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Thursday, May 21, 2015

The sound of summer - Dans på Rusakula!

For anyone grown up in the northernmost parts of this world, summer is perhaps the most blessed time of the year. Lasting only a few precious months, it is carefully arranged between the ending - and the beginning - of the darkest and coldest months of the year. Already in January, although summer being several months away, one can start seeing a slight shift, as the days gradually grows longer, a few minutes each day. Those long, gloomy winter nights become brighter and warmer, the trees grow green and windflowers and coltsfeet unfold as they see fit. Countless pieces of music, poetry and art have been dedicated to the beauty of this time of year - this particular piece I must admit I have long been looking forward to share.

The song is written by the Swedish composer Sven Henry Björkman. "Esse", as he was called, was born in 1916 in Uppsala in the South-Eastern part of Sweden. In 1956 he published his second collection of Swedish folksongs, bearing the title of perhaps his most beloved tune, "Dans på Rusakula" ("Dance at Rusakula"). The place Rusakulan, is in fact located in Örebro län in the middle of Sweden, and is supposedly named after a soldier, called Rus. According to the legend, his thoughts constantly revolved around his youths' beloved, who abandoned him. Despite this, the soldier kept waiting for her return. As a result of this neverending hope, there was always a bouquet of wild flowers to find on the table in his chamber; "the bridal bouquet", he called it. 

Björkmans song is inspired by this story, and altough initially being quite sad, as it conveys the longing for those long, lost summer nights with his beloved, it also expresses an strong sense of joy and playfulness. This ambiguity is difficult to translate; I have however tried my best to make a small summary of its content. 

The following version is sung by the Norwegian singer Helene Bøksle, beautifully in Swedish. For me, this song is the sound of summer, as it is, first and foremost, a tribute to love, to hope, to dance and to those long, bright summer nights.
Once upon a time, when we were young, we spent the summer playing in green gardens.
I love you, and you love me. And never will I forget that you are mine. And through all of my days remaining, I shall be yours.

Now follow once more, all of you hearts' desires.
Behold the smell of summer, and all of the little flowers, yellow as stars and blue as your eyes, the shimmering meadows, as I dance around at Rusakula.

"Rusakulan - en storslagen utsiktsplats".


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, glad you liked it :-) Best wishes for a blessed yule!