Norge i rødt, hvitt og blått
TRANSLATION AND COMMENTS BY DR. ALF LUNDER KNUDSEN
A winter day, a summer eve,
By fjord and waterfalls,
From meadows and heaths with pines,
From oceans shore with fishing grounds
And to the white-washed reefs,
You meet the country in tricolor garb.
Wrapped in reflection of the flag’s colored glow.
See the white-stemmed birch on the hillside
Framing in the bluebells with ribbons.
Put beside the red-painted cottage by the roadside,
It’s the flag that waves in the breeze.
Yes, as white as the whiteness of snow
And the red has the sunset been given,
And the blue gave its color to the glacier.
That is Norway in Red, White and Blue.
The melody, which was now “resurrected” for peaceful purpose, was penned from “across the border.” Swedish composer Lars-Erik Larsson’s catchy march-like tune — actually commissioned by the Swedish Government to stimulate the sale of war bonds (Försvarsobligationer)(1941) to strengthen the Swedish Defense Department — soon caught on in Norway as well, but was quickly banned by the occupation forces and NS (Nasjonal Samling, the National Unification Party).
With the “super patriotic mood” reawakened and allowed to freely resurface following the end of World War II in 1945, the song became — and has continued to be — one of the most beloved among Norway’s patriotic songs.
Verse 1 of the final version paints a picture of the Norwegian landscape. A second verse (not included here) describes the frivolities and enthusiasm of the graduating students (Rødrussen), while the third verse is a reminder of the trials and tribulations of World War II.
The common theme of strong love and patriotism for Norway and its flag is painted in Red, White and Blue throughout the poem.