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Norway's National Anthem ? What do the words mean

Posted on January 18, 2009 at 7:57 AM

Norway's national anthem is a lovely song which also includes wonderful lyrics.  It is heard by us often during Olympic events, as Norway ratchets up the wins in gold, silver and bronze medals.  It is also heard and sung often on the 17th of May, the day of Norway's annual Independence Day celebrations. 

 

 

I was encouraged to learn it when I moved to Norway ten years ago, and became interested in the English translation. I have seen other translations, but felt obliged to create my own - to reflect, as closely as possible, the meaning of the words, even if it was not 'singable.'  I therefore provide a link to my translation of "Ja, vi elsker dette landet."  I hope you enjoy it. 

Norwegian National Anthem

 Lyrics:  Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, 1859,  Music:  Rikard Nordraak, 1863,  Adopted:  1864

 

Ja, vi elsker dette landet,                                   Yes, we love this land,

 

som det stiger frem,                                          that emerges,

 

furet, værbitt, over vannet,                                furrowed, weather-beaten over the water,

 

med de tusen hjem.                                           with its thousands of homes.

 

Elsker, elsker det og tenker                               Love, love it, and think

 

på vår far og mor                                              about our father and mother

 

og den saganatt som senker                              and those nights full of long tales that sink

 

drømmer på vår jord.                                        dreams into our soil,

 

og den saganatt som senker,                             and those nights full of long tales that sink,

 

senker drømmer på vår jord.                             sink, dreams into our soil.

 

 

Norske mann i hus og hytte,                              Norwegians, in houses and cabins,

 

takk din store Gud!                                           thank your great God!

 

Landet ville han beskytte                                   The land he will protect

 

skjønt det mørkt så ut.                                      Understanding it appeared hopeless.

 

Alt hva fedrene har kjempet,                             All that our fathers fought for,

 

mødrene har grett,                                            and mothers wept for,

 

har den Herre stille lempet,                                has this God calmly lifted,

 

så vi vant vår rett.                                             so we won our right,

 

har den Herre stille lempet,                                has this God calmly lifted,

 

så vi vant, vi vant vår rett.                                  so we won, we won our right.

 

 

Ja, vi elsker dette landet,                                   Yes, we love this land,

 

som det stiger frem,                                          that emerges,

 

furet, værbitt, over vannet,                                furrowed, weather-beaten over the water,

 

med de tusen hjem.                                           with its thousands of homes,

 

og som fedres kamp har hevet                           and that our ancestors'  fight has raised,

 

det av nød til seir,                                             what was our distress to victory.

 

også vi, nar det blir krevet,                                Also we, when it becomes required

 

for dets fred slår leir,                                         for its peace, shall guard it,

 

også vi, nar det blir krevet,                                also we, when it becomes required,

 

for dets fred, dets fred slår leir!                         For its peace, its peace, shall guard it.

 

 

 

 

Categories: International Miscellaneous, English Stuff