Carl Michael Bellman, Swedish composer

I have been studying Swedish, and asked an older Swedish friend for some help this summer. He suggested I/we learn and sing some traditional classic Swedish songs. They are not quite folk songs as we think of them, but instead many are sort of sophisticated baroque drinking songs (if you can get your head around that combination!) But, they have all kinds of moods and seem to include songs about nature, beautiful women, etc. They were composed in the late18th c, and have sprightly and graceful melodies like some of the great English airs. I am really excited about these. Thanks to Per for steering me to these— they are not something I would have picked up in my Swedish language course, but seem a real part of what many Swedes know, so this is a lot of fun!

The first composer I’m looking at is Carl Michael Bellman.

Here are several links to some of my favorite tunes:

the first is “Nå skruva fiolen”, or “Now Screw Up Your Fiddle” in several lovely versions:

the next is “Fredman’s Sang #64,” sometimes called “Fjäriln vingad” or “Om Haga” about a monarch butterfly  (jazz harmonica version!!!)

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!


For those of you whose browsers don’t open these as videos, here are the links to the three songs:

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