In 1986, SONT – a dialect organisation from the Netherlands – declared March to be ‘Dialect Month’. In 2016, March as Dialect Month is surprisingly still celebrated in the Netherlands. Perhaps not so surprisingly, the idea did not catch on anywhere else (not even in Belgium). That is too bad.
My 2016 contribution to promoting March as Dialect Month outside the Netherlands – and slightly widening its focus – was this: On each day of March, I posted and tweeted about a song that is sung in a small Germanic variety. In my definition, this is any variety that belongs to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family, except for standardised varieties of the most widely spoken national languages (e.g. English, German, Dutch, Swedish etc.). You know what these standard varieties sound like (and if you don’t, that is easily remedied). My list of songs features varieties that are not used by as many speakers and therefore not heard as frequently. Some of the varieties in my list may even be at risk of becoming extinct in a not-too-distant future. Let’s listen to them while they are still being used.
Below is a highly subjective, completely unrepresentative list of 31 songs in small Germanic varieties. On Twitter, I used #SiSGV (Songs in Small Germanic Varieties) as a hashtag. All songs can be found in this Spotify playlist (I am sorry if you can’t listen to all songs in your country) and, whenever possible, I tried to supply links to other legal sources as well as the lyrics of each song. If you have any questions, suggestions or corrections, feel free to comment. Here is the list: