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Chief Bouillon Cube Packaging Master Assistant Posted by on Mar 14, 2013 in Culture

Spiller du gitar? (”SPILLer doo gheeTAR”, do you play the guitar?) If yes, why don’t you try to play a Norwegian sang? As I told you, Norwegians really are singing while they speak, so perhaps it would help you å synge (to sing) a little!

In 1988, four of Norway’s most skilled gitarister (guitarists) joined forces, founding the legendary folkrock group Gitarkameratene (The Guitar Comrades): Lillebjørn Nilsen, Jan Eggum, Halvdan Sivertsen and Øystein Sunde.

In case you enjoy strange words and expressions, you really should check out Øystein Sunde’s lyrics! Besides being one of the world’s fastest guitar players, he’s also known for his extremely fantasifull (imaginative) use of the Norwegian language! He takes ord og uttrykk (words and expressions) from hverdagen (everyday life) and turns them completely upside-down…

One of his albums is called ”Overbuljongterningpakkmesterassistent”. That means ”Chief Bouillon Cube Packaging Master Assistant”. Or something like that! 🙂

Sunde is not afraid to make fun of samfunnet (society). In his popular song Frøken Bibelstripp (Miss Bible Striptease), he jokes about some Christian ungdommer (young people) who try very hard to be chaste:

Korset rundt halsen, det dingler mellom puppa

så alle kristne gutter blir helt på tuppa…

 

The cross around her neck, it’s dangling between her b##bs

So all those Christian boys are getting out of their mind…

(In official Norwegian, the above a-endings should be -ene…)

Let’s listen to one of his most famous songs, ”Du må’kke komme her og komme her”. This title has entered ordinary Norwegians’ vocabulary. It means ”You may not come here and come here”. It’s Sunde’s way of saying ”you’re not welcome!” – with an ironic twist! He’s using humor to criticise the narrow-mindedness that he sees around him. (Take a look at Kari’s article about Janteloven to read more about this!)

En vinternatt i nitten-sju-og-førti

så jeg første gang dagens lys

etter at ei jordmor på 70

hadde sendt oss avgårde med et fnys

De må’kke komme her og komme her

De må’kke komme her og komme her

Det er vi som vet når terminen Deres er,

så De må’kke komme her og komme her

 

D’er vi som sykler Tronheim-Oslo

D’er vi som sykler midt i veien her

Du får heller kjøre rundt om Bergen

og ikke komme her og komme her!

 

A winter night in 1947

I first saw the light of day

after a 70-year old midwife

had dispatched us with a snort

You may not come here and come here

You may not come here and come here

We’re the ones who know when you’re going to give birth

So, you may not come here and come here

 

We’re the ones that bike from Trondheim to Oslo

We’re the ones that are biking in the middle of the road

You’d better drive via Bergen

And not come here and come here!

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.