Swedish Language Blog

Discover Laleh’s “Sand överallt” on the Musikblogg Posted by on Jan 8, 2021 in Culture, Swedish Language, Vocabulary

Laleh, “Sand överallt.”  Music Video: Lost Army AB 2019, Warner Music Scandinavia.

You’ve made it to the first Swedish blog post of the new year – grattis! 🥳 If you’re a new subscriber, välkommen! If you’re a weekly reader, hej och tack for your readership each week! My first post of each month always has a connection to music. Music is one of my absolute favorite language learning tools. This week, we’ll look at the song “Sand överallt” by Laleh. I carries a feel of release and rebirth that I feel speaks well to the first week of 2021. 

I am not one to draft a long list of nyårslöften (New Year’s Resolutions). Quite simply because I have a hard time keeping them. Ät mindre chips, drick mindre kaffe (Eat less chips, drink less coffee). Det vill jag inte / I don’t want to! I’m more of a big-picture thinker when it comes to resolutions. I am more likely to do an inventory on the year that has passed to inform the one to come. What did I do well, how did I feel, what should I take on or let go?

Through her music, Laleh has this ability to explore a nuance and at the same time, honor the bigger picture. The song I chose to feature on the blog today is called “Sand överallt” (Sand Everywhere) and opens with the line “Vi bygger slott av sand” (We build castles of sand). Laleh challenges the idea of permanence in the plans we make and the things we built, both physically and metaphorically.

Laleh, “Sand överallt.” Warner Music Scandinavia.

If there is anything that 2020 has reinforced for me, it is to let go of what you cannot control. “Släpp det du kan / Release what you can” and “Så mycket onödigt man bär på / So much that you needlessly carry” are a few lines from the song that reinforce that idea for me. I wrote a blog featuring Laleh a while back and her song Vårens första dag. She’s lived a fascinating life thus far and is a Chelsea favorite.  I also recommend “Det kommer bli bra” for a solid “hej då, 2020″ and look into the future.

Okej, let’s dig in! Below in the first verse in Swedish and English. Give it a read, and then we’ll move on to a listening activity.

vers 1 på svenska:

Vi bygger slott av sand och vill ända upp till solen
Man gör det nog för svårt för sig själv
Av allt jag blev och kan, av allt jag klarat av här
Störst blev ändå kärleken (Störst blev ändå kärleken)

Drömmar kommer, drömmar går
Man sover i hela livet
Det jag innerst inne ville åt fanns här hela tiden
Lyckan kommer, lyckan går
Men störst blev kärleken ändå
Så mycket onödigt man bär på (Ah)

Verse 1 in English:

We build castles of sand and want to reach all the way to the sun
You surely make it too hard on yourself
Of all I became or can do, of all I achieved
The biggest thing was still love (the biggest thing was still love)
Dreams come, dreams go
You sleep your whole life
What I was longing for was here all the time
Happiness comes, happiness goes
But the biggest thing was love after all
So much that you needlessly carry

Now for an exercise to improve your Swedish listening skills. 
On a sheet of paper write numbers 1-5 on separate lines with the bolded Swedish word:

1. sand – sand
2. kan – helping verb “can”
3. min/mitt/mina: these are the possessives for “my” corresponding to en, ett, or plural nouns
4. man  – the subject “one” or general “you” 
5. det – it / that  *Remember, oftentimes we drop the “t” from the end of det in our pronunciation. It sounds like “deh.”

  • Listen to the song and put a tally mark beside the word, each time you hear it.
  • My suggestion is to focus on 2-3 words the first time you listen to the song.
  • Then listen again and target the remaining words.
  • Listen a final time to check your work.

    *OBS!  The word det is used a LOT in this song (psssst! over TWENTY times). So make listen to the song once only focusing on det.

Okej, gå! Click on the video (it’s the lyric video so if you want to make it a touch harder on yourself, don’t look at the words, just listen.)  


Now scroll down to see if you counted correctly! 






Laleh. Photo: Göteborgs-Posten.




1. sand: 16
2. kan: 9
3. min/mitt/mina: 5
4. man: 11
5. det – 27

How did it go? Remember, repetition is key, so listen, and listen…and LISTEN, but don’t forget to enjoy your language learning journey. After all, there’s “så mycket onödigt man bär på. 😉

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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.


  1. steve n:

    “Kan inte bära allt som man får” Åh Äh!
    Det här var roligt, ändå – tack så mycket!