Jan Hammarlund – The Forest Was So Cold


Jan Hammarlund is a political Swedish folksinger who was involved in the Progg scene in the 1970s. One of the earliest openly gay Swedish musicians, he also became active in the Chilean struggle. This song is a real downer, like most ballads. Here’s a translation of a version from 1812…

Pehr Tyrsson’s daughters in Vänge
The forest was so cold
They slept a sleep too long
While the forest came into leaf
The youngest one woke up first
The forest…
And so she woke up the others.
While the forest…
Then they sat up on their beds.
So they braided each other’s locks.
So they put on their silken clothes.
So they went to the church.
But when they came to the Vänge hill
They met three highwaymen
“You either be highwaymen’s wives,
Or would you lose your young lives?”
“We do not wish to be highwaymen’s wives,
We’d rather lose our young lives.”
They cut their heads off on a log of birch.
There soon three wells sprung up.
The bodies buried in the mud,
The clothes taken to the village.
When they came to Vänge farm,
Lady Karin met them in the yard
“And would you buy silken shifts,
By nine maidens knitted and stitched?”
“Untie your sacks and let me see,
Perhaps I know all three.”
Lady Karin beat her chest in pain,
And went to find Pehr Tyresson.
“There are three highwaymen in our yard,
Who have our daughters slain.”
Pehr Tyrsson grasped his sword,
He slew the eldest two.
The third he left alive,
And then he asked him thus:
“What is your father’s name?
What is your mother’s name?”
“Our father is Pehr Tyrsson in Vänge,
Our mother is Lady Karin in Stränge.”
Pehr Tyrson then went to the smithy,
And had iron crafted ’round his waist.
“What shall we do for our sins?”
“We shall build a church of lime and stone.
That church will be named Kerna,
And we will willingly build it.”

Never heard of the iron crafted round waist self-punishment before….

Price: five euro or less.
Location: Northern Europe.

Per Tyrsons Dottrar I Vange

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2 Responses to Jan Hammarlund – The Forest Was So Cold

  1. Johan Neij says:

    Nice to see you’re posting again, Warren! And a Swedish one, I feel honoured! 😉 Have you been over here yourself?

    • wornhill says:

      Maybe I never replied to this, but yeah came over to Sweden working on tour for a band and picked up some records on the cheap. I like this one.

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