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Thread: Danish Folk Music

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    Default Danish Folk Music

    As there already is a rather dead thread about Danish music, I figured I'd make one dedicated to Danish folk music specifically.



    I'll start out with Dronningens Livstykke with their song Niels Ebbesen. The lyrics were written in 1839 and were devoted to the national hero Niels Ebbesen that during the time Denmark was pledged to the German Count Gerhard the Third. Ebbesen became a national hero after he in 1340 started his journey to Randers with 47 men behind him. In Randers the Count had settled for time being with 4000 soldiers, but Ebbesen and his followers still managed to get there. During the night they broke into Count Gerhard's house and decapitated him in his bed. This event gave uproar to even more resistance against the Germans, and it became a symbol of the differences between the Holstenske right to freedom and the Danish one. Ebbesen then became a symbol of the Danish right for a person to choose freely regardless of their master, they were therefor entitled to the right to say they no longer wished to follow or lead their master. This was far from the same in the Duchy of Holstein where the Master had all the right over the person under him - he could only decide what was going to happen. Niels Ebbesen also showed an example of this as they reached the bridge on their journey towards Randers Ebbesen asked if any of his followers has regretted their decision and therefor no longer wished to participate. Ebbesen's nephew said that he no longer wished to participate, which lead to Ebbesen feeling betrayed but as he believed in the freedom to choose, he of course allowed him. His nephew did not betray him, though. When Ebbesen returned to the bridge after they murdered the Count, his nephew had loosened the planks on the bridge, preparing to throw them away after Ebbesen and his followers had crossed, giving them a head start. He later died fighting alongside an army consisting of farmers and a smaller cavalry.



    The following is a statue of Ebbesen located in Randers.



    I'll be adding more soon.
    Last edited by jute; 06-16-2015 at 01:34 PM.

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    That sounds like some 70s French song I've heard.

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    Here is a track by Krauka called Smeden (The Blacksmith) which is an ode to the old traditional Blacksmith of the North. The band is Danish/Icelandic. The singer is of Icelandic origin but currently lives in Denmark. They use mainly homemade instruments combined with some modern electrical ones (primarily electrical bass) which they use to implement a more modern sound. They have some very interesting sounding tracks.

    Live version at Viking festival in Northern Jutland:


    Another version:


    English lyrics:
    The smell of coal smoke fills the room.
    The glowing steel seethes,
    in the bubbling water.
    The hammer rings against the glowing iron.
    Layer upon layer the blade is forged.

    Iron - Fire - Water

    From the cliffs the precious ore is won.
    From all around it’s transported from Miklagrd to Vinland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alb0zfinest View Post
    That sounds like some 70s French song I've heard.
    Could very well be. Many traditional tunes have been taken from French music (quite a few Danish medieval sounding bands use them) along with the North of Jutland here being more Celtic inspired due to their fishing culture and closer location to the Isles. The traditional melody for the Niels Ebbesen song is to be sung accompanied by a traditional Danish folk tune, but Dronningens Livstykke were known for implementing tunes from all sorts of different cultures. They were a part of the quite a lot more open-minded 70's. Of course also many still play renaissance tunes where you'll find quite a few variations with different languages.
    Last edited by jute; 06-16-2015 at 01:56 PM.

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    Typical folk music from North Jutland. Most of their sound is inspired by Irish and Scottish folk music, this band rewrote most of the more famous Irish tunes to Danish and gave them their own twist. This would be what most people know as Mrs. McGrath. It was however not based on the original text but the newer version by The Dubliners, sung by Ciaran Bourke.


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    Virelai is another danish group that plays anything from medieval to renaissance music. This song probably has French origins. In Danish it's called "Jeg s en ulv, en rv, en hare (I saw a wolf, a fox, a hare)". Lyrics are simply:

    "I saw a wolf, a fox, a hare
    I saw them dance all three
    I saw a wolf, a fox, a hare
    I saw them dance all three
    In the middle of the cold winter snow
    I saw a wolf, a fox, a hare
    In the middle of the cold winter snow
    I saw them dance all three"


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    Some of you might know this one as Regin Smiur, the faroese ballad. Here is the Danish version.


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