Sunday, July 31, 2011

Malene Bjørnestad Schmidt, Salmernes rolle i den lutherske gudstjeneste - links

Malene Bjørnestad Schmidt. Salmernes rolle i den lutherske gudstjeneste – historisk og ritualteoretisk med særligt henblik på den danske højmesse. Institut for praktisk teologi, Aarhus universitet,
24. januar 2006


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Passion hymns of Hallgrímur Pétursson in Iceland

aHallgrímur Pétursson (1614 – October 27, 1674) According to his profile in Wikipedia, "Because of his contributions to Lutheran hymnody, he is sometimes called the Icelandic Paul Gerhardt." He ran away from home, got a scholarship to study in Copenhagen after "an Icelandic priest travelling through Glückstadt (now in Germany but then a part of Denmark), heard Hallgrímur curse his employer in Icelandic." He got one of his students pregnant in Copenhagen, ran off again - this time to Iceland - but when her husband died (the student was married, no doubt another complication for a seminarian), "she and Pétursson promptly married." For all of that, he was a gifted poet.

According to the Wikipedia article on the passon hymns ...
The Passíusálmar or Passion Hymns are a collection of 50 poetic texts written by the Icelandic priest and poet, Hallgrímur Pétursson. The texts explore the Passion narrative, as traditionally presented, from the point where Christ enters the Garden of Gethsemane to his death and burial. Hallgrímur began composing the work in 1656, while serving as priest of Saurbær in Hvalfjörður. It took him three years to complete, the final poem being written in May 1659; the first edition was published seven years later, in 1666. By the end of the century they had become so popular in Iceland that five editions had been published. Since that time, they have been reprinted 65 times, a unique achievement in Icelandic literature.

The Passíusálmar quickly became an important part of Icelandic religious expression, being sung or read during Lent in every Icelandic home; today, they are broadcast on the radio during that time of year. They have been set to music by many composers of Icelandic church music, including Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson and Jón Hlöðver Áskelsson, but use outside Iceland is rare. ...
PDF files of the 1923 translation by Charles Venn Pilcher are available on line. Pilcher "has in every case [but one] preserved the metre and the rhyme-scheme of the original - thus makaing it possible to the music of those stately German Chorales with which the words are associated in Iceland" (vii).

Radio Iceland has a very full website on the Passion Psalms, but it's in Icelandic ... the link Söngur on the left of the page takes you to text, notes and sound files of what appear to be field recordings of the psalms. And, yep, they sound like chorales.

Samples from the oratorio Hallgrímspassía by Sigurdur Saevarsson are available on YouTube. ssía. Performed by Schola cantorum, Caput and Jóhann Smári Sævarsson, conducted by Hörður Áskelsson. Also available on Sigurður Sævarsson's website.

Download of Sacred Music of Iceland - The Hallgrimskirkja Motet Choir - RARE - FLAC has info on a 1989 performance by Mótettukór Hallgrímskirkju (The Hallgrimskirkja Motet Choir) conducted by Hörður Áskelsson.

An English adaptation. On YouTube a trailer for a documentary on the Passion Hymns. Blurb as follows: "This is a trailer for a documentary in progress by Dall Wilson. In 1600 European democrats in Moravia were displaced from their homeland. In those days, Icelandic poet Hallgrimur wrote the Easter Saga to Moravian hymn-tunes. This was adapted for performance in English by Dall Wilson. In the 1700s, three displaced Moravians from Brno settled in Greenland. The documentary looks at the shared musical tradition and its influence. The playbook with music score and chords is available at"

Wilson has videos of a choir from the Faroe Islands at Dall - Passion-Hymns of Hallgrimur by dallwilson Part 1 and Part 2 Not much about Wilson other than an interview on North Carolina public radio, but apparently he does mixed media projects involving music and cinematography ... he's from Winston-Salem, has Moravian roots there. His arrangements carry notations indicating melodies come from Gerhardt and other composers of the Reformation period. They sound like chorales.

A fun article by Sindri Eldon of The Reykjavík Grapevine headed "Come All Ye Faithful, But Other People Can Totally Come If They Want To" advancing performances of Pétursson's work:
Not all artists are assholes. Some, in fact, can be quite friendly. While the Hallgrímskirkja Friends Of The Arts Society may not befriend artists, they are, as their name suggests, great fans of art, so an appreciation of artists would be implied; indeed, it would kind of be necessary, considering what it is the Friends Of The Arts do. They promote art exhibitions and concerts in Reykjavík’s iconic Hallgrímskirkja church, that pointy edifice that looms over the centre of town like some crazed monolithic seal.

This month, the Friends Of The Arts have organised some kick-ass classical music for us, including a free organ concert, some chamber music although most notable is a celebration of Iceland’s most notorious composer of hymns (and the man who gave Hallgrímskirkja its name), Hallgrímur Pétursson. His hymnody, the ‘Passion Hymns,’ will be read in its 50-psalm entirety on Good Friday, and there will also be a performance of select hymns on Maundy Thursday.
All snark aside, the pictures of the church do look a little bit like a seal balancing a cross on its nose.

Music theory: Want to drive your roommate out of his/her mind?

... or tune your instrument to standard pitch?

Or hear the relationships between the major, Dorian, Mixolydian and natural minor modes?

Use the Flash Piano ap on Benjamin Hollis' website "The Method Behind the Music." Says Hollis, "We have created a virtual piano that you can use to play scales and intervals to help your understanding of these and other topics. You can even play a tune!"

Friday, July 29, 2011

"Jante laws" and terrorism in Norway

Jante laws (pron. YAN-teh) are a typically Scandinavian code of behavior, from a Danish novel but widely recognized in all the Scandinavia countries ... here's what Wikipedia says: "The Danish-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose in his novel A fugitive crosses his tracks (En flyktning krysser sitt spor, 1933, English translation published in the USA in 1936) identified the Jante Law as a series of rules. Sandemose's novel portrays the small Danish town Jante (modelled upon his native town Nykøbing Mors as it was at the beginning of the 20th century, but typical of all small towns and communities), where nobody is anonymous." The Jante laws are also in force, naturally, in Lake Wobegon. Small towns everywhere, I suspect.

Snippets from July 28 article "In Norway, Consensus Cuts 2 Ways" by Steven Erlanger and Michael Schwirtz in the New York Times, which quotes the Jante laws rather perceptively ...
“When you are confronted with multicultural immigration, something happens,” said Grete Brochmann, a sociologist at the University of Oslo. “That’s the core of the matter right now, and it’s a great challenge to the Norwegian model.”

Norway’s leaders, from the royal family on down, have all praised the country’s solidarity, democracy, equality and tolerance, and all vow that these values will not change. Virtuous, peaceful, generous, consensual — this is the Norwegian self-image, aided by the oil wealth that props up one of the most comprehensive social welfare systems in the world.


For all its virtues, the emphasis on consensus here can also promote small-mindedness, smugness and political correctness. That is especially true when newcomers have different notions on certain values, including gender equality and secularism, even in an officially Christian country, that Norwegians hold dear.

“We’re a lucky society for many reasons, and not just oil,” said Ms. Brochmann, citing Norway’s distance from both the euro and the American financial crisis and its strong and transparent democracy.

“But many of these aspects of this consensus society have another side,” she said. “This is also a society of conformism,” she said, citing the “Janteloven,” or Jante law, based on small-town Scandinavian norms that govern group behavior, promoting collectivism and discouraging individual initiative and ambition in a world where no one is anonymous.
Text of Jante laws below, in Danish and English, courtesy of my cousin Lise in Copenhagen:

1. Du skal ikke tro, at du er noget.
2. Du skal ikke tro, at du er lige så meget som os.
3. Du skal ikke tro, at du er klogere end os.
4. Du skal ikke bilde dig ind, at du er bedre end os.
5. Du skal ikke tro, at du ved mere end os.
6. Du skal ikke tro, at du er mere end os.
7. Du skal ikke tro, at du duer til noget.
8. Du skal ikke le ad os.
9. Du skal ikke tro, at nogen bryder sig om dig.
10. Du skal ikke tro, at du kan lære os noget.

Jante law

1. Do not think that you are something.
2. Do not think that you are equal to us.
3. Do not think that you are smarter than us.
4. Do not delude yourself into thinking that you're better than us.
5. Do not think that you know more than us.
6. Do not think that you are more than us.
7. Do not believe you are worth something.
8. You must not laugh at us.
9. Do not think that anybody cares about you.

10. Do not think you can teach us something.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ralph Lee Smith at Common Ground on the Hill, Westminster, Md., July 2011

On the last day of his mountain dulcimer traditions classes during the second week of Common Ground on the Hill, dulcimer historian Ralph Lee Smith brought several antique instruments from his collection. At the end of the session, he was presented with a Common Ground shirt by members of the afternoon class.

Ralph Lee Smith opens gift shirt

Ralph taught two classes at Common Ground, one on the "world of the mountain dulcimer" and one on ballads. Both were heavily, although not exclusively, based on ballad collecting by Cecil Sharp, Maud Karpeles and Olive Dame Campbell between 1907 and 1917. And Ralph brought to Common Ground his knowledge of how the mountain dulcimer developed during the 19th and 20th centuries.

He also brought his collection of dulcimers ...

In photo above, Ralph chats with a member of the class. To the left are several hourglass dulcimers from Kentucky, along with one of similar shape from East Tennessee, all from the 20th century. To the right (mostly obscured by the bottom edge of the photo), are early instruments from West Virginia and Virginia; while the provenance is uncertain on most of the instruments, they most likely date from the early 20th to mid-19th centuries.

Kentucky (and one from Tennessee). From left, a non-traditional early folk revival instrument by Bill Davis of Gatlinburg, Tenn., and hourglass dulcimers by Kentuckians Warren May of Berea; Homer Ledford, of Winchester; Jethro Amburgey (two instruments, one behind the other), of Knott County, and "Uncle Ed" Thomas, also of Knott County. (The Davis, the Ledford and one of the Amburgeys are mine; the others are Ralph's.) Amburgey and Thomas both made instruments for the Hindman Settlement School. Note how similar all the Kentucky instruments are in shape.

Transitional instruments from Virginia. (Others in Ralph's collection are on loan to the Blue Ridge Institute, Ferrum, Va.) From left, an early Galax dulcimer; a home-made instrument that Ralph dates from about 1875; and a "coffin-shaped" dulcimer and a Scheitholt or Pennsylvania German-style folk zither, both dating from the 19th century. Ralph's hypothesis is that the dulcimer evolved by stages from German folk zithers brought to southwestern Virginia by Pennsylvania Dutch settlers.

One from West Virginia and one from North Carolina. To Ralph's right, in lower left foreground, are a dulcimer made in the 1960s by Leonard Glenn of Watauga County, N.C., and in the late 19th-century by Charles Prichard of Huntington, W.Va. As Ralph explains in his books, the pattern was brought to North Carolina by a traveling salesman during the 1880s and copied by artisans in the Glenn family for the next hundred years.

A sweet little tangent. Ralph let us play some of the instruments (i.e. the ones that can be played ... some of the others are long past that point)! I played both the Prichard, which Ralph often plays in concerts, and the boxy little Virginia style dulcimer dated 1875. It's heavy, and it looks like it was slapped together out of barn wood and decorated with house paint. But Ralph has it strung Galax style (to dddd or in unison to D an octave above middle C), and after adjusting the friction pegs a little, I was able to get a clear, sweet ringing tone out of it. I got out one of my floppy yogurt-tub picks and a noter made from the round end of a Starbucks coffee stirrer, and I couldn't keep my hands off it!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Til ungdomen" [to youth] - song at Oslo cathedral memorial service after July 22 terrorist attack

Our image in America is that the state church of Norway is largely irrelevant to a secular, post-Christian society, but in the aftermath of Friday's terrorist attacks it proved quite relevant.

A memorial service at Oslo's Domkirke Sunday ... and the imprompteau shrine outside the cathedral throughout the weekend ... were communal focal points as Norwegians began coming to terms with what has happened. People traveled hundreds of kilometres to attend the service.

Included was the singing of a choral piece, "To Youth," with words by Norwegian poet Nordahl Grieg set to music by Danish composer Otto Mortensen, at the memorial service. Its text was especially appropriate to the occasion, since more than 80 young people had been shot to death. NRK [Norsk rikskringkasting, the Norwegian state broadcasting service] posted the entire song to its website under headline "Kongen og dronningen gråt av sang i domkirken" [king and queen cry during song in cathedral].

NRK's cutline: "Den sterke teksten 'Til ungdommen' av Nordahl Grieg rørte mange under minnegudstjenesten" [the stark text "To youth" by Nordahl Grieg moved many at the memorial service].

According to Wikipedia, the poem was written in 1936; it is often referred to by its first line, "Kringsatt av Fiender' [surrounded by enemies]. Set to music by Otto Mortensen in 1952, it has been included in the Danish folk high school songbook and covered by choirs and metal bands alike. In a recent translation posted to Wikipedia, it begins:
Surrounded by enemies,
go into your time!
Under a bloody storm -
devote yourself to fight!

Maybe you ask in fear,
uncovered, open:
with what shall I fight
what is my weapon?

Here is your defense against violence
here is your sword:
the belief in our life,
the worth of mankind.

For all our future's sake,
seek it and cultivate it,
die if you must - but:
increase it and strengthen it!
And so on for 10 more verses.

ITN News has footage of the service and Eurovision TV has a 60-second report. By far the best coverage overall is on Storyful, a website that "uses the power of social networks to create an innovative, interactive and socially useful journalism." It appears to be an aggragator that collects from personal blogs and social media as well as mass media content posted to the web. It's headed "Norway mourns its dead" ... Brief English-language accounts incorporated into stories on the and Irish Times websites. The Irish Times' report, by Derek Scally, led:
NORWEGIAN MASSACRE: A KING’S tears summed up better than any words the confusion and distress gripping an entire country yesterday.

Norway’s King Harald wept openly at a church service to honour the 93 people killed in Friday’s twin tragedy that has left Norwegians reeling.

Outside the cathedral, near the site of Friday’s bomb blast, Oslo came to a standstill. Survivors gripped each other to fight back tears as they studied the sea of flowers and candles.

“Each and every life lost is a tragedy,” said a solemn prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, addressing the service. “Together the number of people killed amounts to a national tragedy.”
Mark Townsend, reporting Sunday in Oslo:
Thousands of people have gathered outside Oslo cathedral, many travelling hundreds of miles to do so, to insist that Norway's "open" society would not be compromised by Friday's attacks.

As a memorial service dedicated to those killed and injured in the atrocities got underway, a huge crowd assembled on the plaza outside.

Throughout the 90-minute service, most stood in silence, heads bowed, moving only to place flowers on a steadily growing pile of wreaths outside the cathedral. Others wept or held radios, listening intently to the service, which was broadcast live.

Among those present was 15-year-old Sindre Kolberg from Mo i Rana, 700 miles north of Oslo, and home to many of those caught up in the shootings on Utøya island. Kolberg knew 10 children involved in the attacks, but only eight have come home. One is in hospital with gunshot wounds, the other, a girl, is still missing.

"I have talked to two of the survivors and they are shocked. They saw two friends from another city being killed. Norway is such a safe country. You see attacks in the US, London, but never here. I hope it doesn't change," he said.

It was a sentiment replicated throughout the crowd outside the cathedral, a 90-second walk from the police cordons sealing the part of Oslo's government district bombed two days earlier. The cathedral is famous as a place of refuge, often for asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected - the people who Anders Behring Breivik, the 32-year-old who has confessed to the attacks, so despised.
LATER: Posted to the NRK website Tuesday, a story with links about Kjersti Sofie Løvåsdal Halvorsen, 17, who posted a version of "To Youth" to YouTube a couple of years ago (Google translation here). Karina Lystad, arts and entertainment reporter for NRK, has this account:
Nordahl Grieg's poem "To Youth", with music by Otto Mortensen, has been a kind of renaissance after shooting at Utøya .

Sangen ble sunget under minnegudstjenesten i Oslo Domkirke på søndag, og på rosemarkeringen på Rådhusplassen i går kveld, og det siteres hyppig fra teksten på nettsteder som Twitter. The song was sung during the memorial service in Oslo Cathedral on Sunday, and the praise celebration at City Hall last night, and it cited from the text on Web sites like Twitter.

Den økte oppmerksomheten rundt sangen har også fått konsekvenser for 17 år gamle Kjersti Sofie Løvåsdal Halvorsen. The increased attention the song has also had consequences for 17-year-old Kjersti Sofie Løvåsdal Halvorsen. Hun oppdaget plutselig at trafikken på en av YouTube-videoene hennes hadde økt drastisk. She suddenly discovered that the traffic on one of her YouTube videos had increased drastically.

- Tidligere var det rundt ti visninger hver dag, frem til for noen dager siden. - Previously, it was about ten views a day, until a few days ago. I det siste har det vært oppe i 1500, sier hun. In the past there have been up in 1500, she says.

I videoen det er snakk om sitter Kjersti med en kassegitar og synger “Til Ungdommen”. In the video in question is Kjersti an acoustic guitar and sings "The Youth". Og det er ikke bare klikktallene som har gått opp. And it is only then the numbers have gone up.

- Jeg fått veldig mange flere kommentarer. - I received many more comments. Folk sier de liker versjonen min og at de føler diktet er veldig riktig og gir dem mye trøst. People say they like my version and that they feel the poem is very appropriate and gives them much consolation.
Adds Lystad of NRK:
It was more or less a coincidence that Kjersti posted just this video. Hun kom over diktet da hun jobbet med krigslitteratur på ungdomsskolen, og fordypet seg i skriveriene til Nordahl Grieg og Arnulf Øverland. She came across the poem when she was working with war literature in middle school, and immersed herself in the writings of Nordahl Grieg and Arnulf Overland.

- Jeg hørte den først i Herborg Kråkeviks versjon og bestemte meg for at jeg hadde lyst til å lære meg den på gitar, forklarer hun. - I heard it first in [pop singer] Herborg Kråkevik version and decided that I wanted to learn it on guitar, she explains.

- Hva var det for noe med akkurat det diktet? - What was it for something with just the poem?

- Det er et utrolig fint budskap om menneskeverd og solidaritet, som var verdier som Nordahl Grieg var opptatt av. - It is a very good message about human dignity and solidarity, which had values ​​that Nordahl Grieg was concerned. Jeg syns også det er et utrolig godt skrevet dikt med tanke på strofene og rimene. I also think it is an incredibly well-written poems in terms of stanzas and rhymes.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tutorial, FAQs on Creative Commons licensing

How do I properly attribute a Creative Commons licensed work?
All current CC licenses require that you attribute the original author(s). If the copyright holder has not specified any particular way to attribute them, this does not mean that you do not have to give attribution. It simply means that you will have to give attribution to the best of your ability with the information you do have. Generally speaking, this implies five things:

•If the work itself contains any copyright notices placed there by the copyright holder, you must leave those notices intact, or reproduce them in a way that is reasonable to the medium in which you are re-publishing the work.
•Cite the author's name, screen name, user identification, etc. If you are publishing on the Internet, it is nice to link that name to the person's profile page, if such a page exists.
•Cite the work's title or name, if such a thing exists. If you are publishing on the Internet, it is nice to link the name or title directly to the original work.
•Cite the specific CC license the work is under. If you are publishing on the Internet, it is nice if the license citation links to the license on the CC website.
•If you are making a derivative work or adaptation, in addition to the above, you need to identify that your work is a derivative work i.e., “This is a Finnish translation of the [original work] by [author].” or “Screenplay based on [original work] by [author].”
In the case where a copyright holder does choose to specify the manner of attribution, in addition to the requirement of leaving intact existing copyright notices, they are only able to require certain things. Namely:

•They may require that you attribute the work to a certain name, pseudonym or even an organization of some sort.
•They may require you to associate/provide a certain URL (web address) for the work.
If you are interested to see what an actual license ("legalcode") has to say about attribution, you can use the CC Attribution 3.0 Unported license as an example. Please note that this is only an example, and you should always read the appropriate section of the specific license in question ... usually, but perhaps not always, section 4(b) or 4(c):

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Songs from Emil i Lönneberga Pipi's World fan site

Hujedamej lyrics and

Hör nu på, govänner, så ska jag för er berätta
vad en gosse gjorde, det är nu längesen,
men nog lever minnet kvar i Smålands sköna dalar,
Katthult, Lönneberga, det var den gossens hem.
Hujedamej sånt barn han var,
ej värre tänkas kan,
och Emil var det namn han bar,
ja, Emil hette han.
Sing-dudel-dej sing-dudel-dej
sing-dudel-dej sing-dudel-dej


Hujedamej Lyrics


Adas sommarvisa / "Du ska inte tro det blir sommar"
YouTube clip and brief notes at

chords and lyrics on website. Lyrics in Swedish:
Du ska inte tro det blir sommar
ifall inte nå´n sätter fart
på sommarn och gör lite somrigt,
då kommer blommorna snart.
Jag gör så att blommorna blommar,
Jag gör hela kohagen grön
och nu har sommaren kommit
för jag har just tagit bort snön Wikipedia (in translation - Swedish at )
Ida's summer show, or you will not believe it is summer, is a Swedish children's song with a summer theme . Astrid Lindgren wrote while Georg Riedel composed the melody for the film Emil and griseknoen from 1973 , where it was sung by Lena Wisborg who plays Ida.

"Idas sommarvisa" har tre verser och har blivit vanlig på skolavslutningar , där den blivit omtyckt och betraktas som ett icke-religiöst alternativ till " Den blomstertid nu kommer " och " I denna ljuva sommartid ". "Ida's summer show" has three verses and have become common on school closings , where it has become popular and are considered a non-religious alternative to " The blomstertid now "and" In the sweet summertime . " Andra har dock menat att orden "ifall inte nån sätter fart" kan tolkas så att det är Gud som "sätter fart". [1]
IMDb has a soundtrack list from Emil i Lönneberga (1971) ...

Hujedamej the long version of the opening song from Emil i Lönneberga

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Natkirken: 'liturgical laboratory' - 2001 report to diocese of Copenhagen

Excerpts from English-language report on Project Night Church covering its first year as a pilot project at Københavns Domkirke, Vor Frue Kirke
By Signe M. Berg, Inger Ravn and Thomas Söderqvist


A liturgical laboratory in the Cathedral of Copenhagen.

* * *

In the late summer of 1999 a new project was launched in the Cathedral of Copenhagen. Originally the idea was to open the church to the public in the late evening hours and to give visitors an opportunity for a personal talk with a minister. In the course of the first year several new practices and ideas were introduced which have turned the project into a liturgical laboratory and a place of dialogue.

The first year of the Night Church project (Danish: "Natkirken") has recently been evaluated on behalf of the twelwe founding downtown churches. This article summarises our evaluation report (available in Danish at

* * *
The ideas and visions for the Night Church project have developed gradually as a result of our practical experiences. Something unexpected may happen in the course of an evening, new perspectives emerge, new reflections and a new practice is born. When the Night Church project started in 1999 the idea was to provide an open and quiet church punctuated by a short service. Today, however, we envisage the entire evening as an extended service. The long stretches of time when "nothing happens" are part - and a most appreciated part - of the service. The Night Church thus becomes a refuge from everyday life with its career pressures and constant demands for personal achievement. Several visitors have expressed their gratitude to this dimension of the Night Church (see below). The message that many a minister tries to convey to his congregation in elaborate ways, namely, that we do not need to perform or do anything to receive the love of Christ, is here replaced by a personal experience that grows out of the simple practice of "doing nothing", just being - in the calm.

The noise generated by today's information and media society has turned people's attention to the blessing of quietness. Similarly, the common experience of a normative vacuum in today's society has contributed to a revival of ritual. We wish to develop credible rituals. Credibility is bound up with resonance and the content and mode of expression in the rituals and the service must therefore resonate with the individual's perception of holiness and sense of the fundamentals of life. That is, the service must resonate with the visitorís need to find a suitable vocabulary, a direction of mind, and a spiritual context for his or her search. Our task is to find modes of expression that are credible to the individual visitor and which provide a space for dialogue - a dialogue that (post)modern man expects to be a natural part of the state of being together, with other human beings as well as with God.

Many of our visitors can be characterised as "seekers", and we consider it one of our primary aims to establish a dialogue with this group of people. In order to enter into a dialogue with "seekers", however, we must meet them on their own terms. A well-known graffiti says that "Jesus is the answer, but what was the question?" In other words, there is no point trying to preach the gospel if we cannot see our visitorsí distress and if we cannot give them an opportunity to articulate their own questions. To "see" somebody does not necessarily imply accepting everything he or she say - to be "seen" also includes being contradicted and corrected. But whether we agree with our visitor or contradict him, his sense of having been seen is a necessary condition for his being affected.

* * *
Berg, Ravn and Söderqvist's report is also incorporated verbatin in a newsletter of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Letter on Evangelism - Geneva, 2002. Carlos E. Ham, WCC Programme Executive for Evangelism, has a nice summary in his introduction:
... In a quiet setting, right in the middle of the city’s noise, the project provides an opportunity for “outsiders” and for the “seekers” to meet, to have a cup of tea or coffee together, to write, to walk around, or simply to kneel and pray.

Frequently Cathedrals have been used for performing concerts and this is also the case in Copenhagen, but what makes the experience unique is the way that art is used as an instrument to share the good news. Furthermore the regular church activities such as worship, Holy Communion, reading and interpreting the Bible, prayers, etc., are developed in an innovative way, enabling people to feel welcome and embraced. But perhaps the most meaningful characteristic of the project is sharing in the love of Christ “doing nothing”, just being in calm, in silence.

We are very happy to share with our readers this beautiful and meaningful project, which indeed has been a blessing for the people related to it.
There is also a YouTube clip on a NiteKirk program in Scotland. According to the Mission and Discipleship Council of the Church of Scotland, "Following the success of the night church movement in Denmark, the NiteKirk transformed Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh during the Edinburgh Festival of 2008 into a space for reflection, encounter and transformation." Quotes several clergy at length. See the Greyfriars website for ongoing services: "NiteKirk takes place one Friday evening each month and offers a place for stillness, prayer and relection. Come for the evening, or pop in for a quiet moment in our sanctuary of peace and tranquillity. There are occasional services and liturgies, prayer in the style of [Taizé], readings and music. There are volunteers you can chat with over a drink of the famous warm and spicy apple juice, or you can just take time to sit and think. We will publicise NiteKirk here on the site and on the blog, so watch this space."

Monday, July 18, 2011

"The Pride of the Springfield Road"

Learned from Jim Rainey of Craobh Rua in his Irish song class at Common Ground on the Hill on the McDaniel College campus in Westminster, Md.

"The Pride of the Springfield Road"

(I'm learning it in D dorian on the Appalachian dulcimer.)

Lyrics and chords (in B minor) on an Andy Irvine fan page.
The website also has lyrics of "The King of Ballyhooley" - also an Andy Irvine song learned from Jim at Common Ground.

Craobh Rua's website is at ...

A bagpiper's story

One of those viral emails, courtesy of my cousin on Long Island ...

Very touching story...

As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Kentucky back country. As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn't stop for directions.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man. And as I played 'Amazing Grace,' the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen nothin' like that before and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Pix - Jenny Lind / Tryggare kan ingen vara

Pix under Creative Commons license ... - photo of Jenny Lind Chapel in Andover - JL seated at piano - 1845 - oil by J.A. Asher


Sunday, July 03, 2011

"Å kjøre vatten, og kjøre ved" - a Norwegian children's song with a Caribbean beat

"Å kjøre vatten, og kjøre ved" by a group from Stavanger called Vindrosa recasts a classic Norwegian children's song with a Caribbean steel band rhythm ... "fra VINDROSA´s album "Østenfor sol" som nå er ute (release 15. februar 2011). Se også

Vindrosa has its ultimate origins in a 1980s ska-reggae band ... two of its members got together in recent years in Stavanger and cut the record, with singer-songwriter Stina Kjeland fronting the band, which also features Moroccan hand drums, a kletzmer-style clarinet and more traditional stringed instruments like a bouzouki. According to the blurb on their website, they are a sort of Norwegian/world music combo:
The songs they chose are all traditional Norwegian folk songs well known to most of the above-forty generation of Norwegians, but maybe lesser known to younger people. These songs have been dressed up in foreign clothes and scented with exotic fragrances so that they now appear new and fresh, but also familiar. Hopefully this new appearance will cause many people to rediscover these wonderful songs and also give them the new audiences that they very well deserve.
Another version. Andy Irvine, an Irish singer, sings same melody to new lyrics ... "I drove to Oslo on a winter's night ..." osv. @ Dent Folk Festival 2009 ... nice, bright bouzouki backing his voice. Cute lyrics.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Lönneberga - tracing Edmund family roots; kroppkakor with lingonberries; and a popular children's story by Astrid Lindgren

By consulting family records and Google maps, we found Lönneberga, the rural district in Småland where Debi's great great-grandfather was born. Our time was limited, so we chose a couple of places mentioned in the records that we could easily reach, one of which was Lönneberga. (The other was Krisdala.) We had to get back on the E4 motorway to Stockholm's Arlanda Airport, where we needed to drop off our rental car that afternoon, but we were able to spend an hour or two driving around.

Postcards, at right and below, show the Småland terrain. It's beautiful, but it doesn't look exactly like good farmland -- the area is now sort of a woodsy resort destination for weekenders from Stockholm, and we were told nobody tries to farm it anymore.

Rural areas (landsbygd) in Lönneberga

Lönneberga (pronounced luna-BERR-ya) is located on a two-lane blacktop (No. 129) in Hultsfred municipality (kommun) -- a local government unit similar to our townships in Illinois -- in Kalmar county (län) near the Jönköping (yon-SHUPP-ing) county line (if you care about such things, its latitude and longitude are are 57° 33' 0" North, 15° 43' 0" East). A pretty little town, with a housing estate, like an American subdivision, on one side of the road and a nice little restaurant -- Lönneberga Boa -- on the other. Surrounded by evergreen forest set in rolling hills. Some pasture fields, but mostly lakes and woods.

The restaurant was open, and it was around lunchtime. So we went in.

Kroppkakor -- meatballs and dumplings

Lönneberga Boa was a smallish restaurant, across the county road from the housing estate. Reminded me of cafes in our resort areas on the East Coast, with wood paneling on the inside, prints on the walls -- including an old (1920s-ish?) group portrait of the Swedish royal family -- and a modest selection of crafts and tourist kitsch on sale.

Lunch was kroppkakor - pork meatballs surrounded by potato dumplings in a white sauce (cf. German Fleisch Knödel) that tasted like a combination of American-style Swedish meatballs and potato baloney. Served with a lingonberry sauce on the side. It was quite good. Filling, though. Very filling. Debi had a fruktkaka dessert that was nothing at all like an American fruitcake.

Turns out kroppkaka is a traditional dish common throughout Småland and other districts (landskaps) in southern Sweden. In fact, the whole meal was traditional.

Picture at right shows Kroppkakor, fruktkaka and knäckebröd (hardtack or crisp bread) with lingonberry sauce and dill pickles.

The rural area where the Edmund family lived before coming to America in the 1860s is called Sjoarp (SHOW-arp). Owner of the restaurant said it is no longer occupied year-round, but vacationers from Stockholm have second homes there. The Wikipedia page on Hultsfred kommun indicates the area has been losing population over time: "Much of the geography is taken up with forests, a notability for the entire province of Småland, with some few scattered areas suitable for agriculture."

Local histories, several of which are available on the World Wide Web, also give the picture of an area where people scrabbled for a living on small farms hacked out of the woods.

The Lönneberga Historical Guild (hembygdsgille) hosts a food and craft fair in the fall and maintains a homestead museum (hembygdsgård) near Lönneberga church (for an English translation, Google keywords Lönneberga Mat och Hantverk and click on "Translate this page"). Its website also features a map that shows Sjoarp, which is pretty out-of-the-way. The guild's organizational website has an interesting hodgepodge of information (Google keywords Lönneberga hembygdsgille and click on the link that says "Translate this page") compiled by local historians. Among other things, it mentions historical records going back
to the 1300s, an essay on farming and an account of emigration during the 1800s from another community in Hultsfred commune.

Edmund family records

Lönneberga parish, a district centered on the local parish of the state Church of Sweden, is one of the areas mentioned in family records. The Edmunds farmed land several kilometers northwest (?) of the church building.

Edmund family ancestors from Lönneberga were:

  • Petter Admundson, farmer in Sjoarp, Lonneberga Parish, Kalmar County, Sweden. Born Mar. 8, 1805 in Hasselby Parish, Jonkoping County, Sweden. Married Stina Cajsa Jonsdotter, born Mar. 30, 1811, in Lonneberga Parish. Came to America probably in 1870s, after their children came here. (?) Petter died in Woodhull, IL in 1881. Stina died in 1911, in Woodhull, IL.

  • Anders Johan Admund (Adman), son of Petter and Stina, born Nov. 3, 1833, at Sjoarp farm #2, Lonneberga Parish, Kalmar County, Sweden. Emigrated to America June 26, 1865? 1868? Died 1918 in Orion, IL.

Emil i Lönneberga

Among the touristy items on sale in the restaurant were several black-and-white glossies of a tow-headed little boy. He's Emil of Lönneberga, the title character of several novels by children's author Astrid Lindgren. Better known than Emil in the United States is Pippi Longstocking (Pippi Långstrump in Swedish), another character of Astrid Longren's -- Emil and Pippi are kindred spirits, if not exactly brother and sister.

At any rate, they're proud of their namesake in Lönneberga.

While the Emil books aren't readily available in English, used copies turn up regularly on and other online booksellers. And there's a good synopsis on an Astrid Lindgren fan page called Pippi's World. In 1971 a Swedish-language movie simply titled Emil i Lönneberga came out. It was very popular, and several clips (all in Swedish or Norwegian) have been posted to YouTube from time to time.

Emil and friend, as portrayed in the movie.

Wikipedia has this: "Emil of Lönneberga (from Swedish: Emil i Lönneberga) is a series of children's novels by Astrid Lindgren, covering twelve books written from 1963 to 1997. Emil, the title character, is a prankster who lives on a farm in the district of Lönneberga in Småland, Sweden. The books have been published in 44 languages. In most translations, the original illustrations by the Swedish illustrator Björn Berg are used."

Adds the Wikipedia profile, "[Emil] has fair hair and blue eyes and looks like an angel, but is not, as he also has a prodigious knack for getting into trouble. Contrary to what most people around him think, Emil is not malicious, but does not think about the consequences of his actions. He even states at one point that 'you don't make up pranks, they just happen'."

Pippi's World, the Astrid Lindgren fan website, has some perceptive comments:

The fact that Emil of Lönneberga lives in a farmhouse is of great significance! This is where he has unfettered freedom to do his pranks. Most of his pranks are targeted at saving people he love from some problem that he perceives. They are endearing also, like the time when he gives food meant for guests to some poor people because he feels their need is greater. This is labeled a 'prank' in his own home, but the intentions are definitely noble and give him good brownie points for character.

Speaking of character, Emil is really quite good at heart. He also knows to reciprocate goodness, which is seen in his behavior with Alfred, the farmhand, who is one of Emil's best friends. For all Alfred's trust and good faith in him, Emil reciprocates by even saving his life at one point of time.

There's a copy of the 1971 movie version available on YouTube. It's in Swedish, and I didn't watch it all, but a trailer gives a feel for the characters ... and an idyllic -- idealized? -- impression of what a youngster from Småland might remember from the early 20th century when Astrid Lindgren was growing up. There are more YouTube clips, all in Swedish. Details on the 1971 release available on the Swedish Film Database website.