Norwegian Mirror Page

Lille Rødhette og ulven (Little Red Riding Hood)
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Fairytale songs and mythical folk tale songs


I'm currently adding English translations of the songs
On these pages you will find a small collection of songs in Norwegian connected to fairytales, folk tales and myths. There are songs on this page that are very old, stemming from the folk song tradition, some are very new and more popular in style and others are art songs or songs from movies. Some are plain children's songs, while others are not. As stories go, we may adapt them to our purposes and teaching situations. Several of the Norwegian fairy tales are quite brutal, and cannot be used indiscriminately in preschool and primary school. One has to chose carefully according to the students' age, so the children do not get unduly frightened.

Fairy tales belong to the oldest tradition of storytelling; the oral tradition. Fairy tales were first collected and written down in Norway around the mid-1800s. However, the Norwegian fairy tales are a part of an indo-european tradition, stretching geographically from India to Ireland. Fairy tales from this area may be quite similar in content and form. The Norwegian word eventyr (fairytale) is derived from ævintyrr, aventura, adventure; which means traveling away from home and experiencing a multitude of events. Usually we have a hero or a heroine whom has to go through a multitude of difficulties to achieve something; and the stories often end well.

Good battles and wins over bad and the stupid get punished. Our heroes get their rewards, especially of he or she has been cunning, smart or brave. Per, Paul og Espen Askeladd (The Ash-lad, Ash Burlefoot or even Ash-fart!) are the most famous brothers in the Norwegian fairy tales. Askeladden is the smart one, he meets and solves difficult challenges; he fools trolls and wins the princess and half the kingdom.

Songs from myths and folk belief have been common in folk music, and we find a rich tradition in Norway of storytelling about the Neck (Nix), the Huldra, the Mountain King and all the other non-earthly creatures. Fairy tale songs, on the other hand, are part of a much newer tradition, for instance art songs that tell the tales in short version. Several newer songs from fairy tales have become popular because of the Walt Disney movies, for instance the song Heigh ho, from the movie Snow white and the seven dwarfs.

The use of the word dwarf may be of some concern in our modern society. We should not use this term to characterize people of short stature in general.The word dwarf should be used only in connection to fairy tales and folk tales, where the term is culturally rooted. The dwarfs in the fairy tales are not people at all, but mythical creatures with supernatural powers. They live in mountains and mines, working precious metals and gems out of the rock. Dwarfs are often great handymen, making magic from hard work and knowledge about metals. Dwarfs are connected to spirits of nature, wights and elves. In northern mythology they were active in creating the first humans, and they in fact were the bearers of the world; one in each of the world's four corners:West, North, East and South. Thus the dwarfs play an important part in folk tales and mythology.

The mythical songs belong to the oral folk music tradition, with several verses and several versions. The melodies and the lyrics are a part of out cultural heritage, and have a distinct tone language and often hauntingly beautiful melodies. We may sing a couple of verses and tell the story behind them as if they were fairy tales.

Behind the links you find lyrics, sheet music and sound clips. This site is made for learning purposes, and the sound clips may vary in quality. The recordings appear as they are in the moment of singing, quite often without accompaniment, other than my own breathing noises, breaks in the wrong places, clicks and white noise. Sometimes I sing the wrong word and present the listener with doubtful intonation and a sloppy pronunciation. Sometimes I lack pulse and mess up the rhythm. In spite of these apparent lacks in quality compared to professional recordings by professional singers, I hope you can use them as they are; a means of accessing old or new songs in a fairly easy way.

On my site musikkrom you will find some of these children's songs, and also a large collection of canons and rounds (kanon)

Aladdins vuggevise Lullaby little love, Aladdin's cradle song

Alvenes vuggevise /Fairy lullaby

Askeladden som gjette harer /Ash Burlefoot (Boots) herded hares and won the princess

Askepott på ball (Cinderella)

De tre bukkene Bruse /The three Billy goats

De tre grisene og ulven/The big, bad wolf and the three pigs

Den lille, røde høna /The little red hen who did everything herself

Den stygge andungen /The ugly duckling

Det leikar so mangt ei sumarsnott (Trolldans)

Det stig av hav eit alveland/ Arising from the sea

Det var ei heks som fløy ut i tåke

Eselet og gjøken om våren /The donkey and cukoo in spring

Et eventyr med rare dyr A song about the fairy tale as genre (characteristics)

Et troll kan trylle

Eventyrvisa /Maj Sønstevold

Geitekillingen som kunne telle til ti (regle) The kiddie goat who could count to ten

Gullhår og de tre bjørnene /Goldilocks

Hans og Grete /Hansel and Gretel

Heiemo og Nøkken /Heiemo wins over the Nix

Heigh ho - The Dwarves' marching song

Historien om Hasse Hare som gikk en tur alene

Ja kom og bli med på eventyr

Jeg er et farlig spøkelse

Liti Kjersti og Bergekongen /Liti Kjersti is lured into the mountain by the Mountain King

Lorelei /The Loreley. Lorley sings the ships on the Rhine into shipwreck

Olle Bolle /On the mountain there are 3 trolls

Margjit Hjukse /Margjit is lured into the mountain by the Mountain King

Nisser og dverge bygger i berge /Goblins and dwarfs are working in the mountains

Når Trollmor har lagt sine elleve små troll /Margit Holmberg

Prinsessen satt høyt i sitt jomfrubur

Prinsessen som ikke kunne le (Tyrihans) /The princess who could not laugh

Rottefangeren i Hammeln/The Ratcatcher/The Pied Piper of Hammeln

Rødhette og ulven /Little Red Riding Hood

Snehvit-lill og Rosenrød / Snowhite and Rosebud

Snøhvit /Det var vesle Snøhvit

Snøhvit og de sju dvergene /Snow White and the seven dwarfs

Statt opp Mari Støveltryne /The Huldra sings to Mary Boot-face (!) of how to mind her children and make them porridge

Svensk trollsang

Thumbelina (Danny Kaye in the movie Hans Christian Andersen)

Tornerose var et vakkert barn /Sleeping beauty was a beautiful child (There was a princess long ago)

Tornerose (Brahms) /Sleeping Beauty


Trollene de danser

Trollgubben Lurvelegg


Uba buba (Fooba wooba)

Ugly Duckling, the (Danny Kaye in the movie Hans Christian Andersen)

Vi er de store, stygge troll (We're the big, ugly trolls)

Villemann og Magnhild /The Nix lures Magnhild into the river, but Villemann saves her by playing his harp

Åsmund Frægdegjeva /Åsmund fights with the trolls in Trollebotten, and saves princess Irmelin of Ireland

Eventyr/Fairy tales/folk tales

Scandinavian Folklore in English

Fairy tales and folk tales from Norway

Norske eventyr:

Om eventyr:

Om eventyr i undervisningen på småskoletrinnet - digital kompetanse

Odins trollsanger

" jeg ser tuntroll
leke i luften;
da vinker jeg slik
at de flyr av sted,
hjemløse flakker de,
hvileløst flyr de vill",
sa Odin

"..... if I see yard trolls
playing in the air
then I wave thus
so that they fly away
homeless they roam
restless they will fly wild (awry/get lost),"
Odin said

Fra Håvamål.

Folk songs from Norway