The Great Serpent

Norwegian

Ormin Lange

"Og skal eg nord i trollebotten
Og løyse di dotter or vånde
Så vil eg hava ded Olafs-skipid
Som dei kallar Ormin Lange"

Åsmund sprang på Olafs båt
Som dei kallar Ormin Lange
Dei ropad på Torkild Adelfar
Lat no skipid koma til gange

Årinn` og ded forgylte fløy
Bore dei ut at strande
Ded var Åsmund Fregdegævar
Han sille fara af lande

Så vatt dei up ded silkisegl
Høgast i seglerå
Dei sille inki på bunkin strjuke
Før dei trollebotten såg

Dei kastad deires anker ned
På den kvitan sand
Ded var Åsmund Fregdegævar
Han trød den fyste på land

See video
Try to align
English

The Great Serpent

"And I shall travel north, to Trollebotten 1
And free thy daughter from evil
So I shall take Olaf's ship
Which is called The Great Serpent"

Åsmund ran onto Olaf's boat,
The one known as The Great Serpent
They called on Torkild Adelfar's2 aid
Now, let the ship set sail

The oars and the golden vane
Guided3 them ashore
It was Åsmund Fregdegævar
He was about to embark on a journey off land

Then they hoist the silky sail
As high up as they could 4
They did not lower the sail
until they spotted Trollebotten

They cast their anchors down
On the white sand
It was Åsmund Fregdegævar
He was the first to set foot on land

  • 1. Trollebotten: A place of myth said to be situated in the far north, where Trolls and Giants reside. It was feared as a place of danger, also because of its rough terrain and wild landscape.
  • 2. see links in comment if you're interested - he's part of the story
  • 3. carried
  • 4. -rå: The rå(raa) is the horisontal "boom" from where the sail hangs
Submitted by TrampGuy on Wed, 25/07/2012 - 23:48
Author's comments:

some useful links :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ormurin_Langi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%85smund_Fr%C3%A6gdegjevar
http://www.forn-sed.no/folkesagn/folkesagn/folkeviser_kvad/3.shtml

Many thanks to lyricicianizer3000 who helped with this text Smile
** see comments below and check out his profile **

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Comments
lyricicianizer3000     August 21st, 2012

I think "Årinn` og ded forgylte fløy" translates to "The oars and the golden (please put in word for this thing showing where the winds blows)"

"Dei sille inki på bunkin strjuke" I think translates word by word to "The should not on the bed lay down"

TrampGuy     August 21st, 2012

"please put in word for this thing showing where the winds blows" - do you mean a wind vane or windsock or perhaps an anemometer? or maybe it should be translated as flap or small flag? or even more simply - fly? maybe even a type of compass?

Every thing else was good?

All done, and see author comment for your help Smile

lyricicianizer3000     August 21st, 2012

Vane, yes, that must be the word:). Here you can see a picture of a golden one: http://dno.vikingkings.com/PortalDefault.aspx?portalID=118&activeTabID=9...

After trying to understand the first two lines of verse four I think I have to go back on my previous suggestion on the third line. On the same site, another page : http://dno.vikingkings.com/PortalDefault.aspx?portalID=118&activeTabID=9... a danish text with similar content as in verse four is found. Now I don't think "bunkin" refers to "the bed(s)" anylonger...
New suggestion for verse 4:

"Så vatt dei up ded silkisegl
Høgast i seglerå
Dei sille inki på bunkin strjuke
Før dei trollebotten såg"

I think the meaning is this:

Then they hoist the silky sail
as high as they could (my guess)
They did not lower the sail
until they saw/arrived Trollebotten (I've got a comment on "Botten" below)

The rå(raa) is the horisontal "boom" from where the sail hangs

Then the last line in verse 3, "Han sille fara af lande", my guess word by word bould be "He was about to travel from land" and could mean "heading to the sea" (reise til sjøs) or "leaving his home land".

The word "botten" or "botn" is common to use in the dead end of a fjord. Search for e.g. Lysebotn on google maps. To me the difference of a botten and a gulf is huge as my image of a gulf is the Mexican or the Persian gulf. Is there another english word you could use?

TrampGuy     August 22nd, 2012

1. cool site - favorited!

2. suggestions added!
I did make some minor changes, awaiting your opinion :

"He was about to embark on a journey off land" - I know "fara" is simply to "go" or to "travel" but in these old texts they often used simple language to describe many thing we now have specific words for. I believe, relying on the context, that it's more suiting to use the word "embark" as he's traveling by sea, and the word "journey" as he is set on a quest, which is more than a simple travel.

"until they spotted the Trolls Gulf" - I think that "spotted" implies that they wouldn't lower the sails just until the moment where they came to see the Trolls Gulf.

3. About "botten" - I know exactly what you mean and I get the very same connotation when hearing "gulf" Smile
But I couldn't come up with a better translation, and I'm not even sure there is one, unless it's some specific geological term I'm not aware of.
Do you think simply "fjord" would be better? or maybe some other related term? or maybe you think I should just add what you wrote as a footnote?

lyricicianizer3000     August 22nd, 2012

Liked your changes.

About the Trollebotten I found a link: http://snl.no/Trollebotn - seems like it isnt necessarily related to a fjord... But if presuming botten is the dead end of a fjord I think I'd choose fjord before gulf (even though the longest fjord in Norway is 200 km long)

Here is another version of the story: http://www.forn-sed.no/folkesagn/folkesagn/folkeviser_kvad/3.shtml

EDIT: didn't notice the link in your authors comment. Looks like you have enough versions of this song Smile
EDIT2: the link above confirms the mening of the "bunkin strjuka"

TrampGuy     August 22nd, 2012

Thanks, nice dictionary Smile

As it states that : "Trollebotn er nevnt i flere gamle norske folkeviser, som Åsmund Frægdagjæva, og kan også ha overført betydning som et farlig og vilt landskap."
So maybe it should be referred to as the Trolls nest, or something to imply that it's where trolls, giants and other evil things reside.
I now think it would be best to leave it as Trollebotten and add the translated lexicon entry as fn?

link added! Smile

About your EDIT2 : it does now make a lot more sense and I can see where it's coming from. very nice interpretation.

lyricicianizer3000     August 23rd, 2012

I agree, Trollebotten with lexicon info in footnote sounds good