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7 Swedish Summer Tunes Posted by on Jun 4, 2021 in Culture, Holidays and Celebrations, Music, Swedish Language

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Sveriges nationaldag (Sweden’s National Day) is this weekend.  A sea of blue and yellow flags, and a chorus of Du gamla, du fria will ring out on June 6, live from the National Day celebration in Stockholm. But for me, nationaldagen is my cue that summer is in full swing. There’s something about the first week of June that triggers a summer vacation feeling that I haven’t been able to shake, even into my adulthood. For this week’s music blog, we’ll skip the national anthem and head straight for summer tunes! I’ll introduce you to a few of the Swedish classics and include a few of my favorite summer melodies, too!

Each of the 7 songs below has a quick introduction, a YouTube link, and 2-3 “summery” vocabulary phrases to listen for. Enjoy, and don’t forget to tell me your favorite track in the comments below!

1. “Sol, vind och vatten”

Sol, vind och vatten” (Sun, Wind, and Water) by Ted Gärdestad is a classic for a reason. Known for his poetic lyrics, in this song he compare a love interest to his love of summer. 

brunbrända ben → tan, sunburnt legs
natten blir sval → the night cools off

 

2. “Oh boy”

This song is well-known as a happy summer ditty, but also for singer Peps Persson’s EXCELLENT southern Swedish twang. In this particular video, Peps sings at Allsång på Skansen when Swedish comedian Robert Gustafsson makes a surprise appearance. Get ready to practice your skånska!

Vilket vackert väder!  → What beautiful weather!
hör på fåglasången →  listen to the birds sing

3. “Det stålar så om dej

There’s nothing like a little reggae on a summer warm day! Kaliffa sings “Det stålar så om dej”  which translates to something like “You radiate.”

Sverige är kallt ge mig lite värme Sweden is cold, give me some warmth
Vi går till kajen
→ We walk to the dock

4. “Sommaren är kort”

Tomas Ledin’s “Sommaren är kort” (Summer is Short) was released in May 1982, just in time to cement its place in the summer-loving hearts of Swedes. It’s about seizing the sunny days of summer because it’s over before you know it! This is a #1 sing-a-long song and the video below is a testament to that.

ljusblåa dagar → light blue days
få bort sanden mellan tårna → clean the sand from between your toes

 

5. “Barfotavisan”

Speaking of the sand between your toes, the next song is about how good it feels to be barfota (barefoot). When I hear this song, I swell with nostalgia! Learn why in this blog I wrote last summer about “Barfotavisan” (The Barefoot Ballad) by Mats Paulson.

utan strumpor och skor → without socks and shoes
jag plockar smultron → I pick wild strawberries

 

 

6. “Allt är lättare på sommarn”

If you follow this blog, you’ve met this gal before. Ana Diaz is a favorite of mine and I’ve written featured her song “Allt är lättare på sommarn” (Everything is Easier in the Summer) with Parham on the musikblogg before. It’s a språknörd’s (a language nerd’s) dream; Swedish, English, and Spanish all make an appearance in this track.

det är som att allt rinner av mig → It’s like everything runs off of me
vi skålar för hälsan → We cheers to good health

7. “Sommarkläder”

Wanted some more skånska after that Peps song? Well, you’re in luck! Meet Jonathon Johansson and his song “Sommarkläder” (Summer clothes).  There’s a bit of irony in this song as Johansson describes the feeling of wearing summer clothes, but still being a little too cold up in Stockholm.

Det finns en fest på en balkong → There is a balcony party
Stockholm lite för kallt → Stockholm’s a little too cold 

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About the Author: Chelsea B

Chelsea is a Swedish language instructor and translator living in Minnesota, U.S. She has a degree in Scandinavian Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College and has experience living and working in Sweden from north to south! In her free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, listening to music, and practicing slöjd, the Swedish word for handcraft.


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