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Musikblogg: Swedish – Icelandic Collabo for Oscars Posted by on May 6, 2021 in Uncategorized

Húsavík, Iceland. Image by anncapictures from Pixabay


Whales, commercial fishing, northern lights, and a parody film based on the Eurovision song contest. All of these things are connected to the small town of Húsavík in northern Iceland, but the latter is garnering some extra attention after last week’s Oscars. Swedish pop goddess Molly Sandén performed the song “Húsavík (My Hometown),” nominated for Best Original Song from the film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. We’ll highlight this bit of news for this week’s musikblogg!

Don’t really know about Eurovision yet?

Read no further – watch this quick video to catch you up to speed, it’s worth it.

 

The Eurovision song contest is back this year after a hiatus in 2020, due to, well, you know…world pandemic-y things. The 2019 song contest winner was from the Netherlands, so this year the final will be held in Rotterdam.

If you haven’t ever watched a whole Eurovision final before, I recommend doing that before watching “The Story of Fire Saga” film. Otherwise, the classic spoofy comedy of Will Ferrell, as well as the cameos by the most popular stars of Eurovisions past, will be wasted. You don’t have to wait too long until the next final, SVTplay will be streaming Eurovision live on Saturday, May 22.

Húsavík in the Spotlight

Húsavík, Iceland enters the picture with the 2020 film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Co-written and produced by Will Ferrell, he and Rachel McAdams play Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdóttir. They portray members of the fictional band Fire Saga, who dream of representing Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest.

In real life, Ferrell is married to Swede Viveca Paulin and spends most of his time living in Sweden. He has come to love Eurovision and was inspired to bring this international music menagerie to broader audiences with this project.

Although the film wasn’t a critic favorite across the board, Eurovision fans seem to love it. Their ability to capture the campiness, as well as the seriousness of the Eurovision Song Contest, was just the ticket. Also, the original music from this film is right on… I mean, it did earn both Oscar AND Grammy nominations.

B.Y.O.L. – “Bring your own Lopapeysa”

Traditional hand-knit Icelandic “lopi sweaters” are a-plenty in the Oscar performance of “Húsavík.” Swedish pop star Molly Sandén is the singing voice behind Rachel McAdams’ character in the film and L.A. Times called her the “Swedish Adele.” Her flawless vocal performance on this original song was a chief reason for the Oscar nomination, you’ll hear why shortly. In the days leading up to the live Oscars performance in Húsavík, Molly spent time getting to know the locals. She even sang with the organist in Húsavík’s iconic wooden church. The B.Y.O.L. moment comes in the live performance when the children’s choir accompanies Molly with the Icelandic lyrics of the song:

         Icelandic                                   Swedish                                   English
Vera með þér, með þér                Vara med dig, med dig           To be with you, with you
Í Húsavík við Skjálfanda            I Húsavík vid Skjálfanda        In Húsavík, by Skjálfandi
Í heimabær minn                          I hemmabyn min                      In my hometown


Notice the similarities between the Icelandic and Swedish? For example, the verb “to be” is vera in Icelandic and vara in Swedish. Icelandic heimabær is hemmabyn in Swedish, translating to hometown.

Now, let’s all enjoy this Oscars performance by Molly and the B.Y.O.L. kiddos:


I’m not crying, are you crying?! Molly Sandén’s new album Dom ska veta drops I MORGON (tomorrow), May 7, perfect timing to capture some new fans from the Oscars hub bub. Alright, do you think you’ll watch the film? Or have you already seen it? Tell me what you thought about it below!

Also, for more Molly, see this blog: Learn Edith Södergran with Molly Sandén!

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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.