Norwegian Language Blog

Children of the Rainbow Posted by on Jul 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

One year ago, on July 22, 2011, Norway experienced its darkest day since WWII. Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik bombed and brutally gunned 77 innocent civilians to death, in Oslo and on the Oslo Fjord island of Utøya. Children and teenagers fell victims to Breivik’s bullets, and the whole deed was so unbelievably atrocious and gruesome that most Norwegians still can’t really fathom it. For the pårørende (friends and relatives of the victims), of course, the pain will never heal. May they have the strength and wisdom to see the good things in life.

Breivik is now in Ila fengsel (prison), awaiting his final dom (verdict) in August. In memory of the victims, I give you the text of ”Barn av regnbuen” (Children of the Rainbow). It is a Norwegian version of the American Pete Seeger’s song ”My Rainbow Race”. The Norwegian lyrics were originally written, sung and popularized by Norwegian guitarist and songwriter Lillebjørn Nilsen. Breivik is said to ”hate” this song, as it represents everything he tried to wipe out: Friendship and solidarity across ethnic and religious delimitations. On April 26, 40,000 protesters sung the song at Youngstorget in Oslo, close to the byrett (city court) where Breivik is being judged.


En himmel full av stjerner.
A sky full of stars.
Blått hav så langt du ser.
Blue sea as long you can see.
En jord der blomster gror.
An earth where flowers grow.
Kan du ønske mer?
Can you wish for more?
Sammen skal vi leve.
Together we shall live.
Hver søster og hver bror.
Each sister and each brother.
Små barn av regnbuen
Little children of the rainbow
og en frodig jord.
and a fertile earth.

Noen tror det ikke nytter.
Some people think it’s useless.
Andre kaster tiden bort med prat.
Others waste their time talking.
Noen tror at vi kan leve av
Some think we can live on
Plast og syntetisk mat.
Plastic and synthetic food.
Og noen stjeler fra de unge
And some steal from the youngs
som blir sendt ut for og slåss.
who are sent to battle.
Noen stjeler fra de mange
Some steal from the many
som kommer etter oss.
people coming after us.

En himmel full av…

Men si det til alle barna!
But say it to all the children!
Si det til hver far og mor:
Say it to each father and mother:
Ennå har vi en sjanse
We’ve still got a chance
til å dele et håp og en jord.
to share a hope and an earth.

En himmel full av…

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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.


  1. Diego:

    R.I.P to all who died..I hope justice’d find its place and Breivik will be punished. Thus, at least hearts of pårørende’d find some peace..

  2. Ka.magra:

    Jeg har nettopp lest innlegget, og han er virkelig god og interessant lesning. Jeg håper å lese mer i fremtiden og vil også følge bloggen enda mer. Takk for info

  3. Bjørn A. Bojesen:

    Corrected the information about the original author of the song; my apologies!