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Faroese Ballads: Recommended Links

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  • TJATSI (the Faroese Post Office page - English homepage).
      This attractive site with unique folk-art decor has many ballads and are in the process of having accompanying English translations done by webmaster Anker Eli Petersen. He also contributed the Faroese and Danish translation to the Forn-sed site below.
     Anker Eli Petersen is also the artist who created the illustration for such Faroese stamps as "Brunhild's Ballad" (1998) and the "Völuspá" of the Elder Edda (2003). (see →Stamp-Related links)

  • Cover of Myths of the Norsemen by H. A. Guerber H. A. Guerber, "Skrymsli and the Peasant's Child" www.stavacademy.co.uk/mimir/faeroe.htm [link mended]

     The author Helene Adeline Guerber (? ~ d. 1929) adapted this short story from the Faroese "Loki's Ballad (Lokka táttur)". Although there is a similarly titled Faroese ballad called "Skrímsla", that is a story of an altogether diffrerent plot. A amall element (that the bet being a wagered talf/tafl (chess) match) seems to have been borrowed from the latter ballad.
        The word "skrymsli (Faroese: skrímsli)" means a monster, and is used interchangeably with giants and trolls in the ballad.
      The short story seems to be anthologized in H. A. Guerber's Myths of the Norsemen(pp 219-221)[buy→Amazon] or a more dated publication entitled Norsemen (Myths and Legends).

  • OLDNORSENET postings archive www.hum.gu.se/arkiv/ONN

    I already touched on the derivation of Guerber's short story, but the question was posed in a posting ""Does anyone know the source for H.A.Guerber's story "Skrymsliand the Peasant's Child"?""(2000.4.20) and a subsequent replier pointed to Faroese origin.
     The solving the riddle came in a different series of postings by Poul Martin Jensen (aka Morten Axboe) , one of which was an attempted English translation of Loka Thaattur, which is of course the very source of the "Skrymsli" tale, and the revelation in the posting "Skrujmsli Rujma"(1997.11.27) that there is a set of so-called "forbidden ballads"

  • giant and peasant playing chess illustrated by Jillian Gilliland"Loki's Trick"(English) www.pristowwweb.com/B10J02.html [link mended]

    This short story is included in a storybook for younger readers called Tell Me a Story, (story by Amy Friedman / illustrated by Jillian Gilliland. Universal Press Indicated).
     This tale is practically identical to H. A. Guerber's "Skrymsli and the Peasant's Child" and is thus another adaptation of the "Loki's Tale" ballad. The peasant's adversary here is a giant from beyond Asgard (but not referred as a "skrymsli"). And like Guerber's adaptation, they face off in a match of chess. One minor difference I found was that the Loki hides the child inside a haddock in this version.
     The site also has an uploaded image of Ms. Gilliland's artwork depicting the chess match.

  • Folklore and Folk Poetry (Folkesagn og folkediktning) (Norwegian):

      The "Ballad and Folk Poetry (Kvad og folkediktning)" page here is a repository of ballad texts. The bulk of the collection is naturally from Norway, but the collection extends to works from Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and the Faroese. I first located the texts of the "Skrujmsli Rujma (the ballad of skrimsli the monster)", the "Lokka Táttur" ballad, and "Óðin í Ásgørðum" (Odin in Asgard). (in Faroese), although I have learned they were originally comtributed by Anker Eli Petersen who runs the TJATSI site.

  • Stephan Claasen's site(English) www.stepcla.subnet.dk

     Stephan Claasen runs a site with a secition on Faroese ballads, including The Sjúrðar ballad group Sjúrðar is pronounced approximately "Shurwruor" and is the Faroese name-variant of Sigurd Fafnir-bane. The ballad group is a three part series that sings of Regin the Smith, Brunhild, and Hogni, respectively.
        Discography (CD/audiocasette tapes) page fine list of musical recordings available for purchase.

  • The musician Finnur Hansen's Homepage with Faroese Music (Faroese / English) heima.olivant.fo/~finnur/
        (Heimasíða við føroyskum tónleiki)

    Finnur Hansen's ambitious project to introduce everything from the traditional to modern repertoire of music from the islands. He has begun an English Page but it has not been updated in sync yet, so if you go to the Faroese main page, look at the left navbar, and click "Kvæði og vísur"(*both kvæði and vísur are words that mean "ballad"). You will find here texts of the "Brúsajøkul" (a ballad about a bearded monster) and others.

  • The Lied and Art Song Texts Page (English)www.recmusic.org/lieder

    There is a Faroese section Oluva's Ballad (Óluvu kvæði) seems to be about Pippin's wife. There is a whole body of Faroese ballad concerned with the Charlemagne cycle, ()

  • Skjaldenes Bibliotek (Danish) www.skjaldesang.dk

    Danish site of songs and ballads.

  • Saga of the Faroe Islanders (an old translation) www.northvegr.org/lore/faereyinga/titles.php

    The treasure-trove of Norse lore, Northvegr has an online English e-text of The Tale of Thrond of Gate Commonly Called Færeyinga Saga, tr. F. York Powell (London, David Nutt, publisher; 1896).
      There is also a newer translation in print:
        Thrand of Gotu: Two Icelandic Sagas from the Flat Island Book, tr. George Johnston
        (The Porcupine's Quill. 1994. ISBN 0889841802 paperback $14.95)
    [Buy→Amazon]

  • Símun of Kirkjuböurs skazmurman.narod.ru/library/faroes/talese.htm

     A folktale about the title character's dealings with the Hulda folk (akin to troll- or monster-kind).. Excerpted from an out-of-print and difficult to get book: John F. West tr. / Barður Jákupsson illus. Faroese folk-tales & legends (Shetland Publishing, 1980 ISBN ????????). [Try to Purchase→not databased at Amazon ]

    Faroese Language

  • Framtak www.framtak.com

    Site for a language(translation) service. Has map of the Faroe Islands and some audio clips on some words in the language. There is a page describing a ballad collection CD issued by TUTL(⇒ see below), entitled Flúgvandi biðil and framtak has an mp3 sample clip of the title track.

  • Málnevndin (FMN Faroese Language Committee) www.fmn.fo

    On the left navbar try the

    Orðalist (wordlist), under which you find: Fólknøvn (male/female given names of the Faroe Islanders) , Jarðfrøiorð (geological terms, Faroese-Danish), Teldorð (telecommunications glossary Far/Eng/Dan).

  • freepages.history.rootsweb.com freepages.history.rootsweb.com

    Has a Wordlist English (Modern)-Faeroese and Wordlist Faeroese (Modern)-English numbering a few hundred entries.

  • Fareoese.doc (www.ielanguages.com)(MS-Word .doc) www.ielanguages.com/Faroese.doc

    Brief wordlist of the days of the week and months of the year. Also has the text of the Faroese anthem with accompanied English translation.

  • Føroyskt > English Dictionary www.zece.com/faroese/

    Looks to be a sample of few hundred from a total of 47,000 .

  • Jacob Sparre http://jacob.sparre.dk

    Teldorð(computer terminology) and resource pages.

    By Topic

  • Tafl Chess (English)
      As noted above, the tafl/talv chess is not mentioned in the "Loki's Tale" ballad, but occurs in Guerber's adaption of it, as well as the"Skrímsla"
      Ben Slade (who also runs the fantastic www.heorot.dk site) has put together here a few pages on the pre-chess boardgame played by Norsemen.

  • Faroese Fisheries Laboratory—Fish Name List
      This site has a polyglot fish names list (Faroese and several other languages) which is interesting and useful.

  • Faroese Folklore (English) www.folklore.fo/

    Still new. Info on the chain dance, maps, scenic photos.

    Stamp-Related

  • Faroese Post Office (Postverk Føroya) (Eng / Faroese / Danish / French / German) www.stamps.fo

        Here is a list of philatelic material that might be pertinent. If you click on the direct links below, it may revert back to the default Faroese language but English pages are available on all of these:

    Harra Pætur and Elinborg (An Ancient Ballad) stamps(1982)
    1984)
    Skrímsla (The Giant-Ballad) stamps(1986)
    Brúsajøkul's lay stamps(1994)
    Brynhild's Ballad stamps (1998)
    Nordic myths and legends about light and darkness stamp sheet(2001)
    Vóluspá (The Prophecy of the Seeress) stamp sheet (2003)

    As you can well read from the "myths about light and darkness" page yourselves, there are 24 individual stamps on the year 2001 issue sheet, each depicting a myth from the Scandinavian region. Of these, the Faroese ballad themed ones are as follows:

    • "Høgne's ballad"—Høgne (Högni) is the culprit who slays Sjúrðar the dragon-killer. But his own sister Guðrun, wedded to the slain man, takes vengece upon Høgne. To defeat her doughty brother, she sends upon him Tidrik Tattneson (aka Thidrek, or Dietrich of Bern). Note that in the Faroese version, Tidrik transforms into a dragon and breathes deadly venom (rather than breathe fire as in Middle High German versions).
    • Hørpu ríma — An evil sister drowns her good sister [in order to steal the groom according to some telling]. But the bone is found by a minstrels who fashion a harp from it. When happenstance brings them to the evil sister's wedding, the harp, when plucked, appears to sing in a human-voice, and names the murderer.
    • "Gram and Grane"—The Faroese version differs slightly from the icleandic Volsunga saga as to its accounts on how Sjúrðar gained the mighty gray horse Grane and the heirloom sword Gram.
    • Nornagest— This is a ballad on the same story line as the namesake tale (þáttur) in Icelandic.

  • Arts and PhilatelyArts and Philately (English/Danish) w1.1429.telia.com/~u142900356/

     The site is for some armchair globe-trotting through stamp material. A section is on

    Scandinavia on Stamps.
    (stamptravel-scandinavia.school.dk/frame_ScandinaviaIntro.htm)


     Under the Faroe Islands sub-section they have a page on artist Bárdur Jákupsson who created many of the stamp artwork, and reference to the Völuspá stamp. There is a hotlink to the Brunhild's ballad page at its sister site as well.  

  • Literature on Stamps (Danish/English) literature.school.dk

     Sister site to the above; covers Faroese ballads.

  • Faroephilately (English / German / Faroese / Danish) www.faroephilately.fo

     Uploads a book by Don Brandt, with a survey of Faroese history, illustrated with stamps.

  • Guardian International Currency—Faroese Krona

     This is a foreign exchange (currency) site but it uploads the Faroe Islands' 100 Kronur note. And on this denomination you see the portrait of V. U. Hammershaimb.

    Geography · Cartography

  • faroeislands.dk map faroeislands.dk

    The faroeislands.dk map here is the most detailed of the ones I found on the web so far.

  • Multimap www.multimap.com

  • Tórshavn Kommuna www.torshavn.fo

    Here you find kort av Tórshavn (map of Torshavn and vicinity). (There's a secion kortal which seems to be a CAD software demo. If you go to the bottom right of screen, you can switch language to English.)

  • PSP-Infor Færøerne www.psp-info.dk/faroe/

    A site about the Faroe Islands in Danish. [ Dyr - Fugle -Fisk] (animals - birds - fish) photo galleries are nice.

  • Dagwood's map of Norway members.tdn.com/dagwood/NorMap1.html

    This is actually a detailed map of Norway for Americans who want to trace their norwegian ancestry. May be useful since some of the events of the Færeyinga saga take place in Norway.

    Music · CDs

    * As a starting point, try the aforementioned Stephan Claasen's site and his Discography (CD/audiocasette tapes) page.

  • Tutl (music label based in the Faroe Islands) www.tutl.com

        The record label site has sample MP3s and direct sales pages.


    * For a listing of the songtracks included, see the CD song title list of this album.
          Flúgvandi biðil(The flying suitor) is a collection of 35 recordings of 20 distinct Faroese ballads, some contemporary, some vintage. The archival footages are sung by reedy-voiced men that take some getting used to. The renditions by modern artists are more like conventional European folk music. There is a sample audio clip at the TUTL site is of the 1st song, Vevpíkan [The Weaver Girl]. At the Framtak site (⇒ see above), they have a sample of the title track. Many thanks to Anker Eli Petersen who made a wonderful gift of this CD to me.

    [Buy→Amazon search for "flugvandi bidil"] (ASIN#B00004TTCH, Release Date: May 23, 2000, Label: The Orchard) or (ASIN#B00003ZAI4, Release Date: November 16, 1999 Label: The Orchard)
       
    Traditional Music in the Faroe Islands.
    * See ⇒ back of CD jacket for a listing of included song titles.
      Also they released in July 2003 the Traditional Music In the Faroe Islands 1950-1999 which is a 2 CD set for about $24-27. Produced in collaboration with Frémeaux & Associés of France.

        CD 1 is music in the Faroese language, CD2 is music in Danish. CD1 includes Regin smiður (21 of 131 verses), Runsivals stríðið [Battle of Roncevalle] (9 of 143 verses), "Harpu Ríma [The harp, or two sisters] (All 39 verses), Ragnar lykkja [Ragnar Loop], etc.

        I have for the time being reproduced the Back of the CD (in Faroese and French) which gives a full list of the ballads included. The song titles and notes are also given in English inside the enclosed booklet and I will get to this later.

    [Buy→Amazon] (ASIN#B00009B1W9 Original Release Date: 2003/07/29 )
    Also at WWW.TUTL.COM, you can purchase Týr's How Far to Asgaard and other CDs direct from their site.

  • Týr A hard rock band.

     Their 2002 CD How Far to Asgaard is on Norse themes, and although most of the album is performed in English, the song Ormurin langi is sung in Faroese (lyrics are taken from text by Jens Christian Djurhuus (1773 -1853)). "Ormurin langi" means "Long Serpent" and is the name of Ólaf Tryggvasson's dragon ship. There is also an easter egg recording of the Nornagests ríma as well, and you hear it 10 minutes or so after the end of the last song (track #8). (Thanks to Anker Eli @TJATSI who gave me this CD also and the information on the secret song). Ballad-singing is usually a capella, but in Týr's rendition, you learn that the singers cover for it by using feet-stamping to accompany the song, which gives a nice rowdy drinking-song-like touch.

  • H. C. W. Tórgarð (a music publisher in the Faroe Islands) ???

    This seems to be a publisher/store in Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. H.C. W. Tórgarð, it seems, is the father of Axel Tórgarð who translated J.R.R. Tolkien's first tale into Faroese under the title Hobbin.
    And I may be wrong but they may be the publishers of the 5-casette recording of the Sjúrður kvæði I see a couple of different address information:
    Address: Niels Finsens gøta 9
    FO-100 Tørshavn
    Tel.: (+298) 314504 Fax: (+298) 318943
    Address: Sverrisgøta 5
    110 Tørshavn
    Tlf.: (+298) 314502 Fax: (+298) 318943

  • Jón Júlíus Filippusson's site Norrøne tekster og kvad (www.heimskringla.no)
    This site (Norewegian with English navigation option) has a MP3 audio clips of Faroese These appear to be from the album/tape title Kvaddans från Färöarna from 1977/78 [Danish ballads are marked with DgF numbers, Faroese with CCF numbers] Kong Hanses bryllup ("King Hans' Wedding" DgF166), Kong Sverker den unge ("Young King Sverker" DgF136), Regin smiður ("Regin the smith", CCF1, 2 renditions), Sigmunds kvæði (("Ballad of Sigmund" tr. Powell CCF22), Sinklars visa, Til havnar vit fara

    Bibliography

    The University of the Faroe Islands' Faroese Ballads and the Faroese Ballad Dance. A Biography (sic.) (
    .pdf · view as HTML) is a very comprehensive list on the topic.

    Et Cetera

  • Herøy (Norway) pageant http://www.heroyspelet.no/default.asp?target=mainframe

    In this city/island at the southern end of Møre og Romsdal County, they hold an annual pageant, and they have reenacted a play "The King's Ring" (text: Rolf Losnegåard, music: Svein Møller, director: Gerald Pettersen). Olav Haraldsson is on Herøy when he hears from a clairvoyant that his tax collector in the Faroe Islands have killed by the islanders. The King decides to appoint his love-rival as the replacement.

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