Ballad

Some months ago I happened on a TV show with the Danish singer-songwriter Niels Hausgaard. A hopelessly left wing man who never lets down the small people of society. There was one song that stayed with me and which even made my sister sit down to listen. It’s written in a ballad style very much like medieval songs sung by bards. The melody is quite simple and stays with you just as a ballad should.

 

The lyrics are about three politicians from the extreme right in Danish politics. Langballe, Krarup  and Camre. Two of them are priests and cousins, all three represent the darkest corners of hatred towards the unknown. Niels Hausgaard expresses their xenophobia in this perhaps not elegant, but very pure piece.

Here is my go at a translation:

I’m a Dane and Danish
from head to toe
just like Langballe, Krarup and Camre

I gulp down pork
and sausages of blood
just like Langballe, Krarup and Camre

I’m completely pale
as a Dane should be
just like Langballe, Krarup and Camre

For the whiter your legs
the more Danish you are
just like Langballe, Krarup and Camre

We commend ourselves to you
We print your names in stone
Langballe, Krarup and Camre

Poor heathens
come to our door
and to Langballe, Krarup and Camre

But who is always there
to show them away?
We have Langballe, Krarup and Camre

And the Danish flag 
fell from the sky
just like Langballe, Krarup and Camre

That’s the origin
of our red-white Christianity
and of Langballe, Krarup and Camre

We commend ourselves to you
We print your names in stone
Langballe, Krarup and Camre

Hail you, merry
and cheerful three
Langballe, Krarup and Camre

For no one in this country
can make us laugh
like Langballe, Krarup and Camre 

We toast to you
in the noblest of wines
Langballe, Krarup and Camre

Long may it live this
trinity of stingy tackiness 
Langballe, Krarup and Camre

We commend ourselves to you
We print your names in stone
Langballe, Krarup and Camre

 

And here is Niels Hausgaard:

 

 

/anna

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This entry was posted in Concerts, Music, Television, YouTube. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ballad

  1. Cate says:

    This is a really nice song and good translation. It tells me more about Danes than an information book. Thanks, I’m learning more about your country and people everytime I visit your blog.

  2. anninateatime says:

    It does depict the sort of discussions we have in Denmark at the moment (and have had for at least fifteen years). Even though our immigration and integration related challenges in fact only affect a very small part of our society they are the main topic of politics today.
    Unfortunately the way of speaking about this has from some parts of parliament been quite offensive and this has, I believe, led to lax tongues and behaviour towards those who come here as refugees or immigrants. All very sad if you ask me.
    /anna

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