A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    I've just watched "The Last King" (Birkebeinerne) and I'd love to know what the lyrics are for the song in the end credits. This is "Bifrst," composed by Gaute Storaas and sung by Helene Bksle. I've just listened to it about five times.

    I can only find the lyrics in Norwegian, and it would be great if someone could translate them for me, or maybe just give an overall sense of what the song is about. Given the title and the film's focus, I'm guessing it has something to do with celestial crossings or journeys?

    The lyrics are posted on the film's Facebook page, a little ways down on June 30.

    .
    Last edited by Palanan; 2016-11-19 at 11:39 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    It's in Old Norse, not modern Norwegian, so you'd probably have more luck getting someone who knows Icelandic to help, since I assume that's more commonly known than ON. I suppose I could give it a go if no one volunteers by the end of the day - I'm rusty as hell and was never particularly good but I understand some of it without having to break out the dictionary.

    Inst einn kenning, yfir or
    erundir himinn, langt um norr
    Ekundra, vill hon sna sik?
    ekallar, m hann heyra mik!

    Einn t fyr stri, einn t fyr frir,
    bldreifa snjr at syrgja vi,
    Kom sn mr, hver er leii n?
    einn konung, enn einn ltinn gl

    Brtt vere varr einn skimi bjart,
    tendran ljos m vetrantt
    ar bifra band sem hvtr ln
    bogir undir stjarnaskin

    T fyr stri, ok t fyr frir,
    sveri ok vn at kempa vi
    Sj jartegn einn himinnbr
    einn konung, ok eitt folk af tr

    Heimdallr, vǫrr goa
    sitr vi himins enda
    hver er lei til himins af jru?
    Goin geru Bifrst
    br vi himins enda
    Bifrst, rimr litum
    B i f r s t sterk

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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Got my Old Norse dictionary. I'll give some of this a crack. Whatever I give here will be super rough. Also, it seems likely to me there might be some errors in the Norse based on some of the constructions used.


    Here's the first two stanzas:

    Within a kenning, over words
    [erundir isn't in there, but it's probably undir, meaning under] the sky, far north
    Ekundra, will she reveal herself?
    [ekallar], to erase, he to hear me.

    One time [fyr] grief, one time [fyr] peace,
    bloody snow with battle sorrow.
    Come show me, where is the grave now?
    A king, still a colorful ember.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Quote Originally Posted by SaintRidley View Post
    Got my Old Norse dictionary. I'll give some of this a crack. Whatever I give here will be super rough. Also, it seems likely to me there might be some errors in the Norse based on some of the constructions used.


    Here's the first two stanzas:

    Within a kenning, over words
    [erundir isn't in there, but it's probably undir, meaning under] the sky, far north
    Ekundra, will she reveal herself?
    [ekallar], to erase, he to hear me.

    One time [fyr] grief, one time [fyr] peace,
    bloody snow with battle sorrow.
    Come show me, where is the grave now?
    A king, still a colorful ember.
    I'm pretty sure some of this is wrong.

    m hann heyra mik! is 'may he hear me', I believe

    Einn t fyr stri, einn t fyr frir, - A time for strife, a time for peace (possibly 'a time before strife/peace'). IIRC, Old Norse didn't use indefinite articles all that much, which makes this construction a bit weird. I wonder if it's a quote from some ON translation of the Bible, but since I'm unfamiliar with any such things I can't tell.

    einn konung, enn einn ltinn gl - 'still' isn't wrong but it carries the meaning of something expected to change rather than a state of affairs expected to continue or one that should have changed but hasn't.

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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Yeah, this is an old dictionary and I was working in a bit of a rush. Fyr is definitely for, but it straight up does not exist in this dictionary.

    No Old Norse translations of the Bible. Might be a parallel with the Icelandic translation, but that would be a pain to search for.
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    No author should have to take the time to say, "This little girl ISN'T evil, folks!" in order for the reader to understand that. It should be assumed that no first graders are irredeemably Evil unless the text tells you they are.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    I've never done any serious studies of Old Norse, but it is similar enough to Swedish that I'm able to read most lines, or at least make an educated guess with the help of Wiktionary. Let's see...

    Within a kenning, over words
    under the sky, far up north
    I wonder, will she show herself?
    I call, may he hear me!
    A time for war, a time for peace
    blood-spattered snow to mourn by,
    Come show me, where's the grave now?
    a king, yet a small ember


    (Alternatively, "where's the path now?")
    Suddenly there was a bright light
    twinkling of light in the winter night
    there waved ribbons like white linen
    in arches under the starlight



    (The English language suddenly starts to feel very starved of synonyms to "light"...)
    A time for war, a time for peace,
    sword and hope to fight by
    see omens in a heavenly bridge
    a king, and a people of faith
    Heimdallr, guardian god
    sits by the end of the sky
    where is the path to Heaven from Earth?
    The god guards Bifrst
    bridge at the end of the sky
    Bifrst, three colours
    Bifrst, strong


    (Why did they make a question out of it?)
    Last edited by Teddy; 2016-11-21 at 12:48 AM. Reason: Added additional translations based on BWR:s suggestions. Modifications after RazorChain's translations.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Meh, just as I was about to post my translation, you went and beat me to it.
    Looks pretty much identical to what I came up with.



    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy View Post
    Suddenly there was a bright light
    twinkling of light in the winter night
    there [/I][bifra] ribbons like white linen
    in
    [bogir] under the starlight [*The English language suddenly starts to feel very starved for synonyms to "light"...][I]
    'Bifra' I can't find in my book, but I suspect it means 'shake' 'shiver', if it is related to 'bivra', which makes sense if we're talking about the northern lights.
    bogir - bow, as in rainbow.

    As for 'fyr', look under 'fyrir'. That's where it was in my book.


    i wonder if this was just written in modern Norwegian then translated, rather than being written in ON straight off. it certainly gives that feel.

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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    'Bifra' I can't find in my book, but I suspect it means 'shake' 'shiver', if it is related to 'bivra', which makes sense if we're talking about the northern lights.
    Ahh. Related to Swedish "bva" then, I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    bogir - bow, as in rainbow.
    And Swedish "bge". Yes, I can definitely see it.

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    i wonder if this was just written in modern Norwegian then translated, rather than being written in ON straight off. it certainly gives that feel.
    That sounds fairly likely, yes. They're not particularly consistent with the spelling either.
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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Let me take a crack at it.


    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    It's in Old Norse, not modern Norwegian, so you'd probably have more luck getting someone who knows Icelandic to help, since I assume that's more commonly known than ON. I suppose I could give it a go if no one volunteers by the end of the day - I'm rusty as hell and was never particularly good but I understand some of it without having to break out the dictionary.

    Inst einn kenning, yfir or
    erundir himinn, langt um norr
    Ekundra, vill hon sna sik?
    ekallar, m hann heyra mik!
    Within one theory/metamorph, over words
    is under sky, far to the north
    I wonder, will she show herself
    I call, he must hear me.

    The first line is troublesome to translate.

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    Einn t fyr stri, einn t fyr frir,
    bldreifa snjr at syrgja vi,
    Kom sn mr, hver er leii n?
    einn konung, enn einn ltinn gl
    One time for war, one time for peace
    we mourn the blood-splattered snow.
    Come and show me, what is the way?
    One King, still just a small spark.

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    Brtt vere varr einn skimi bjart,
    tendran ljos m vetrantt
    ar bifra band sem hvtr ln
    bogir undir stjarnaskin
    Soon to be our one bright light
    ignite a light in the winter night
    There shimmers a cord like white linen
    in an arch under the starlight

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    T fyr stri, ok t fyr frir,
    sveri ok vn at kempa vi
    Sj jartegn einn himinnbr
    einn konung, ok eitt folk af tr
    Time for war, and time for peace
    Sword and hope to fight against.
    See a sign in one heavenly bridge
    one king, and one people of faith

    The line: Sword and hope to fight against, could have to supposed to mean to fight with sword and hope but in literal translation and how the sentence is, it means to fight against not with.

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    Heimdallr, vǫrr goa
    sitr vi himins enda
    hver er lei til himins af jru?
    Goin geru Bifrst
    br vi himins enda
    Bifrst, rimr litum
    B i f r s t sterk
    Heimdallr, guardian of gods
    Sits at the ends of heaven
    what is the path to heaven from earth?
    The gods made Bifrst
    bridge at the end of heaven
    Bifrst, three colors
    Bifrst, strong
    Last edited by RazorChain; 2016-11-20 at 10:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Part of the reason I think the first stanza is particularly hard to translate is that it seems to be bad Old Norse. Erundir isn't a word, and if it's two words run together, it's not two done in a way that Old Norse would. Likewise with Ekundra. Old Norse does combo the first person pronoun with verbs, but as a suffix. So it would be Ek undrak. So who knows what other issues are in there that would contribute to making it difficult?
    Last edited by SaintRidley; 2016-11-21 at 12:23 AM.
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    Fantasy literature is ONLY worthwhile for what it can tell us about the real world; everything else is petty escapism.
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    No author should have to take the time to say, "This little girl ISN'T evil, folks!" in order for the reader to understand that. It should be assumed that no first graders are irredeemably Evil unless the text tells you they are.

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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Quote Originally Posted by RazorChain View Post
    Time for war, and time for peace
    Sword and hope to fight against.
    See a sign in one heavenly bridge
    one king, and one people of faith

    The line: Sword and hope to fight against, could have to supposed to mean to fight with sword and hope but in literal translation and how the sentence is, it means to fight against not with.
    Are you sure about this? All Norse-descendent languages have a word "vid/ved/vi" which directly translates to "with" or "by" (I realise now that "by" probably is more appropriate in this case), but "against" is pretty much always translated to "mot/mod" (I can't find an Icelandic or Faroese translation on short notice, though)...

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by SaintRidley View Post
    Part of the reason I think the first stanza is particularly hard to translate is that it seems to be bad Old Norse. Erundir isn't a word, and if it's two words run together, it's not two done in a way that Old Norse would. Likewise with Ekundra. Old Norse does combo the first person pronoun with verbs, but as a suffix. So it would be Ek undrak. So who knows what other issues are in there that would contribute to making it difficult?
    I'm pretty sure they refered to the line "Inst einn kenning, yfir or", since its meaning is nigh undecipherable, at least before someone figures out what the kenning is.
    Last edited by Teddy; 2016-11-21 at 12:41 AM.
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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Nothing constructive to add here, but I have to say, as a speaker of a wholly different Germanic language (Afrikaans), I'm pleased at how much I understand of that - with a bit of creative squinting. I got like a good 30-40% of that.
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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    A consideration: Icelandic is the closest language you have to old norse so consider trying to translate it from Icelandic. Otherwise, ask someone from that area.
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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Quote Originally Posted by SaintRidley View Post
    Part of the reason I think the first stanza is particularly hard to translate is that it seems to be bad Old Norse. Erundir isn't a word, and if it's two words run together, it's not two done in a way that Old Norse would. Likewise with Ekundra. Old Norse does combo the first person pronoun with verbs, but as a suffix. So it would be Ek undrak. So who knows what other issues are in there that would contribute to making it difficult?

    There are a lot of issues with the grammar in the text but Erundir is just a combination of Er and undir which means: is under. Ekundra is just combination of Ek and undra: I wonder.

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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy View Post
    Are you sure about this? All Norse-descendent languages have a word "vid/ved/vi" which directly translates to "with" or "by" (I realise now that "by" probably is more appropriate in this case), but "against" is pretty much always translated to "mot/mod" (I can't find an Icelandic or Faroese translation on short notice, though)...

    EDIT:


    I'm pretty sure they refered to the line "Inst einn kenning, yfir or", since its meaning is nigh undecipherable, at least before someone figures out what the kenning is.

    Yes but kempe vi means fight against whereas kempe me would fight alongside somebody

    Kenning means theory in modern icelandic but the old meaning is metamorph as in poetry.
    Last edited by RazorChain; 2016-11-23 at 08:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Quote Originally Posted by RazorChain View Post
    Yes but kempe vi means fight against whereas kempe me would fight alongside somebody

    Kenning means theory in modern icelandic but the old meaning is metamorph as in poetry.
    I believe you mean 'metaphor'.

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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    I believe you mean 'metaphor'.
    Yeah sorry my Icelandic is better than my english...it's a metaphor or circumlocation where you use different word to mean something else like Haddur Sifjar is used in a sentence to mean gold. Haddur Sifjar is the hair of Sif and she had her hair spun of pure gold after Loki cut off all her hair while she was sleeping

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    Default Re: Lyrics for a Norwegian Song?

    Quote Originally Posted by RazorChain View Post
    There are a lot of issues with the grammar in the text but Erundir is just a combination of Er and undir which means: is under. Ekundra is just combination of Ek and undra: I wonder.
    Right. I noted that, but it's also bad Old Norse, which is where some of the difficulty would come in.
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    Fantasy literature is ONLY worthwhile for what it can tell us about the real world; everything else is petty escapism.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    No author should have to take the time to say, "This little girl ISN'T evil, folks!" in order for the reader to understand that. It should be assumed that no first graders are irredeemably Evil unless the text tells you they are.

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