Die bittre Gute, oder Das Gesäng der einsamen Turtel-Taube, Manuscript hymnal, 1746.
Close Window

A color image of an open songbook

Credit: American Treasures Exhibition, Library of Congress

A masterpiece of fraktur, this hand-lettered songbook was the principal source for the music of the German Seventh-Day Baptists, a group that immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1732. The manuscript is inscribed "with a title that unrolls in the full proliferation of German Pietism: The Bitter good, or the song of the lonesome turtledove, the Christian church here on earth, in the valley of sadness, where it bemoans its `widowhood' and at the same time sings of another, future reunion [with God]."

Back to Top