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New Year’s Resolutions with Sarah Dawn Finer Posted by on Jan 7, 2022 in Culture, Music, Swedish Language

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Hej från 2022! Exciting things are in store for you, Swedish blog fans. Not only is this the first post of the new year, it’s also music-themed. January in Minnesota is a lot like it is in Sweden. It’s a quiet, reflective time – it’s cold, it’s dark, and we’re all slowly recovering from the busy holiday season. That’s why this week’s song is perfect – Sarah Dawn Finer’s “Nyårslöfte / New Year’s Resolution” is a laid-back ballad, with excellent vocals, and even more excellent vocabulary for you to learn.

Vem är Sarah Dawn Finer? Who is Sarah Dawn Finer?

Sarah Dawn Finer is a svensk sångare, låtskrivare, and programledare (Swedish singer, songwriter, and show host). She was born in Stockholm to an American mother and English father, so it’s no surprise that most of her original music is in English. She developed a love for gospel and soul music at an early age. After attending the prestigious Adolf Fredrik’s Music School in Stockholm, her solo acting and music career took off!

Sarah has competed in and hosted the Swedish song contest Melodifestivalen a handful of times. Gillar du musikaler? (Do you like musicals?) Sarah has played a variety of roles on the stage, including Joanne in “Rent” and Lucy in “Jekyll & Hyde.” If you like good acting and powerful vocals, check out her work!

Nyårslöfte – New Year’s Resolution 

The noun ett nyårslöfte is a compound word that literally means new year promise (or pledge). Although it is an ett noun, it ends in a vowel, so it takes an “n” in its plural form – nyårslöften. Surprise! “Nyårslöfte” is also the name of a Sarah Dawn Finer song that we will study this week.

From her 2014 album Vinterland, the song captures the harsh beauty of Swedish winter. On that same note, this nyårslöfte is about making promises that you know will be difficult, even painful to keep. 

VERBS! 

  1. att lova                      to promise
    lovar → lovade → har lovat

    Jag lovar att lära mig sova.”

  2. att gå hem                  to go home
    går hem → gick hem → har gått hem

    “De som har kommit och lyssnat har gått hem till sig.”

  3. att somna in                  to sleep
    somnar in → somnade in → har somnat in

    “Stanna kvar tills jag kan somna in och allt har blivit lungt.”

Pronunciation att versus å 

In the line “Jag lovar att sluta att ringa” (I promise to stop calling) you’ll notice two differences in the pronunciation of the word att. The first time, att is pronounced as å, a common colloquial version of the word. The second time, you’ll hear the att with a hard t-ending. Why pronounce the first att as å and the second as att? It varies speaker to speaker, but I find that when the att works as a direct stand-in for the English “to” it’s pronounced as å: Jag lovar å sluta – I promise to stop. But some folks would say å on both atts Jag lovar å sluta å ringa.

Nyårslöfte av Sarah Dawn Finer

The lyrics are posted below the video. My advice is to listen to the song once before reading the lyrics.  She sings slowly and articulates well so focus on her pronunciation even if you aren’t sure you understand what she is singing. 

 

Jag lovar att lära mig sova

När suset från öronen tystnat, och de som har kommit och lyssnat har gått hem till sig.

Det ska jag lova dig.

Jag lovar att sluta att ringa, när ljuset från scenen har slocknat.

Ljuset som sen länge har slutat att lysa på mig, det ska jag lova dig.

När hela staden ligger vit och månen lyser rund, kanske du kan komma hit och bli hos mig en stund.

Stanna kvar tills jag kan somna in och allt har blivit lungt.

Jag lovar att inte vara vaken.

Om låset står orört i tidigt och trapphuset ekar så tyst i sin saknad av dig.

Det ska jag lova mig.

När hela staden ligger vit och månen lyser rund, kanske du kan komma hit och bli hos mig en stund.

Stanna kvar tills jag kan somna in och allt har blivit lugnt.

Tills jag kan somna in och allt har blivit lugnt, tills jag kan somna in och allt har blivit lugnt.

Jag lovar att lära mig sova, när suset från öronen tystnat och de som har kommit och lyssnat har gått hem till sig.

Det ska jag lova mig.

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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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