Monday, September 12, 2011

There really was a Per Spelmann ...

... but I don't know if he had only one cow!

[Click on embedded video below for trad and heavy metal versions of the favorite children's song by Norwegian metal band Glittertind, with lyrics and translation.]



Olav Sæta says in history of North Gudbrandsdalen [search under "Blomstringstid på 1800-tallet"] in his Feletradisjoner i Oppland (1992), that he was named Per Kringelhaugen, and he played with Fel-Jakup (Fiddling Jacob) [see Jakup Lom in Norsk Lexikon] and Else-Lars [Lars Kjørren 1824-1894], celebrated traditional fiddlers. Sæta has this:
... Per Kringelhaugen (1830-1907) fra Bøverdalen, også kalt Per Spelmann. Han lærte først av Per Bergom og Jo Lilleødegard, og etter hvert også av Else-Lars. Per Spelmann var den som f6r mest i lag med Fel-Jakup de var bl.a. 13 ganger i følge til Romsdalsmarten. Det må bety at Jakup verdsatte Per Spelmann høyt, og det var Per som i første rekke førte hans spill videre da Fel-Jakup gikk bort i 1876.

Ola Gjerdet (f. 187 1) hørte Per Spelmann og Gamel-Sjugur spille i lag i 1880-åra (Erling Kjøk etter Hans Wiker). Han sa at de to og Else-Lars spelte likt, men la til at Per Spelmann kunne spelle på mange måter.

Da Jakup var borte, ble Per den ruvende spelemannsskikkelsen i distriktet. Det ser ut til at han på sommerstid stort sett dro bygdimellom med fela, men at han nå for det meste holdt seg i Ottadalen (Flå 1963)..
Google translates:
... Per Kringelhaugen (1830-1907) from Bøverdalen, also called Peter Fiddler. He taught first by Per Bergom and Jo Lilleødegard, and eventually by Else-Lars. Per the Fiddler was the most f6r together with Fel-Jakup, they were such 13 times, according to Romsdalsmarten. This must mean that Jakup valued Per Fiddler high, and it was Peter who primarily brought his game on when Fel-Jakup passed away in 1876.

Ola fence (b. 187 1) heard Per the Fiddler and the Gamel-Sjugur play together in the 1880s (Erling Kjøk after his Wiker). He said that the two and Else-Lars played the same, but added that Peter Fiddler could concertina in many ways.

When Jakup were away, As the fiddler towering figure in the district.It appears that he was in the summer pretty much went built between the fiddle, but he mostly remained in Ottadalen (Flå 1963).
As with so many master fiddlers of the 1800s, there was a body of legend about Peter Fiddler. This from the message board VGDebatt on the Olso newspaper Verdens Gang website, on a thread asking people to name their favorite fiddle player [search Favorittfelespelar - Musik- VG Nett Debatt].

On Aug. 13, 2010 [at 8:51], New_Romatic wrote:
Min favorittfelespiller er helt klart Veslefrikk. Han hadde en helt unik evne til å trollbinde sitt publikum. Jeg har også sansen for Per Spelmann, som var så glad i felen sin at han byttet bort en ku for å få den tilbake. Da snakker vi keep it real.
And Google translates:
My favorite fiddle player is clearly Veslefrikk. He had a unique ability to enchant his audience. I also sense for Peter Fiddler, who was so fond of his fiddle that he traded away a cow to get it back. When we talk keep it real.
Veslefrikk is a fairy tale about a boy who played the fiddle in Asbjørnsen & Moe. To New_Romantic's post, Zinklar replied [at 10:10]:
Eg er òg svak for Per Spelmann, eller Per Kringelhaugen som han eigentleg heitte, i frå Lom. Det var ikkje alle forunt å vera sveinnen hass Fel-Jakup, men det sette sine spor, og Per Spelmann enda som mange andre spelmenn på den tida som ein fordrukken mann. Det er dei som ikkje likar Fel-Jakup som hevder at Per Spelmann var ein mykje gjevare spelmann enn han, og at mykje av Fel-Jakup-tradisjonen eigentleg er Per Spelmann-tradisjon.

Han enda sitt liv då ei avlaus øyk råkte han i hugu med bakføtene sine.
Obviously having a little trouble with the nynorsk, Google translates:
I am also weak for At Fiddler, or Per Kringelhaugen that he actually named, the Lom. It was not all people ever to be Sveinn hass Fel-Jakup, but it put its mark, and Per Fiddler even as many other musicians at the time that a drunken man. There are those who do not like Fel-Jakup claiming that Peter Fiddler was a much gjevare fiddler than he, and that much of the Fel-Jakup tradition actually is Per Fiddler tradition.

He even their lives when a avlaus smoke will be generated råkte he Hugues with his back leg.
There's another legend about Per Spelmann in Aslak 0. Brimi's "Kva skal barnet heite?" posted to Brimi's Blog at Folkemusikk.no:
Per var ein dyktig spelemann og damesjarmør. For dei som ikkje veit det heitte han Per Kringelhaugen, og var frå Bøverdalen i Lom. Han var ein mykje brukt dansespelemann, og ein gong han sat og spelte på ein ball, var det ein gut som vart ståande å sjå på han. I ei pause gjekk guten bort til Per og ville skjenke han ein dram (Merk det i desse kappleikstider: Det var skikk og bruk å skjenke spelemannen). ”Sjå her nå bestefar ska’ du få ein dram hjå me’”, sa guten. Per snudde seg mot han, såg han djupt i augo, og sa: ”Neimen, æ du ein ette’ me du au?”
Google has:
Peter was an accomplished fiddler and lady charmer. For those who do not know it was called Peter Kringelhaugen, and was from Bøverdalen in Lom. He was a very common dance fiddler, and once he sat and played on a ball, it was a boy who stood looking at him. In a break went the boy over to Peter and he would pour a dram (Note that in these times of Major competition: It was the custom to bestow fiddler). "See here now grandfather ska 'you get a nip among me,'" said the boy. Peter turned to him, he looked deep into his eyes and said, "Oh, I'm to continue a 'we can au?"
I'm not sure exactly how to translate his dialect, but it sounds like he was mooching an extra drink from the boy.

Citations in passage from Olav Sæta are in bibliography for Feleverkene in Institut for Musikvitenskap website at University of Oslo [search under "Litteraturliste for feleverkene"].

Flå, L. (1963). "Per Kringelhaugen fra Lom".I: Årbok for Gudbrandsdalen.

Kjøk, J. (1995). A Spelman Saga. Otta.

3 comments:

Immanio said...

The reply in that last anecdote is actually along the lines of "Are you one of mine as well?". (Directly translated, it would be something like "Are you one after me too?") The boy used grandfather as a generic term for old man. Per however, being an inveterate ladies' man, assumed he meant it literally, and that the boy was (yet another) descendant he hadn't met before.

Pete said...

@ Immanio -

Tusen takk! My Norwegian is rudimentary at best, and the joke went over my head entirely.

(I'm seeing this a couple of months later, hope you revisit this sometime and see it ...)

Jon Erland Madsen said...

You can even find him in three censuses:

1900: http://digitalarkivet.arkivverket.no/ft/person/pf01037080002107

1865: http://digitalarkivet.arkivverket.no/ft/person/pf01038058003549

1875: http://digitalarkivet.arkivverket.no/ft/person/pf01052088003707

You can even check whether it is correct that he swapped his only cow for a fiddle. The farm where he lived in 1865 actually has one cow:

http://digitalarkivet.arkivverket.no/ft/bosted_land/bf01052088003706

But in 1875, he has two cows:

http://digitalarkivet.arkivverket.no/ft/bosted_land/bf01052088003706

Supposedly, Peder Olsen was fond of drinking and at one time pawned his fiddle. As he was probably making more money on playing than on farming, it might have been a rational decision to make the exchange. But it would have been talked about at the time.