TRANSLATION AND COMMENTS BY DR. ALF LUNDER KNUDSEN
“When the Fjords Turn Blue” depicts the re-awakening of nature as yet another spring arrives in Norway. It is praise not only to the blue fjords, the beautiful and fragrant flowers, the rushing brooks and the singing birds, but to the hard-working men and women of Norway as well.
The Norwegian emigrant composer, organist and choral director, Alfred Paulsen of Chicago, who emigrated from Oslo, Norway in 1888, immortalize the song with perhaps his best-known tune, which he wrote in 1907.
Perhaps the best-known member of the Paulsen family was Alfred’s brother, Axel, who excelled in sports and became World and Olympic Champions both in speed and figure skating. In the latter category his name lives in perpetuity as the innovator and executor of the “Axel” and “Double Axel.”
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|Naar fjordene blaaner som markens fiol,
Og bræerne glitrer i spillende sol,
Naar liljekonvalen ved foden av hæg
Staar duftende skjøn langs med klippernes væg,
Mens elven bag orkrattet danser vild,
Og trosten fra granlien synger dertil,
Da røres, da røres mit bryst,
Da blot hviske jeg kan:
”Gud signe dig Norge, mit deilige land,
Gud signe dig Norge, mit deilige land!
When the fjords turn blue like violets in fields
And the glaciers glitter in cascading sun.
When the lily of the valley at the choke cherry’s foot
Stand fragrantly lovely along the mountain wall.
While the river dances wildly behind alder-bushes
And the thrush from the spruce-forest adds its song,
Then my heart is stirred; Then but whisper I can:
//: God bless you Norway, my wonderful land.://
|Men naar jeg ser folket, som rydder den jord,
Som virker paa fjeld og ved fiskerig fjord,
De tusinde Mænd, som til sjøs og til lands,
I arbeidets sved vinder Norge en krans;
De tusinde kvinder, som yndig og tro
Med kjærlighed sysler i hjemlivets bo,
Da svinger jeg hatten, da hjertet faar tolk:
Hurra for mit brave, mit kraftige folk!
Hurra for mit folk, for mit kraftige folk!
But when I see the people who clear the land,
Who work in the mountains and on the fish-rich fjords,
The thousands of men who at sea or on land
By the sweat of their brows win Norway its laurals.
The thousands of women, who in beauty and faith,
With love maintain their homes.
Then, my hat I wave and my heart cries out:
Hurray for my brave, my powerful folk.
Hurray for my folk, my powerful folk.