Kareina (kareina) wrote,

hah! I knew it was supposed to rhyme!

As regular readers will remember, I sing with the student choir at the University here in Luleå. For the past couple of years we have been heavily recruiting exchange students and have maintained a good mix of people from all over the world, though, of course, the faces change each year and, for many of them, each semester. The new semester started last week, and already we have our first gig of the season: performing at the banquet welcoming the newest crop of Exchange Students to Sweden. However, most of the choir isn't available for this performance (even lord_kjar is out of town this weekend. There are only four of us who are able to participate--one soprano, me (alt), and two tenors. One of the tenors is Swedish and the president of the choir, the other two are exchange students themselves. Therefore, given the limited number of people for this gig, rather than actually doing full choir arrangement we have opted on a simpler set:

The president and I will be introduced as ambassadors for the student choir, come to invite them all to come participate with us on Tuesdays, and we will welcome them to Sweden with a traditional Swedish drinking song. As soon as we start with "Helan går!", the choir exchange students will stand up at their place and sing the reply, and then walk up to join us on the stage, where we will give the full song another run through, in unison. Then after we sing that one our president will announce that he understand that the dinner has a theme for the evening of Cartoons/comics, and will point out that our choir has a new mascot, the spider pig (which one of the exchange students will be wearing as a placard on his chest). Then we will sing the Spider Pig song (which I had never heard of before Tuesday--I am so out of touch with popular culture, I didn't even know there was a movie for that cartoon family). After we sing the line "can he swing from a web?", I will snatch away the spider pig, turn him back right side up, and sing a solo "No he can't! He's a pig!", before the soprano snatches the pig back from me to turn it back into a spider pig for the song finale. Then we will tell the crowd that if they join us on Tuesday they can hear this song done in full four-part choir arrangement, and take our leave.

I think it will be fun, and I can't believe that I, whom my friends used to tell me not to sing with them because I sang in a monotone "and it throws the rest of us off", will be singing a solo! I have come a very, very long way. With luck it will get even better soon. Another of our choir members teaches voice lessons, so we will be meeting up on Sunday afternoon to trade a singing lesson for a massage.

The drinking song we will be singing is extremely well known throughout Sweden, and in a fair few other places as well:

Helan går
Sjung hopp faderallan lallan lej
Helan går
Sjung hopp faderallan lej
Och den som inte helan tar*
Han heller inte halvan får
Helan går
(Drink)
Sjung hopp faderallan lej


Which roughly translates to:

The whole goes (down the hatch)
sing fa la la...
The whole goes (down the hatch)
sing fa la la...
and those who don't take the whole (drink in one go)
he cannot have half of it either
sing fa la la...



As our president was teaching us the words tonight I commented that "I need to remember that 'får' rhymes with 'går', and not 'tar' so that I pronounce it correctly". Therefore I was highly amused to come home and read on the Wikipedia page for this song that "*In the classic version, "trår" is used instead of "tar". "Tar" is modernized, and doesn't rhyme." Edited to add: Our Choir president replies "Well, in this one case I'd argue the modernization is an improvement anyway. "Trår" means "yearn", which doesn't really makes as much sense as "tar"." I argue that he is mistaken--I think "those who don't yearn (to drink) the whole (glass in one go) can't have half of it either." works just fine.
Tags: choir, learning swedish one song at a time, my first solo, rhymes
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