Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home

Songs, ballads, folklore of Nordic women

Desert Dancer 13 May 13 - 01:50 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 13 May 13 - 04:19 AM
Jack Campin 13 May 13 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,mg 13 May 13 - 05:55 AM
Desert Dancer 13 May 13 - 11:22 AM
Sailor Ron 13 May 13 - 11:45 AM
Deckman 14 May 13 - 11:25 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 May 13 - 06:43 PM
Share Thread
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:

Subject: Songs, ballads, folklore of Nordic women
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 13 May 13 - 01:50 AM

I just stumbled on this site:

The History of Nordic Women's Literature, "More than two hundred articles from 800 writers through 1000 years of literature".

It was a musical link that took me there:

Sorrow and Bitterness
... the ancient runes, documented in Kalevala meter (lyrical poems and ballads), and itkuvirsi (lamentations), which were sung exclusively by women. In all, there are approximately 145,000 texts in the first group, and approximately 3000 in the second. The major part of this material is kept in the Folklore Archives of the Finnish Literature Society in Helsinki.

Another one:

How I Sing the Ballad
Even though much Nordic ballad tradition of the last four hundred and more years has been lost, the surviving tradition represents an overwhelming amount of source material. The intense registration and publication work undertaken during the last century and a half has resulted in an overview of the Nordic tradition.

The extensive corpus of material on which these editions are based contains songs that were sung by and about women. From the host of female singers, collectors, and scribes, we will here select ballads dealing with women's personal and fundamental experiences – experiences with critical bearing on family and lineage.

Articles tagged "songs"

Unfortunately, these authors write from a "literature" perspective, so the focus is on the texts and there is no audio. But there are images, and lots of interesting stuff.

It was this post on the "Nordic Thoughts" blog that led me there: The jouhikko, A.O. Väisänen...and a Karelian wedding. I go to that blog for a mental health break when I'm reading too much heavy news. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any kind of keywording to facilitate searching for prior posts on any particular topic.

~ Becky in Long Beach

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs, ballads, folklore of Nordic women
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 May 13 - 04:19 AM

There are hundreds of these verses in a collection called Finnish Folk Poetry- Epic translated by Keith Bosley and Matti Kuusi.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs, ballads, folklore of Nordic women
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 May 13 - 05:27 AM

Look up kulning, the Swedish tradition of cattle calling:

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs, ballads, folklore of Nordic women
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 13 May 13 - 05:55 AM

how about yoiking

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs, ballads, folklore of Nordic women
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 13 May 13 - 11:22 AM

Here are further links from the "Nordic Thoughts" post:

Music of the Inari Sámi of Finland (including yoiks)

Häiden vietto Karjalan runomailla [aka Wedding in Poetic Karjala] (1921) (an hour and 20 minutes!)
'Häidenvietto Karjalan runomailla' - 'A Wedding in the Karelian Songlands'
is not only Finland's first ethnological film, but it is also the country's first extensive
film made with an accompanying musical score. The film produced by the Kalevala
society depicts an archaic wedding in Suojärvi, Border Karelia, on the northern side of
Lake Ladoga. This region, which in the early 1900s was home to kalevala-metre rune-singing,
Karelian ethnic religious practices and the Orthodox faith, has belonged to Russia
since the Second World War. Drawing from two of his earlier operas,
composer Armas Launis arranged the musical score for the film.

(Unfortunately, it's a silent film, so all you get is the score, and not any of the music being depicted.)

~ Becky in Long Beach

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs, ballads, folklore of Nordic women
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 13 May 13 - 11:45 AM

There is the ballad "Hildina" in Shetland Danish, a wonderful tale, where Hildina gets her revenge by burning the man she has been forced to marry, to death!

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs, ballads, folklore of Nordic women
From: Deckman
Date: 14 May 13 - 11:25 AM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR Add: The Rime of Asla (trad Faroese)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 May 13 - 06:43 PM

The following ballad translated by E.M. Smith-Dampier tells the story of Aslaug, daughter of Sigurd and Brynhild who married Ragnar Lodbrok. She is one of the best Norse heroines.


All men shall marvel,
So featly I foot it on the floor a-dancing!
E' en might I lose my life among ye,
All men should marvel.
DOWN by the river Gestur hied,
& he found a harp that lay beside.
Gestur (1) bound him a burden sore,
The harp on his back away he bore.
Gestur into a garth has gone,
To speak with the goodwife, a childless crone.
'Bide, bide, 'tis eventide,
Till Háki comes home from greenwood wide! "
Right willing, I ween, was he to bide;
The harp he set by the warm fireside.
Thus Gestur abode with that evil dame
Till Háki home from the greenwood came.
Up spake the woman to the wight:
" Gestur shalt slay this self-same night! "
'Who slayeth a sackless man doth ill,
No cause is mine his blood to spill. "
'And wilt thou not his slayer be,
I'll take him to husband in place o' thee! "

1. Gestur here is Heimir, the brother-in-law of Brynhild according to the Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok.


The churl hath ta'en his hunting-knife,
& swiftly ended Gestur's life.
Thus Háki sackless blood did spill, (1)
But 'twas the woman whose rede was ill.
They broke his harp. when he was dead,
& therein found a maiden in scarlet red.
'Now thou shalt dwell in dule & pine,
& I'll call thee Kráka, daughter mine. "
'Well may I dwell in dule & pine,
But I am not Kráka, daughter thine! "
'Now thou shalt dwell in cark & care, (2)
& a legless bairnie shalt thou bear.'
      ·       ·       ·
'Whattho' I dwell in cark & care,
A legless bairnie I will not bear!' (3)
King Ragnar sailed in o'er the salt sea-foam' .
& his swains they hied them to Háki's home.
Bright & blue the billows.break,
While the swains go in with bread to bake.
In came a maiden; with scorn she turned;
They stared on her till the bread was burned.

1. sackless=peaceful.
2. cark =worry,care
3. In fact she gives birth to Ivar the boneless who could not stand on his own legs

THE RIME OF ÁSLA       165

With a cask the carline covered her in:
" Sit there, Kráka, & hold thy din! "
Forth from the cask did the maiden win:
" Shame fall on her, would sit therein! "
The carline lifted her hand to smite,
& the blood ran down on her bosom white. "
'Thou crabbed old crone, art not afraid
To smite on the face so fair a maid? "
'Oh fairer far was I than she!
Man's slaughter .& murder were done for me. "
A knife they took, these bakers bold,
& cut a hair from her locks of gold.
All in a clout they wrap the hair,
& down to the shore in haste they fare.
Up spake the King in angry mood:
" Now wherefore, knaves, have ye marred our food? "
'Oh in came a maiden so white & so red,
We stared on her till we burned the bread.
'No such maiden e'er was seen,
Fairer to look on than Tora the Queen. "


" Now, tell ye this tale in mockery,
Ye all shall hang on the gallows-tree!
'Tell ye this tale in despite & sport,
Your shrift, ye swains, shall be wondrous short!' (1)
Swiftly those swains the clout unfold,
Wherein lay the maiden's hair of gold.
'Now bear to the maiden these words from me:
Ragnar the King would speak with thee! "
Unto the maiden those words they bring:
" Haste thee & hie thee to Ragnar the King! "
      ·       ·       ·
Ásla down thro' greenwood hied,
& called on her hound to run beside,
Ásla hied her to salt sea-shore,
& sent on her hound to run before.
      ·       ·       .

From Northvegr- Aslaug

There's also the story of Aino from the Kalevala, who drowns herself when the old sorcerer Väinämöinen comes across her in the woods and attempts to claim her as his wife. However, she doesn't want to marry an old man, and so she cries for three days, dresses herself up in her finest clothes when her mother (who can't understand why her daughter doesn't want to marry the great wizard), sits out on a rock in the river for another three days, and eventually drowns and becomes a mermaid.

In the original song, "The Hanged Maid," that this poem was based on, a girl called Anni is approached by a strange man in the woods who claims her as his wife. Her mother asks her to go to the grain storehouse and put on the fine clothes she finds there. She does but hangs herself with a belt.

Hope that helps!

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")

Mudcat time: 20 September 11:05 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.