A song to mark the end of the season

A traditional mid-century Julgransplundring – a period when the tradition was at its absolute height. A key feature are the children in colourful hats.

Just like we did last season (when, of course, we posted rather more thoroughly about it) we’re finishing this year’s posting on St Canute’s day. And – wouldn’t you know? – of course, there’s a song around to mark he occasion.

Or rather, it’s a song that has been adapted as such. In 1901, seasoned Childrens’ music veterans Emmy Köhler and Sigrid Sköldberg-Pettersson wrote “Liten Julvisa”, a song about the entire course of Christmas, from wrapping presents to the distant end of the season. It’s a popular and much-loved song (though generally known under the title “Raska fötter springa tripp, tripp, tripp”), but one particular verse struck a chord.

In the post-war period, the Julgransplundring, the looting of the Christmas tree, became a vital and lively tradition in Sweden, a tradition that has since receded. But at its height, Children would look forward to eating hidden treats in the tree, dress up in colourful hats… and sing the last verse of “Liten Julvisa”.

Snart är glada julen slut, slut, slut,
Julegranen kastas ut, ut, ut
Men till nästa år igen
Kommer han vår gamle vän
För det har han lovat

That is:

Soon merry Christmas will be over
The Christmas tree will be thrown out
But for next year again
Our old friend will be back
Because he’s promised to

With minor adverb modifications, it’s a perfect song to sing when you’re actually throwing out the Christmas tree. (The “old friend”, by the way, may well be Christmas itself, but it may also be the sadly missed Yule Goat, mentioned earlier in the song.) As such, you’d have expected quite a few recordings of it, but you’d be surprisingly wrong. Besides some simple cash-ins and an excellent Georg Riedel-esque jazz instrumental by Jan Levander (Spotify link), there’s almost nothing available. So here’s some people singing it while smashing a gingerbread house:

On that note: have a smashing year, and I’ll see you all in November again!

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