Despite how well-known they are, the Amish are one of the most enigmatic American subcultures in...
What Do the Amish Think of the Song "Amish Paradise" by Weird Al?
The song Amish Paradise by Weird Al is one of his best-known songs in his entire discography.
Considering Weird Al's discography spans 40 years, 16 Grammy nominations, and 5 Grammy wins, Amish Paradise stands as an exceptionally celebrated and well-known song among hundreds of others.
A parody of Coolio's Gangster's Paradise, the Amish Paradise is well-known for its use of commonly-understood Amish qualities, like farming and typical names, and using them to paint a picture of the Amish that's light-hearted without crossing the line into disrespect.
So some people want to know: What do the Amish think of the song Amish Paradise by Weird Al?
Generally speaking, this isn't possible to answer because the Amish are de-centralized and have no unifying doctrine (like you may find in the Catholic Church).
Instead, they're a loosely-affiliated group that is largely confined to their individual communities by geography, meaning differences in belief will emerge over time.
So there's not a "representative" of the Amish who can issue an official opinion about the song Amish Paradise. But there are four possible ways an Amish person could feel about it:
- The Amish who don't know of the song
- The Amish who are neutral about it
- The Amish who like it
- The Amish who don't like it
We'll start with the group of Amish who don't know of the song Amish Paradise by Weird Al.
1. The Amish Who Don't Know of the Song
Overall, most Amish don't know about the song Amish Paradise.
The Amish in well-traveled tourist locales -- like Lancaster, PA -- may know of it here and there. But this is just one small subset of Amish.
There are also Canadian Amish, Ohio Amish, Kansas Amish, and more.
These far-flung, largely-separated communities have different beliefs, varying levels of engagement with the rest of the world, and -- as a result -- different levels of knowledge about modern music in general, let alone Weird Al's niche of parody.
So those Amish who live in truly isolated communities, such as those in Central Pennsylvania who are so conservative that they don't even paint their barns, likely don't know of the song at all.
Because of the relative isolation of these communities, a good portion of the 360,000 Amish in the United States have probably never heard of Amish Paradise.
2. The Amish Who Are Neutral about It
The next-largest group of Amish are likely those who have no feelings one way or the other about the song Amish Paradise.
Most likely, these Amish individuals have heard the song (or heard of the song) from tourists who want to know if it's a valid representation of Amish life.
It might be a fun thing to hear, and it may also be a mild inconvenience as an Amish person is more interested in making a sale or going about their daily lives.
But because the song is made for (and enjoyed by) non-Amish, it's unlikely that an Amish person who knows of the song either likes or dislikes it.
Instead, they probably forget it exists.
3. The Amish Who Like It
The third-largest group of Amish are the individuals who probably like the song Amish Paradise.
These Amish may like it because -- like any other person -- the Amish tend to have a sense of humor. Hearing about an outsider's understanding of their culture, daily lives, and even their common names might strike them as pretty funny.
Naturally, this is entirely dependent on a person's individual personality and what they think is funny, so it's not going to be universally true.
But it's certainly well within the realm of possibility that an Amish person hears the song and enjoys it -- maybe even laughs.
4. The Amish Who Dislike It
Finally, there are the Amish who almost certainly dislike the song Amish Paradise.
The main reason an Amish person may dislike the song is that it's largely based on generalized ideas that outsiders have about the Amish. It's not necessarily harping on Amish stereotypes (like the names "Jeremiah" and "Jacob"), but it's certainly taking some broad strokes.
For the Amish that regularly engage with non-Amish -- like those in Lancaster -- they may also dislike the song because so many people ask them about it.
That includes Amish who may operate stores in heavily-toured towns like Intercourse, PA, and also those who register their homes and farms with tour companies.
These Amish families have much more contact with the outside world than their more secluded counterparts, and as a result, they may have harder opinions about Amish Paradise.
Want to Hear More from Us?
Sign up for our newsletter!
We regularly write blogs about the Amish, Mennonites, and Lancaster, PA.
If you want to learn more about them, you can get more from us right in your inbox.
Click the button below to sign up!