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Popular Swedish Christmas Tunes Posted by on Dec 3, 2019 in Culture, Current Events, Holidays, music

December means that the jul-vibes are copious in many countries! Sweden is no exception. When strolling through town, you’ll see lights, decorations, and hear sweet Christmas tunes pumped out of speakers to get folks in the holiday mood. Because it’s the first Tuesday of the month, that means that this blog post is going to be about music. So, what better focus for the Swedish language blog in December than julmusik

Photo: Ulf Lundin, “Christmas Market” / Image Bank Sweden

Psssst, there is a YouTube link to each song in this blog post! Please note that most of these songs are classics, so the artist who I feature isn’t necessarily the original artist. 

Much like in the U.S., Swedes have a few classic Christmas songs that just about everyone knows and loves…until you can’t get them out of your head!  Below are some Swedish translations of more solemn Christmas classics that you’ll probably recognize:

 

O Helga Natt                  “O Holy Night”
-Tommy Körberg

Stilla natt”                         “Silent Night”
-Sanna Nielsen

Hallelujah                        Same title in English
-E.M.D.

Okej, let’s move on to some Swedish originals.  Below are several modern and classic hits that you hear on repeat during jul season. 

Hej mitt vinterland”                 “Hello, My Winterland”
-Carola

Nu tändas tusen juleljus”        “Now a thousand Christmas candles are lit”
-Helen Sjöholm, Benny Andersson

Gläns över sjö och strand” is an interpretation from the 1891 poem by Viktor Rydberg, roughly translated to “Shining over seas and shores” performed here by Sofia Källgren.

“Jul, jul, strålande jul”                 “Christmas, Christmas, luminous Christmas”
-Peter Jobäck

“Mer jul” is a song first released in 1982, performed by Adolphson & Falk. The chorus is super catchy and pretty easy to learn: 

“Jag vill ha mer jul                        “I want more Christmas
Ge mig mer jul                                Give me more Christmas
Jag vill ha mer jul                           I want more Christmas
Ge mig mer jull                               Give me more Christmas
Tusen stjärnor som tindrar          Thousands of stars twinkling
Glitter så långt jag ser                   Glitter as far as I can see
Av juleljus som glimmar               Of Christmas lights that shine
Vill jag ha mer”                               I want more “

 

There is always room for the quirky Christmas songs, speaking to the mischievous side of jul:

“Vår julskinka har rymt”  by Werner and Werner is “Our Christmas ham has escaped” in English. 

Hej tomtegubbar” loosely translates to “Hello tomte-men” and is a classic children’s song, while at the same time a popular drinking song!

“Nu är det jul igen,” “Now it is Christmas Again” is best sung in a group while holding hands and singing together, spinning in a circle and singing faster and faster! This clip is from Ingmar Bergman’s film Fanny and Alexander. 

Photo: Carolina Romare, “Christmas in Sweden” / Image Bank Sweden

Julkonserter, Christmas concerts, showcase a great mix of playful and the more serious julsånger. Luciadagen, or Lucia Day on December 13, is one such example. SVT has been broadcasting a Lucia concert every year since the 1950’s, rotating the location each year. Over a million people will tune in to the broadcast of the Lucia concert this year from Gränna, a small town near Jönköping. Known for its idyllic streets and shops that feature handmade polkagrisar, or candy canes, this feels like a great fit for this year’s host city.

Sankta Lucia (Natten går tunga fjät), is the classic Lucia song performed here by Annica Risberg. 

If you would like a couple of Christmas albums to listen to from cover to cover, try:

Peter Jöback’s “Jag kommer hem igen till jul / I’m coming home again for Christmas” is a great one if you like classic vocals. 

Sofia Källgren’s “ Julen är kommen / Christmas has come.”

The EP  “Till____ Från_____”   by Linnea Henriksson was just released this November and has a few Christmas classics in Swedish songs as well as in English.

Are you getting excited for jul? Have a favorite Swedish julsång that didn’t make this list? Write it below!

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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.


Comments:

  1. Stephen:

    I love Sofia Karlsson’s Gamla Stan, which for me conjures up a perfect vision of a Swedish winter.

    • Chelsea B:

      @Stephen Tack Stephen! I love Sofia Karlsson but hadn’t heard that one. It’s on my julspellista now 🙂

  2. Kandace:

    Agnatha Fältskog (part of ABBA) has a nice album of julsånger, “Nu tändas tusen juleljus”, that she recorded with her daughter Linda. Some of the songs you mentioned are there, plus a few others.
    It’s great that someone is blogging on this site again. The archived blogs are a great resource. Tusen Tack!

    • Chelsea B:

      @Kandace Ja! Super sweet with little Linda singing along. Tack Kandace!


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