Well, Christmas is almost upon us, so let’s have a few of my favourite Swedish Christmas songs. There aren’t in any way traditional. Mer Jul
means “More Christmas” and is a love song to Christmas and how the singer just wants more and more of it.Det är inte snön som faller
(“It’s Not Snow Which Is Falling”), however, is very
Before the Swedish calendar was adjusted in the 18th century, December 13 was actually Midwinter. This is still reflected in Swedish Christmas traditions as this is the day we celebrates St Lucia. If you think it’s off a protestant country makes a big brouhaha of a Catholic and Sicilian saint, well, yes, that is odd. But there is a long Swedish tradition of a woman bringing light on Midwinter, so she is most likely the Christian makeup of a Pagan goddess. Several of our Christmas songs are about Lucis, like this one Så mörk är natter
The lyrics of the Lucia songs are actually surpisingly lacking of Christian motifs. They are all about the joy of finally getting the light back. Considering that Stockholm right now has about five hours of daylight, and in the north they have none, you can understand why this is something to feel joy over.
So dark is the night at Midwinter
But look, now Lucia approaches
She, the good one, comes with the light
She comes with tidings of the peace of Yule
She comes with candles in her crown
In the dark night of midwinter
We greet you, fair Lucia
Welcome, you good one who comes with the light.
Welcome with your tidings of the peace of Yule
Welcome, with candles in your crown.Oh helga natt
is simply the Swedish translation of Oh Holy Night
. But no one sings it like Jussi Björling did.