Sunday, February 07, 2016

Á Sprengisandi ("Ríðum, ríðum ..."): An Icelandic song to get started on with the langspil?

Á Sprengisandi ("Ríðum, ríðum rekum yfir sandinn")

Community choral performance (7 átthagakórar) posted Oct. 14, 2014, by Leifur Geir Hafsteinsson.

Words and music --

Melody in ABC notation in E minor at:

Lyrics (in Icelandic) scrolling while audio by Islandica plays at:

... and with a literal English translation at:

Lyrics and chords (in A minor) at:

Ríó Tríó, Icelandic pop group, has this background --

Sprengisandur is remote part of the Highlands of Iceland between the glaciers Hofsjökull and Vatnajökull. Sprengisandur is a very old connection between the north and the south of the island. It has been known since the times of first settlement. But it always had a rather bad reputation. People had to cross the desert fast with their horses, to "spring" over it, so as to get new grass and water for themselves and the animals. There has also been a lot of superstition about it. Stories about bad ghosts and criminals were told and the old tracks fell out of use for some time.

Here is their arrangement, of two related melodies for the song. (Picture on video shows a man playing a fiðla, another Icelandic bowed folk instrument):

Other arrangements --

By the Icelandic rock band Pelican (note singer riding push broom like a horse:

By a school choir:

By German band "Savoy Truffle," after a lengthy intro in German. (Music begins at 1:00):

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