One of the nation’s most enduringly popular harvest hymns began its journey in a German poem published in 1782. According to William J. Petersen, Matthias Claudius (1740-1815) never had any intention of writing a hymn. Claudius was a German journalist and philosopher who was merely writing a poem about a group of peasants gathering for a banquet and singing a “Peasants’ Song”. The seventeen-stanza poem, originally entitled “Paul Erdmann’s Fest” depicts friends coming over to Paul Erdmann’s house and enjoying themselves. It praises both Paul Erdmann for his hospitality and God as the ultimate source of the feast.