Monthly Archives: July 2008

of the Gods.

[i meant to post this yesterday when i wrote it but didn’t get time]
I am fire, the forge-spark burning
Am air flowing, feeder of flames
Am earth moving, molding, lifting
Water rushing, river of life.

I walk among the Ancestors
Their ways and wisdom, their worth my own.
I dance among the land Vættar
Their company and courage mine.

I march among mighty Æsir,
Sing with Danu’s sons and daughters,
Walk the wilds, a Vana-friend.
For I am of the tribes of Gods.

Dagens Folkkemusik (Folk Music du jour)

Today’s selection is a particularly lovely performance by Garmarna at 1997’s Melodifestivalen.  This piece is a particularly exquisite example of the complexity of which this band is capable.  l eventually set about figuring out what it means.  Any translation errors are mine.  Transcription errors may be mine, too.  My aim in the translation was to preserve the rhyme, meter and feel of the song as much as possible, which is a little different from my usual aim of demonstrating the similarities.  Original Swedish lyrics by Wester and Bäckman.

En Gång Ska Han Gråta One Day He Shall Cry
Å! Då skar hon linnet itu
Hon vill glömma! Hon vill glömma!
Inte kan hon bära det nu—
Hon vill inte ha det kvar.
O! She cuts the nightgown in twain
To forget him, To forget him!(**)
Never can she wear it again—
She doesn’t want it anymore.
Det var tänkt att visas för den
Som hon lovat! Som hon lovat!
Han som aldrig kommer igen—
Den hon inte vill ha kvar.
It was meant to be worn for him
Who had promised! who had promised!
He who cannot come back again—
She doesn’t want him anymore.
Hon tar vad han har givit,
Går ut i skymningen,
Det ska ned i svarta jorden
Och hon ser mot himmelen!
She takes what he had given,
Goes out in twilight’s hour,
To bury it in the black earth
And looks up to the heavens!
En gång ska han gråta
Fast ingen orkar förlåta!
Vad var dom värda hans dyra ord
Dom fick dö i den svarta jord?
One day he shall cry
Nigh none can forgive such a lie!
His dearest word, what was it worth
That finds death here in the black earth?
En gång ska han fatta,
Hon grät men då ska hon skratta!
Då ska hon dansa på lätta ben
Med en annan i månens sken!
One day he shall fathom, (***)
She wept but she shall laugh again!
Then she shall dance away all the night(*)
With another by moon’s soft light!
Ingenting kan bli som förut.
Hon ska glömma! Hon ska glömma!
Kärleken kan också ta slut;
Den kan dödas med ett svek.
Nothing can remain as before.
She’ll forget him, She’ll forget him!(**)
Love can also come to an end;
It can die amidst deceit.
Å! Då skar hon linnet itu
Hon vill glömma! Hon vill glömma!
Inte kan hon bära det nu—
Hon vill inte ha det kvar.
O! She cuts the nightgown in twain
To forget him, To forget him!(**)
Never can she wear it again—
She doesn’t want it around.
Och hon tar hans falska gåva,
Går ut i skymmningen.
Där i jorden ska den sova
Och hon ser mot himmelen!
And she carries his false gift,
Goes out in twilight’s hour.
There in the earth shall it sleep now
And she looks up to the heavens!
En gång ska han gråta
Fast ingen orkar förlåta!
Vad var dom värda hans dyra ord
Dom fick dö i den svarta jord?
One day he shall cry
Nigh none can forgive such a lie!
His dearest word, what was it worth
That finds death here in the black earth?
En gång ska han fatta
Hon grät men då ska hon skratta!
Då ska hon dansa på lätta ben
Med en annan i månens sken!
One day he shall fathom,
She wept but she shall laugh again!
Then she shall dance away all the night(*)
With another by moon’s soft light!
En gång ska han fatta,
Hon grät men då ska hon skratta!
Då ska hon dansa på lätta ben
Med en annan i månens sken!
One day he shall fathom,
She wept but she shall laugh again!
Then she shall dance away all the night(*)
With another by moon’s soft light!

(*) I took a number of liberties with re-ordering the halves of lines or inserting syllables in the translation, however in this line the translation is “Then shall she dance on light legs.” or perhaps even “Then shall she dance on happy/unburdened legs.”  The implication is that obviously she will get over him and will happily dance again under the moonlight with some better guy.
(**) Hon vill glömma – She wants to forget.  Hon ska glömma – She shall forget.
(***) “Fathom” is probably not cognate for Swedish “fattar” – to understand or grasp.