Valborg (Walpurgis) is celebrated throughout Sweden yet in varying forms. To me Valborg is a celebration of springtime. I also associate it with University students; Chalmers, Lund, Uppsala and their own special festivities. Many a choir is welcoming the spring by singing spring songs. In many parts of Sweden large bonfires play a big role on Valborgsmässoafton (Walpurgis Night).
Read more about Valborg (Walpurgis) and the Swedish traditions here – in Swedish
Watch and listen to Håkan Hellström’s beautiful song Valborg.
A clear blue sky and a gentle, warming sun promised spring ahead today. Already there are signs of fresh growth in the garden. Could it be the Swedish spring? Actually I don’t think it ever stopped growing this season. It has been a mild winter and even the roses have tiny budding leaves. I just had to bring the camera out for a break in the garden today. There wasn’t really much to photograph though, so I focused on the one interesting tree so far; the willow.
A classic, popular Swedish children’s song is “Sov du lilla videung” (Sleep you little young willow). It is about the transition between winter and spring, and the longing for warmer, brighter days. The Swedish spring is usually much awaited, but full of surprises in terms of snow and colder days and nights in between. It happens every year, and yet we are always unprepared!
vår = spring
Winter is upon us, according to the calendar. Yes, we have seen some snow in the Western part of south Sweden; enough to have had the chance to enjoy some beautiful days in the sleigh slope. The ice skates and the cross-country skis are still waiting to have their fun though. But even if there is no winter in sight right now we all know it – it will come back when you least expect it. That’s Swedish winter for you.
The song “Vintersaga” (Winter´s Tale) describes a wintry Sweden – in all the senses of the word. Even if we don´t always have snow it can be dark, windy and cold. The song captures all this, and the melancholy that it leaves behind, but also the beauty and the images of an ordinary Sweden on an ordinary day. The song was written by Ted Ström in 1984. My favorite version of it is sung by Monica Törnell, and was recorded the same year. You’ll find a link to it on Spotify below.
Use available apps in Spotify to see all the words.
Enjoy the 80’s!
The Swedish TV show “Så mycket bättre” (So much better) gathers Swedish musicians/artists and have them interpreting each other’s songs. The most interesting combinations usually occur when artists of totally different genres and musical eras are mixed.
Here is an example; rap artist Ken Ring remakes iconic Lill Lindfors. Swedish music, in Swedish.
Check the lyrics via Tunewiki.
“slå klackarna i taket” in Swedish means to have fun, to party.
Swedish music – in Swedish
Swedish music – in Swedish. Far more popular today than a couple of decades ago when English was the only thinkable language if you wanted to grow a career as an artist.
Music is very much a part of a country’s culture. It is a way to stay connected to the home culture and language once you move abroad, as well as an excellent way to learn a new language and connect with the culture in a hosting country.
I sometimes get questions about recommendations for Swedish music – where the singing is done in Swedish. I usually share it on twitter or e-mail, or in person. I have also done a few blog posts on the topic earlier. Today it crossed my mind; why not make it a series of blog posts? So here goes; a post in the series Swedish music – in Swedish.
Today I present Lars Winnerbäck and his song Utkast till ett brev (Draft for a Letter)
Swedish music – in Swedish for learning the lingo
Since I am teaching Swedish on-line, I sometimes make glossaries for Swedish music to give my students, together with links to videos and texts. You can find an example here.