Swedish Language Blog

Hotel Amigo by Thomas Stenström with First Aid Kit Posted by on Nov 5, 2021 in Culture

Photo by Tolga Ulkan on Unsplash

We’re in Arizona, at the Spread Eagle Bar. Our company is no other than the Swedish musicians Thomas Stenström and First Aid Kit. They’ve invited us to share in a moment from their latest song, “Hotel Amigo”. It may seem strange that these artists with Nordic roots are taking us down the Americana route, but it’s not by mistake. This week on the musikblogg, we’ll meet these genre-crossing musicians and review a few grammar points while we’re at it!

Möt Thomas Stenström / Meet Thomas Stenström

Thomas was born in 1988 and grew up in Uddevalla, near the west coast of  Sweden. He was 2010’s recipient of the Ted Gärdestad Scholarship which helped propel the release of his debut album in 2012. His breakthrough song was Slå mig hårt i ansiktet” (Hit me hard in the face), is an upbeat, melodic pop song despite its blunt title. A Swedish grammis nominated artist, Thomas is fit to join the cast of the current season of my favorite show ever, Så mycket bättre, where he’ll collaborate and interpret the songs of other famous musicians. Speaking of collaborations, I think Thomas chose well when he invited this harmonizing super duo to join in our song of the week…

Om First Aid Kit / About First Aid Kit

Many folks know these sister musicians who’ve dominated the indie-folk / Americana genre for the last decade. But if you’re late to the party, here’s a bit about First Aid Kit. Stockholmers Klara and Johanna Söderberg grew up with strong musical interests. Klara wrote her first song “Femton mil i min Barbiebil” (Fifteen miles in my Barbie car) as a 6-year-old. Her musical taste developed as she dove deep into American country classics and picked up a guitar. The sisters soon began performing music together, captivating listeners with tight harmonies. They smashed onto the mainstream music scene in 2012 with their hit “Emmylou”

Grammatik på “Hotel Amigo” / Grammar at “Hotel Amigo”

“Hotel Amigo” is a song from Thomas Stenström’s 2021 album “Spring baby spring”.  I enjoyed First Aid Kit’s feature on this song because it’s a rare chance to hear the band vocalizing in their native tongue. To study this song, we’re going to look at a few grammar “moments”.

Grammar moment 1: imperativ / command form.

You’ll notice that in the chorus, the imperative verb form is used. For example, “Kom och ta mig härifrån / Come and take me away from here” as well as “Snälla ge mig en sista natt / Please give me one last night.”

 present      imperative
kommer    →  kom !
      tar         →  ta !
      ger        →  ge !

Grammar moment 2: omvänd ordföljd / flipped word order

Remember that in a statement, the verb always comes second. So if there is anything other than a subject leading the statement, your subject gets flipped with your verb. An example from a clause in the song:

             verb   sub
Ibland känns det som alla steg man tar… / Sometimes it feels like all the steps you take…

Grammar moment 2: adverb

You’ve definitely seen these adverbs before so let’s look at their usage in the song:

härifrån    →  from here, or away from here
“ta mig härifrån nu / take me away from here now”

någon annanstans →  somewhere else
Bara ville va nån annanstans / Just wanted to be somewhere else”

*nån is a shortened version of någon and illustrates the common pronunciation of “någon” in everyday Swedish

någonsin (nånsin) →  ever

kommer aldrig nånsin dra till Arizona / never going to head to Arizona”

You’ll find both the song and the lyrics below to follow along. It’s nice and repetitive so I think you’ll be singing along by the end! Enjoy.

Vers 1

Arizona, Spread Eagle Bar
Sjunger Jackson, bättre än Cash
Ibland känns det som alla steg man tar
Har någon annan köpt och bestämt
Klara sitter i receptionen
Hotel Amigo, hon väntar än
‘tog alla drömmar vägen?
Tänker du på mig ikväll?


Kom och ta mig härifrån
Kom, ta mig härifrån
Hotel Amigo, forever more
Snälla kom, ta mig härifrån nu

Vers 2

Du såg aldrig mer än nästa dag
Men du gjorde så gott du kan
En dag skulle du fly från allt
Men den dagen den försvann
Jag är inte bättre än nån annan
Bara ville va nån annanstans
Snälla ge mig en sista natt
Jag tror jag klarar en sista natt till


Vers 3

Arizona, kommer aldrig nånsin dra till Arizona
Han är fast på Wilbraham Road
Farsan kommer aldrig nånsin bе om mer än vad han får
Hotel Amigo, forevеr and ever more

Hotel Amigo, Hotel Amigo

Hotel Amigo, Hotel Amigo, Hotel Amigo x2


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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.