Sunday, July 22, 2007

det var nils og jens og gjeidaug

The workshop I was at this weekend focuses on music and dance from a different region of Norway every year. This year it was Setesdal, a very rural valley in southern Norway. I didn't have any particular interest in Setesdal, but I had fun at last year's workshop and figured I could get people to teach me new songs. I'm still not all that into Setesdal dance, but I learned a couple new songs and worked on the songs from last year, so I'm happy.

Several months ago, Sophist sent me an album of Norwegian music that includes lots of singing, and it turns out that the main singer on the album, Kirsten Br├ąten Berg, is from Setesdal. So the first night I was listening to that album on my iPod as I was falling asleep, and suddenly she starts singing Nils og Jens og Gjeidaug, which I'd just learned that afternoon! It was basically the theme song of the workshop - we sang it for dances, various fiddlers played it, everyone was humming it in the dinner line. Another win for the musical tastes of Sophist!

Stupidly, the Amazon sound clip only has the fiddle...here, I've uploaded my recording of the class to Savefile. This is really a solo art form, but since we were singing it in a group, one of our teachers went ahead and made up a harmony part.

3 comments:

towwas said...

Oh and - here's what the first verse means: There was Nils and Jens and Gjeidaug. (That's two men and one woman, for those who do not know their Norwegian names.) And Nils laid as dead as a stone. And if he doesn't get to sleep with Gjeidaug, he'll be dead as a stone.

Yep. That's how much sense it makes. We sing that verse twice; the third verse is about the three billy goats gruff.

Sophist said...

Hooooray!!!!!!!! Yeah, that album Senegal to Setesdal is absolutely one of my favorites. Say did you listen to that Stravinsky I sent?

towwas said...

Oh hey wait! I don't have Senegal to Setesdal! I totally want that! And, no, I haven't listened to the Stravinsky yet, I suck.