American Union of Swedish Singers

Translations of Swedish Songs (B)

Bakom dessa gröna lindar
Behind these green linden trees, hidden by flowers,
Ears and grain,
Protected from the southern wind,
Sang Movitz Bacchi mass with roses ‘round his head.
In this river he often swam,
Went into the water, sang and waded;
He sang in praise of God,
Who made us all so cheerful.

Tr: Josef Oscarsson

Basens sorg ( The Agony of the Bass (singer))
Our bass can, literally, sing like a clock striking the hour,
He forgets the sorrows of home,
when in the choir’s circle he stands.
He forgets the lathe, which he must pedal,
Pedals, stomps under rebuke through gloomy years.
Pale, he glances up at the lamp
The pharynx opens, the Adam’s apple goes.
Little bird, sing in the linden tree!
Little bird, sing from your wide, full chest!
The notes melting to comfort the bass.

Often, peacefully, he stands before a concert,
he stands among shavings,
Leaves his wife his last penny, when she makes noise, wild and difficult:
With sauce pan in hand, she begins to chide:
She continues to stay home while the man goes to parties.
Long-suffering, the bass wrinkles his brow.
The picture of sorrow in tuxedo tails and shaggy hair
Peace and quiet settles in.
Silence over the castle and village yards.
Our tenor with his light voice, that shines,
Brings mild balm to the bass’s wounds.

Tore the curtain just in rags,
she threw the tuning fork to the floor!
The carpenter, used to the horrors of home,
mild with tacks in his mouth, smiled.
“Go away and waste more money!
All the farmhands sing in that choir, that I know!”
Noise, rumble, white glares.
The bass quietly puts on the tuxedo.
Beautiful visions to my eyes
Beautiful visions of my eye stand.
Our tenor would the bass royally reward:
languid and tender are his tones.

The Day of singing was the worst.
She was at the door standing guard,
While the ball room, draped in flags,
was bursting in splendor.
Wheezed up to the leader with his pipe,
“I will trouble your bass, the fine gentleman standing there!”
The leader vehemently grips the stick, air-mouth:
a tone rises to the ceiling!
The angel of peace quietly proceeds
Standing with open arms at the evening’s door.
The delightful tenor, for our bass, who suffers, sings comfortingly like never before!

Björneborgarnas marsch (March of the Björneborg Regiment)
(also known as Karl XII’s March)
(Traditional Finnish march)
(Text: Johan Ludvig Runeberg, 1804-1877)

Son of a folk that bled
On Narva’s heath, on Poland’s sand,
On Liepzig’s plains, ‘mis Lutzen’s glooming.
Finland’s power is not dead.
Still can with foemen’s blood a field be colored red!
Hence, hence, peace and rest and stay!
A storm has broken; the lightning burns,
The field-guns’ thunder deep is booming.
Forward! Rank on rank array!
On gallant men, brave father’s spirits smile today!
Noble the path o’er which we bear our banner.
Sharp is our steel! We bleed in soldiers’ manner!
All, all, forward, dauntless, bold!
Tattered from battles since our hoary annals’ days!
On! On! Our noble war-worn standard raise!
There’s still some shred that Finland’s colors old display.

Tr: De Svenske

Blott en dag (Day By Day) (Psalm #249)
(Oscar Ahnfelt, 1813-1882)

Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here,
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best.
Lovingly, it’s part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day the Lord himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour.
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me
He whose name is counselor and power.
The protection of his child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid.
As your days, your strength shall be in measure;
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting
N’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach my promised land.

Tr: A.S. Skog

Bort allt vad oro gör
(Carl Michael Bellman, 1740-1795)

Away, all that makes unrest,
away, all that sickens the heart!
Better select from these bottles
your chosen spirits for stomach ailment.
Neighbour, do exactly as I do,
know that this oil brings good temper.
How delicious it was! What was it?
Rhenish wine? Yes, milord.

Away, all that makes unrest,
everything is but dust and ashes.

Let us briskly empty our bottle amongst our brethren.

Neighbour, do exactly as I do,
know that this oil brings good temper.
How filling it was! What was it?
Yes, excellent Malaga.

Bred dina vida vingar (Spread wide your narrow wings)
(Psalm #190) (Folk Melody)

The holy wings, dear Savior, spread gently over me;
And thru the long night watches, I’ll rest secure in Thee.
Whatever may betide me, be Thou my hiding place,
And let me live and labor, each Day, Lord, by Thy grace.

Thy pardon, Savior, grant me, and cleanse me in Thy blood!
Give me a willing spirit, a heart both clean and good.
O take into Thy keeping, Thy children, great and small,
And while we sweetly slumber, enfold us, one and all!

Brevet från Lillan (The Letter from Lillan)
(Evert Taube, 1890-1976)

Papa come home!
For we miss you every day!
Come before summer is ended, Dear Papa!
Thunder has come
and at night it gets so dark,
And I can see the stars in the sky.
All I would have
is a coral necklace, please
Anything else would be much too expensive.
Out in the woods
There are berries everywhere,
Many small birdies are learning to fly.

The lake is so warm
I go bathing every day,
and I jump right in, not a bit afraid
for now I have learned to swim!
We have such fun
In our playhouse by the sea,
And a little fir
We have seen out there,
It will be our Christmas tree.

All of this note
Almost by myself I wrote
And I am going to school in the Autumn
Papa come home!
I have lots to tell you more!
Now ends the letter from your Ellinor.

Brudefaerden i Hardanger
(The wedding festival in Hardanger)
(Kjerulf Halfdan, 1815-1868, Norwegian)

There breathes a sparkling summer wind
Warm on the waters of Hardanger Fjord.
Where raised on the sky in bluish fragrance
The mighty mountains tower.
The shimmering glaciers, the green of the hillsides,
In holiday dress the meadows arrayed.
For see! Over clear green billows
The wedding train gliding home.

And onwards they pulled in merry play
Over the glittering surface.
And boat after boat joins in the train
Of wedding guests so gay.
The blue of the chasms, the shimmering glaciers,
The fragrance of blossoming apple trees.
The church stands august on the tongue of land
And blesses with a peal of bells.

Brudvals – hör fioler och flöjt
Sound accordions, clarinets, fiddles and flute –
Come and waltz with me, sweet because you are so cute!
Only rarely one dances
At weddings and balls
With such sweet ladies as here in these halls.

But you are one of the few,
Who are sweetest, it’s true,
In this business of choosing, I’m older than you.
For the sweetest brunette in the nice carnival,
Did a waltz once with Rönnerdahl!

Hush, the players have changed to a low, minor tune,
That makes goblins and pixies dance under the moon,
And in meadows and fields round our house gay with light
Fairies dance in the dawning Spring light.
Flowers cover the earth for our bride,
Who expectantly blushing would hide.
Let us play, let us dream then where happiness dwells –
How our next meeting falls no one tells.

Tr: L.F. M.A.

Bröllop stundar (The Bride Draws Near)
Firelight paints the trunks of the pines
And silhouettes their branches.
Whose torches are burning there?
The happy bridegroom has lit them.
What can he do now?
He can decorate the sleigh.
Where is he going?
To fetch a bride.
And what may she do?
She must weave a veil of golden thread.

Byssan lull
(Traditional lullaby)

Byssan lull – boil the full kettle,
Three wanderers are coming down then road,
The first one is limping,
The second one is blind
The third one doesn’t say anything.

Byssan lull – boil the full kettle,
In the sky three stars are wandering,
The first one is so white,
The second one is so red,
The third one is the yellow moon.

Byssan lull – boil the full kettle,
Three winds are blowing at sea.
On the great ocean,
On the little Skagerak,
And far up on the Gulf of Bothnia.

Bådn låt – Brumbraskön i Bumba
(Edvard Grieg, 1843-1907)

The cat upon a drum is beating,
And four gay mice are wildly dancing
Until the whole earth’s quaking.

Upon the roof the cat is sitting
And to her daughters gravely speaking,
“When winter comes where shall we go?
It is cold –and our feet freeze so.”

We shall go to gay Denmark,
And buy some shoes for one whole mark.
Three, three, three round peppercorns.
The cats now play on silver horns.

Bön i stormen (Prayer in the Storm)
In the tempest angry haste
See the billows, how they rage and rampage,
Will the storm not soon abate –
End this awful foreboding?

There is one, only one, heaven can give.
There is one, only one, Own him and live.
Christ! Kyrie! Christ! Kyrie!
Come. Come, our journey watch o’er.

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