Little Kjersti

Norvegese

Liti Kjersti

Liti Kjersti ho var seg så liti eit viv,
Brunfolen løyper lett.
Ho kunne ikkje råde sitt unge liv.
Men det regnar og det bles.
For langt nord i fjello,
djupt under hello der leikar det.

Velkomen Bergjekongen, heim til min,
Brunfolen løyper lett.
No hev eg bryggja og blanda vin.
Men det regnar og det bles.
For langt nord i fjello,
djupt under hello der leikar det

Dei gav henne drikke av raude gull honn,
Brunfolen løyper lett.
Dei slept der nedi tri villar kônn.
Men det regnar og det bles.
For langt nord i fjello,
djupt under hello der leikar det

I bergjet vil eg leva og der vil eg døy,
Brunfolen løyper lett.
Og der er eg Kongjen festarmøy,
hu det regnar og det bles.
For langt nord i fjello,
djupt under hello der leikar det.

Vedi il video
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Inglese

Little Kjersti

Little Kjersti was so young and innocent a maiden,
The brown foal trips so lightly.
She could not govern her own life.
But the rain falls and the wind blows,
because far north in the mountains,
deep beneath the rocks the underworld is luring you*.

Welcome, Mountain King, to my home
The brown foal trips so lightly.
I have prepared ale and vine.
But the rain falls and the wind blows,
because far north in the mountains,
deep beneath the rocks the underworld is luring you.

They gave her a drink poured in a red and golden horn*
The brown foal trips so lightly.
and into the drink they slipped three villar grains*
But the rain falls and the wind blows,
because far north in the mountains,
deep beneath the rocks the underworld is luring you.

In the mountain I wish to live and die
The brown foal trips so lightly.
And there I am betrothed to the Mountain King.
Oh, the rain falls and the wind blows,
because far north in the mountains,
deep beneath the rocks the underworld is luring you.

Postato da Gjendine il Gio, 31/05/2012 - 10:26
Commenti dell'autore:

This is one of my favourite folksongs! I used to sing all of the verses to myself when I was a child.

A couple of quick explanations:
As with all the Norwegian folksongs there are several versions around, all with a varying number of verses. This one has more than 30 verses (it is not actually that many when you consider that each verse only consists of two lines; the rest is a repeated refrain.)

  • The asterikses in the translation are explained beneath.
  • A quick summery of the story:
    little Kjersti is the (very!) young daughter of a rich farmer (in some versions she is so small that she even has trouble turning the heavy keys in the keyholes). One day the mountain king comes to the farm. The farmer greats him and offers him ale and vine but the mountain king declines this and says that he is more interested in Little Kjersti. The farmer tries to protest but the mountain king threatens to set his farm on fire and in the end little Kjersti is sent along with the mountain king. When they arrive in the mountain Kjersti is offered a drink poured into a rich red and gold cup (in older days fine cups were made out of horns with metal- or gold fittings, hence the word "horn") into which the mountain king´s people have placed three wild grains (villar can mean wild but could also indicate that they carry the ability to confuse). By drinking this Kjersti forgets who she is and where she comes from and when they ask her she states that she was raised in the mountain, is betrothed to the mountain king and wishes to live and die there.

    The last line of the refrain: ..der leikar det. This is a very tricky term to translate. To “leike” means to play, both games and also sometimes instruments, but it can also denote music or sounds used by the creatures of the underworld to lure humans. The creatures of the Norwegian underworld (Huldra, Nøkken, Fossekallen and the Mountain King) were all known to use music to lure humans down to their world, and certain places in nature it was believed that you could sometimes hear or sense their activity. So the lines literally means “deep beneath the rocks it leiker”.

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    TrampGuy     maggio 31st, 2012

    very thorough! - great work!