Search This Blog

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Search for Spring

Now the sun is shining, on the highest hillsides
It is spring, I know it in my heart
The song is chiming in every valley
And the south wind draws near and makes my day
Written by Hans Hyldbakk from Surnadal during the spring of 1945, the poem “Vårsøg” (“the search for spring”) might first surface as a sole tribute to the season; the smell of grass, the warmth of the sun, and the beauty of the moment when the sun is shining down on snow white summits.

The text is however first and foremost a reflection of the time it was written; the 9th of April 1940, Norway had been invaded by German troops, an attack which initiated almost 5 years of German occupation. When peace finally at long last was within reach, it is only natural to assume that the approaching coming of spring emerged as a expression of the brighter days to come.

26 years later, the Norwegian composer Henning Sommerro, then 19 years of age, created a melody for this poem, which has grown to be a beloved part of the Norwegian musical canon. For many Norwegians, Vårsøg is not a song; it is a sound – the sound of the coming of spring. In my opinion, there needn’t be any contradiction between the musical expression and Hyldbakks’ original aim; listening closely, the melody appears quite solemn, and almost humble in a way. It is a reminder to never take these brighter days for granted, nor the privilege to draw our breath in peace.

No comments:

Post a Comment