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Icelandic lullabies considered somewhat horrifying

By Staff

  • Happy now Icelandic nursery rhymes are considered to be quite scary. Photo/Vilhelm

Icelandic lullabies are generally considered to be somewhat horrifying and, according to the website Quartz, their creepiness even surpasses that of the English-language lullabies.

Quartz quotes an article by Eygló Svava Arnarsdóttir about Iceland’s history of eerie nursery rhymes where she examines “what is considered the country’s most beautiful lullaby, “Sofdu unga ástin mín”. The poem was written as a part of a play by playwright Jóhann Sigurjónsson called Fjalla-Eyvindur. The play tells of Fjalla-Eyvindur, a famous Icelandic outlaw, and his wife Halla, who lived as outlaws in the central highlands for twenty years.

The lullaby is sung by Halla to the couple’s new-born child, moments before she throws the baby into a waterfall.

Sofðu lengi, sofðu rótt,
seint mun best að vakna.
Mæðan
kenna mun þér fljótt,
meðan
hallar degi skjótt,
að mennirnir elska, missa, gráta og sakna.

Which Quartz translates to “Sleep long, sleep tight, it is best to wake up late. The hardship will teach you soon, while the day turns to night, that people feel love, loss, sadness and longing.“

Pretty darn creepy!

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