many missions busy for him was always call
For the church and for the township he took an interest so great
And with work as auctioneer and other tasks he could not wait.

The oldest daughter Stina, she was a girl with fair look
At home she helped her mother until a suitor she took
After her was uncle Frans-Gustav, for America he could not wait
They said he there became a priest if not a Church-Father great.

There after was uncle Karl and a farmer he became
My aunt Hanna she also got a farmer like the same
This trade was also for Johan and August to be laid
Although other trades as a hobby beside they made.

A cherished visit to Rostock my memory brings to life
That was when aunt Anna-Lisa was to become a wife
She then became the matron with hardly time to catch her wind
With husband, children and the home a trouble she didn't mind.

But time flies apace, we are no residents on this earth
We part from all down here, from toil into another birth
They have passed the border, the ancestors I here have given name
What now is left is their remembrance - that will with us remain.

Now many scions gather from near and far away
How many we are now, well, whom of us can say?
That Rostock family has increased so we all can see
In hundred fifty years it has branched off, our tree.

The sons of Rostock always were seen as men of sense
From the stony land of Småland they got a back so tense
With a master's hand many turned stool, built farm
And all the folks at home they kept out of every harm.

Like stony fir from Småland the Rostock women stand
Sound in all kind of weather, the resource at need they land
Although by gout tormented to good humour they find ways
A heritage from old ancestors right up to our days.

Oh, Rostock family, new offspring will be seen
New generations will come as till now has been
In a few years perhaps a new gathering will be called
May new generations follow in the footsteps of the old.