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Origins:How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?

GUEST,leeneia 23 Oct 09 - 12:08 PM
Bob the Postman 23 Oct 09 - 01:03 PM
katlaughing 23 Oct 09 - 01:21 PM
katlaughing 23 Oct 09 - 01:25 PM
open mike 23 Oct 09 - 01:29 PM
katlaughing 23 Oct 09 - 02:00 PM
Bob the Postman 23 Oct 09 - 05:31 PM
Paul Burke 23 Oct 09 - 05:41 PM
Bob the Postman 23 Oct 09 - 06:00 PM
Kenny B (inactive) 23 Oct 09 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Oct 09 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Oct 09 - 09:24 AM
Jim McLean 24 Oct 09 - 09:52 AM
Bob the Postman 24 Oct 09 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Oct 09 - 05:27 PM
Fidjit 25 Oct 09 - 04:51 AM
Jack Campin 25 Oct 09 - 10:21 AM
Jack Campin 25 Oct 09 - 11:11 AM
bassen 25 Oct 09 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Oct 09 - 09:39 PM
maeve 26 Oct 09 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,leeneia 26 Oct 09 - 11:18 AM
Herga Kitty 26 Oct 09 - 05:15 PM
kitchen piper 07 Jul 10 - 11:32 AM
open mike 13 Dec 10 - 04:53 PM
open mike 13 Dec 10 - 05:16 PM
Mr Happy 16 Dec 11 - 05:34 AM
banjoman 16 Dec 11 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Dec 11 - 10:37 AM
Mr Happy 19 Dec 11 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,open mike 31 Mar 16 - 10:57 PM
leeneia 01 Apr 16 - 07:52 AM
Phil Cooper 01 Apr 16 - 08:30 AM
Hrothgar 02 Apr 16 - 02:09 AM
GUEST,silver 02 Apr 16 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Apr 16 - 08:52 AM
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Subject: How Grt Thou - anybody know Swedish?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 12:08 PM

I was out in the country last week, heard some jammers do 'How Great Thou Art.' Got home, decided to try it on my mountain dulcimer. If you know the song, you can guess that it proved problematic. Too big a range, too much squiggling around in the 6.5 - 7th fret zone.

I looked up the origins of the song. All I have ever seen is the credit "Stuart Hine, 1953." I assumed he wrote the words and text.
Come to find out, the words are:

an English translation of a
German translation of a
Russian translation of
a Swedish original.

You can see the English, the German, and the Swedish, here:

http://ingeb.org/spiritua/howgreat.html

I would like to know if the Swedish original is like the translations. Does it have those references to Jesus, or is it more about praising God the Creator?

(It's a surprise to me how different Swedish is from English and German.)

There are other sites with info about the various translations. Google 'Stuart Hime'
=============
Part 2. The melody is supposed to be a Swedish folk tune. Sources say that the hymn became well known after being sung in a Billy Graham Crusade, by trained soloists.

After learning that, I came to suspect that the first half might be a folk tune, but that the difficult second half, with its high note on 'soul' and its plunge down to 'art' is not a folk tune. I suspect it was crafted for the Crusade, to stir the crowd and show off the talent of the professionals.

Nothing wrong with that, but I'm not going to play it or sing it that way myself. So I've been tinkering with the chorus, looking for something that seems like 'How Great Thou Art' but is singable and believable as a song for ordinary people. It's a lot of fun.

I do it in the key of A. I just can't decide - should I keep that low B or not?
======
I look forward to learning about the landscapes behind the words - southeast Sweden, the Caucasus, Ukraine. Interesting!
English lyrics posted here (click)


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Subject: RE: How Grt Thou - anybody know Swedish?
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 01:03 PM

The text in Swedish


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Subject: RE: How Grt Thou - anybody know Swedish?
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 01:21 PM

You might contact this young bilingual nyckleharpa player/singer/songwriter: Elin Palmer. I just heard her on Colorado Public Radio. Can't say I like a lot of her songs, but her nyckleharpa sounds great and she is charming. She writes, thinks, and speaks in Swedish as well as English and seems to know quite a bit about Swedish folk music, so she may be of help. The program interview will be available later today HERE.


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Subject: RE: How Grt Thou - anybody know Swedish?
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 01:25 PM

I do like her song "Du."


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Subject: RE: How Grt Thou - anybody know Swedish?
From: open mike
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 01:29 PM

'O Store Gud' was written by Swedish pastor
Carl Gustav Boberg (1859–1940) in 1885.

http://www.mannamusicinc.com/hgta.htm

http://www.semicolonblog.com/?p=5179

http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Carl_Boberg

A young minister's two-mile walk in the rain provided the inspiration for "How Great Thou Art." The Reverend Carl Boberg of Monsteras, on the southeast coast of Sweden, was 25 years old when he wrote the lyrics of this song after trekking through a thunderstorm from a church meeting two miles away

This great hymn has a history that stretches back over a hundred years. The original song was written by a young Swedish preacher, Carl Boberg, and first published in 1886, under the title O Store Gud. Boberg wrote a poem, not meaning to write a hymn, but later heard it being sung to an old Swedish tune.

More than forty years later, an English missionary, Stuart Hine, first heard the song in Russia. He and his young wife were missionaries to the Carpathian area of Russia, then a part of Czechoslovakia. There, they heard a very meaningful hymn that was a Russian translation of Carl Boberg's O Store Gud (O Great God).

While ministering in the Carpathian Mountains, Hine found himself in the midst of a threatening storm. The thunder, as it rolled through the mountain range, was so awesome that it reminded Hine of the beautiful Russian hymn that had already become so dear to him. English verses began to form in his mind, verses that were suggested by portions of the Russian translation.

How Great Thou Art is probably the all-time favorite hymn today. Although its origin had roots in Europe, it was not widely known until 1957, when the Billy Graham Crusade in New York City launched it on a never-ending spiral around the world. It was performed nearly a hundred times during those meetings and countless times ever since.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Original Swedish Lyrics
1.
O store Gud, när jag den värld beskådar,
Som du har skapat med ditt allmaktsord,
Hur där din visdom leder livets trådar,
Och alla väsen mättas vid ditt bord.
Refräng:
Då brister själen ut i lovsångsljud:
O store Gud! O store Gud!
Då brister själen ut i lovsångsljud:
O store Gud! O store Gud!
2.
När sommarvinden susar över fälten,
När blommor dofta invid källans rand,
När trastar drilla i de gröna tälten,
Vid furuskogens tysta, dunkla rand;
3
När jag i bibeln skådar alla under,
Som Herren gjort se'n förste Adams tid,
Hur nådefull Han varit alla stunder,
Och hjälpt sitt folk ur livets synd och strid;
4
När slutligt alla tidens höljen falla,
Uti åskådning byter sig min tro,
Och evighetens klara klockor kalla,
Min frälsta ande till dess sabbatsro;
5
Och näg jag vet hur Kristus lät sig födas,
och hur han frälste, hjälpte överallt,
och sedan lät sig till försoning dödas,
och uppstå i förhärligad gestalt.


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Subject: RE: How Grt Thou - anybody know Swedish?
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 02:00 PM

I just noticed Elin was actually born in Sweden.:-)


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 05:31 PM

Pending help from an actual Svenskophone, if that be the word, here are some tentative notes on the translation of "O store Gud" I cobbled together a few years ago using my small knowledge of German, teeny-tiny knowledge of Old Icelandic, and a Swedish glossary.

O store Gud, när jag den värld beskådar,   
O great God, when I the world behold
Som du har skapat med ditt allmaktsord,   
Which thou hast made with thine all-making-word
Hur där din visdom leder livets trådar,
How there thy wisdom leads life's (thread?/tree?)
Och alla väsen mättas vid ditt bord
And all essentials measured with thy (bord?)

Då brister själen ut i lovsångsljud
Then bursts soul out in a song of adoration
O store Gud! O store Gud!
O great God! O great God!

När sommarvinden susar över fälten,
When summer winds blow over fields,
När blommor dofta invid källans rand
When flowers scent (kallans?) Banken,
När trastar drilla i de gröna tälten
When (birds trill?) in green valleys
Vid furuskogens tysta, dunkla rand
With (furu?)woods silent green brink


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 05:41 PM

The tune- I remarked a couple of years ago that it was like "Rambling Boy"- and I afterwards realised that it's also the third part of a quite delicious Norwegian bridal waltz from Finnmark. Given that "the folk" never seem to have been too picky over sources, and that hymn writers at least since Wesley have had the same attitude, it's probably impossible to say whether it's a folk tune turned hymn or virtue- versa.


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 06:00 PM

Typo alert, last post but one

"When flowers scent (kallans?) Banken" should read "When flowers scent (kallans?) bank", bank as in bank of a river.


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Kenny B (inactive)
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 06:03 PM

I have a pamphlet somewhere with the story of How Great Thou Art and i think the Russian words are on it too if anyone is interested


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 09:22 AM

Thanks for the translation, Bob. (I didn't catch it at first that your post had English and Swedish interleaved.) Your verses are about God and nature, but looking at the longer Swedish version above, I see 'Adam' and 'Christ' and even 'Han' (John?) So it's a Christian song as well as as deist song. That's what I was interested in.

Now that you've translated, I see more cognates:

jag - ich
bristen - burst
sjalen - soul
sommerwinden - summer winds.

Yes, the kinship is there.

Where I live, this song is loaded with emotions far beyond anything in the lyrics or melody, because it is often played at funerals. Recently I heard a bluegrass group do an arrangement of this, an arrangement no doubt done by their classically-trained violinist. It was simply beautiful. (No words.) The group's leader played that song all the way through while stoicly regarding us all with eyes filled with tears.

That, boys and girls, is a MAN.


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 09:24 AM

Correction: it's not Stuart Hime, it's Hine, in the first post.


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 09:52 AM

Just a couple of additions: furuskogens=pine forest, trastar drilla=thrushes warble,invid kaellens rand=close to the springs's edge.
The last phrase is more difficult to translate poetically, quickly. (I was once a deckboy in the Swedish merchant navy).


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 10:43 AM

So, furu cognate with fir, perhaps.
Trastar cognate with thrushes, and kaelle with German Quelle.

In general, it seems that the lyrics Billy Graham owns are not too distant from the Swedish original.

We did this in my Protestant boys' choir, of course, and my interest in it was renewed when it was sung at my father-in-law's Catholic funeral. As to the power of the violin, at that service we were most of us pretty brave until Margot's solo violin piece.


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 05:27 PM

'we were most of us pretty brave until Margot's solo violin piece.'

Another example of the strange power of this song.


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Fidjit
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 04:51 AM

A few more corrections


O store Gud, när jag den värld beskådar,   
O great God, when I the world behold
Som du har skapat med ditt allmaktsord,   
Which thou hast made with thine all-making-word = powers
Hur där din visdom leder livets trådar,
How there thy wisdom leads life's (thread?/tree?)= threads of life
Och alla väsen mättas vid ditt bord
And all essentials measured with thy (bord?)= table

Då brister själen ut i lovsångsljud
Then bursts soul out in a song of adoration = your soul bursts
O store Gud! O store Gud!
O great God! O great God!

När sommarvinden susar över fälten,
When summer winds blow over fields,
När blommor dofta invid källans rand
When flowers scent (kallans?) Banken, = touches your inner self
När trastar drilla i de gröna tälten = thrushes trill
When (birds trill?) in green valleys
Vid furuskogens tysta, dunkla rand
With (furu?)woods silent green brink = fir forrests murky edge

Chas


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 10:21 AM

One additional fact: Kenneth Osbeck's "101 Hymn Stories" doesn't add much to the previous messages, but does say that the place where it was first heard sung to "an old Swedish melody" was Varmländ - so that might be where to look for earlier forms of the tune.

Osbeck also says that the first English translation was by E. Gustav Johnson in 1925, and that Hine's version was done in two stages, with the first three verses done in in the 1930s and the fourth verse added after WW2. I can't find Johnson's version in any book I've got, but Osbeck implies that it was once common.


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 11:11 AM

And, coincidentally or not, the A part of the tune is very similar to the big theme in Sibelius's "Finlandia" (which Sibelius claimed as original, but it postdates the tune as used in HGTA).


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: bassen
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 04:44 PM

Mäta = measure

Mätta = satiate, feed until full

Väsen = in this context, creatures

Och alla väsen mättas vid ditt bord
And all creatures are fed/eat their fill at your table

Furu = generally, pine (pinus sylvestris)

Gran = generally, fir (picea albie)

Grona tälten = literally green tents. Here, green canopy, treetops, trees.

(the last three verses as literal as I can)
3
När jag i bibeln skådar alla under,
When I in the Bible regard all the wonders
Som Herren gjort se'n förste Adams tid,
That the Lord has performed since the first Adam's time/age
Hur nådefull Han varit alla stunder,
How full of grace (actually, graceful) He has been at all times
Och hjälpt sitt folk ur livets synd och strid;
And helped his people out of life's sin and strife.
4
När slutligt alla tidens höljen falla,
When at last the shells/enclosures of all times fall(?)
Uti åskådning byter sig min tro,
In the observation (of this) my faith changes (?)
Och evighetens klara klockor kalla,
And the clear bells of eternity call
Min frälsta ande till dess sabbatsro;
My redeemed spirit to its sabbath calm
5
Och när jag vet hur Kristus lät sig födas,
And when I know how Christ let himself be born
och hur han frälste, hjälpte överallt,
and how he saved, helped everywhere
och sedan lät sig till försoning dödas,
and then let himself for reconciliation be killed
och uppstå i förhärligad gestalt.
And rose again in glorified state/figure/form

As I'm Norwegian, I'll more than willingly grovel in mortification if any "svenske" has a better translation. On the whole, Norwegians understand Swedish better than Swedes understand Norwegian…

Bassen


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 09:39 PM

Thanks very much, Fidjit and bassen! I like the sentiments of these original verses very much.


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: maeve
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 07:17 AM

I've very much enjoyed reading this thread. Thanks for posting your question, leeneia, and for the illuminating posts from the rest of you.

maeve


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 11:18 AM

You've very welcome, maeve. Thanks for your comment.

Saturday after breakfast I played it for my husband on my fretted dulcimer. He confirms that it's a successful dulcimer tune.


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 05:15 PM

I was wondering if Vicki Swann, kitchenpiper, another nyckelharpa player and Swedish speaker might turn up on this thread....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: kitchen piper
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 11:32 AM

lol, I don't think I need to, it looks all in hand to me.
Allt låta ju bra!
:)


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: open mike
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 04:53 PM

just piping in as another nyckelharpa player...glad to re-discover this thread as I touch base with all things Swedish on this Santa Lucia
day.


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: open mike
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 05:16 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWCAi3fRGZI


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 16 Dec 11 - 05:34 AM

Sung at a friends funeral this week, lovely tune, stuck in my head, hope to add it to my melodeon airs repertoire


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Great_Thou_Art_(hymn)


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: banjoman
Date: 16 Dec 11 - 06:12 AM

Our all time favourite hymn which we sing & play whenever the occasion allows. Interesting thread and thanks for all the info on its origins - I can now act as if I know something next time we introduce it???


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Dec 11 - 10:37 AM

Thanks for the link, open mike. I like the singer's easy naturalness.

Glad you like the thread, banjoman.


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Subject: RE: How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 19 Dec 11 - 08:16 AM

Swedish tune titled, O STORE GUD

X: 1
T: How Great Thou Art
C: Old Swedish folk tune
P: English words: Stuart K Hine 1899
N: Translated (more or less) from the Swedish lyrics by Carl Boberg in 1886.
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bb
V: 1
[FD][FD][FD] | [D3B,3] [FD] [FE][FB,] [GE][GE] | [E2B,2][G2E2] z[GE][GE][G^C] |
w: 1.~O Lord my God, when I in awe-some won-der Con-sid-er
w: 2.~When thru the woods and for-est glades I wan-der And hear the
w: 3.~And when I think that God, His Son not spar-ing, Sent him to
w: 4.~When Christ shall come with shout of ac-cla-ma-tion And take me
[F3D3] [DB,] [FD][FD] [EC][EA,] | [D4B,4] z[FD][FD][FD] | [D3B,3] [FD] [FE][FB,] [GE][GE] |
w: all the works Thy hands have made, I see the start, I hear the might-y
w: birds sing sweet-ly in the trees, When I look down from loft-y moun-tain
w: die, I scarce can take it in, That on the cross, my bur-den glad-ly
w: home, what joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow in hhum-ble ad-o-
[E2B,2][G2E2] z[GE][GE][G^C] | [F3D3] [DB,] [FD][FD] [EC][EA,] | [D4B,4] z ||
w: thun-der, Thy pow'r thru-out the un-i-verse dis-played!
w: brand-eur And hear the brook and feel the gen-tle breeze,
w: bear-ing, He bled and died to take a-way my sin!
w: ra-tion And there pro-claim, my God, how great Thou art!
"REFRAIN" [FD][FD][BD] | [d3F3] [c_A] [BG][=A^F] [BG][GE] | [F4D4] z[BD][BD][AE] |
w: Then sings my soul, my Sav-ior, God, to Thee; How great Thou
[C4A,4] z[EC][GE][FC] | [D4B,4] z[FD][FD][BD] | [d3F3] [c_A] [BG][=A^F] [BG][GE] |
w: art, how great Thou art! Then sings my soul, my Sav-ior, God, to
[F4D4] z[BD][AE][BF] | [c4G4] z[dF][eG][AE] | [B4D4] z |]
w: Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
%
V: 2 clef=bass middle=d
[bB][bB][bB] |\
[f3B3] [bB] [ac][fd] [be][be] |\
[g2e2][b2e2] z[be][be][b=e] |\
[b3f3] [ff] [aF][aF] [gF][fF] |\
[f4B4] z[bB][bB][bB] |
[f3B3] [bB] [ac][fd] [be][be] |\
[g2e2][b2e2] z[be][be][be] |\
[b3f3] [ff] [aF][aF] [gF][fF] |\
[f4B4] z || [bB][bB][bB] |
[b3B3] [bd] [e'e][e'e] [e'e][be] |\
[b4B4] z[fb][ff][c'f] |\
[f4F4] z[aF][bF][aF] |\
[f4B4] z[bB][bB][bB] |\
[b3B3] [bd] [e'e][e'e] [e'e][be] |\
[b4B4] z[bB][fB][bd] |\
[b4e4] z[=bd][c'c][c'f] | [b4B4] z |]


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Subject: RE: Origins:How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: GUEST,open mike
Date: 31 Mar 16 - 10:57 PM

http://www.newsner.com/2016/03/98-aarig-mormor-dyker-upp-paa-countrysaangarens-konsert-och-tar-plats-framfoer-pianot-i-ett-makaloest-framtraedande/


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Subject: RE: Origins:How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Apr 16 - 07:52 AM

Thanks for the link, open mike. I like it.


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Subject: RE: Origins:How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 01 Apr 16 - 08:30 AM

I do recall hearing this in the early '60's when my grandparents would drag me to Swedish Covenant church services. They were also big Billy Graham followers. I did find when playing guitar as a teenager than I still liked tunes like this, or This is My Father's World to the fairly lame religious fake folk hymns they were writing in the 70's. It was fascinating reading all the posts.


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Subject: RE: Origins:How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 02 Apr 16 - 02:09 AM

It had another run at the hymn singing session at the (Australian) National Folk Festival this year. It does come up most years - because it is so good for communal singing.


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Subject: RE: Origins:How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: GUEST,silver
Date: 02 Apr 16 - 06:10 AM

I'm Swedish, and I would say 'bassen', although Norwegian, did a very good translation.


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Subject: RE: Origins:How Great Thou Art - anybody know Swedish?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Apr 16 - 08:52 AM

Good. Thanks.


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