14 October 2013

Friends and kinsfolk

Happy Leif Erikson Day.

In honor of the occasion, a Swedish song about a girl who'd rather run off with a poor sailor than marry the king's son.

Here is a translation of the lyrics for those of us not fluent in Swedish.

(To my sorrow, the band is not using a nyckelharpa on this song.  The nyckelharpa is a peculiarly Swedish instrument, a sort of bowed hurdy gurdy. They do use a nyckelharpa in some of their other songs; you can see one in this video for 'Herr Holger.' If that's not a clear enough look for you, there is also a short video showing a modern chromatic nyckelharpa, and more history from the American Nyckelharpa Association. And the oldest known depiction of a nyckelharpa? That dates from the late 1300s, and is on the nave portal of Källunge church on Gotland).

It should be noted that 'Leif Erikson Day' is apparently recognised in the U.S. on October 9 by presidential proclamation, but I persist in the notion that the obnoxious Genoan does not deserve a holiday, and Leifr the Lucky is much worthier of our attention.


  1. The obnoxious Genoan is on the list of worst people who ever lived. The Oatmeal has a suggestion for today: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/columbus_day

    1. Yes, I saw that. Definitely a better person, and deserving of more attention. But I think Leif needs a better holiday than what he's currently getting, too.


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