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Hi from Corwen
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Corwen Broch

Posts: 4

Post #1 Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 17:39    Post subject: Hi from Corwen
  Not sure where I should post this, but I've just joined this forum and thought I'd say hi!

Firstly apologies for posting in English, but I do not speak Danish, unfortunately.

I hope you will bear with me and be understanding!

My partner Kate and I are folk musicians from England, we are both very interested in old ballads, both from our Britain and abroad.

I hope you will be able to help me navigate this site a little, there are a few Danish ballads we have in Alexander Prior's book of English translations called 'Ancient Danish Ballads' which we would like to perform but have no tunes for. I suspect they are here somewhere but its hard to find things when the titles are in a language you don't speak!

In return we can offer information about British folk customs, and some hint and tips on instrument making (I am an instrument maker).

If you'd like to know a little more about us, you can check out our website:
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Erik Alfastsen

Posts: 33

Post #2 Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 17:42    
  Hello mr Broch.
I'm Erik.
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Jakob Skræp

Posts: 24

Post #3 Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:19    

Before reading futher, it’s almost 1½ year since I’ve last used my skills in the English written language; therefore I’m not completely sharp with the words and grammar.

I’m sure someone at this forum will be able to help you. I’ve found the book online --> here (Google Books) (at least I think that it’s the right one – the author matches.)

Before continueing, a small comment – I’ve had some problems deciding what the correct English word for “Skjald”, but I’ve settled with “bard”, not the correct word, but I couldn’t find better.

As a help for navigating the site follows here a translation of the forums main site:


Songs, Music and Histories

- Songs and Texts/Lyrics
      Discussion of texts/lyrics and melodies
- Music and Instruments
      For Musical ideas, Instrument technique etc.
- Inquiries
      Inquiries for Songs and Texts/Lyrics
- Buy, Sell, Exchange
      For trade with instruments and other, for bards, relevant stuff.


- Events
      For advertising events related to RPG / medieval song and music
- Bard-board
      Offer your skills or search bards for gigs
- Misc.
      For all the topics that don’t fit in all the other categories
- Guestbook
      Write a greeting


- Failure @ Skjaldesang
      Point out fails, and make suggestions for improvements of this site

Skvaldersang I

- “Skvaldersang I” - General discussion
      General discussion and general talk about the production.


I hope you will find the guide useful, and other site members are welcome to comment on the translation and make suggestions for improvements.


PS. And as usually the server hates me, and makes a complete mess out of my post.
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Nicolas Koch-Simms

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Posts: 804

Post #4 Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:59    
  Hello Corwen and welcome to the forum.

Please - no apologies needed.
It is nice to se that the site has reached all the way to England.

If you try to post your English versions of the ballads, there might be some of us who can recognize them.

Have you considered to take a look at the homepage through Google Translate ?


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Corwen Broch

Posts: 4

Post #5 Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:28    
  Thank you all for the warm welcome, nice to meet you Nikolas, Jakob and Erik Smile

Thanks Jakob for the translated headings, that is very helpful. As I've come to expect from Northern Europeans, your English is impeccable, considerably better than most people on the English speaking forums I frequent!

The Alexander Prior books (all three volumes) are available to download for free as facsimile pdfs or plain text at the Internet Archive, probably not of much use if you can read the Danish though he does offer some interesting commentary on some of the songs, and mentions parallel versions in other languages.

Volume 3 is misnumbered on the archive, but the correct links are below:

Volume 1:
Volume 2:
Volume 3:

As for the right English word for Skjald, you are probably right with Bard, though the term Skjald is well known enough (at least among historical/Early Music circles) not to require translation. As with Bard, the word implies a knowledge of the lore and musical source material specific to its native culture, so it is useful to have two words to differentiate between the cultural knowledge implied by the term.

The exact Anglo-Saxon word related to Skjald is 'Scop', this word isn't used these days except by Northern-Tradition Pagans in Britain. Still to this day the word Bard hangs onto its Celtic flavour to a degree, but has replaced Scop, as well as other terms like 'Minstrel' in modern English.

Nicolas, I've tried Google translate and it works sometimes but also comes up with total nonsense quite a lot of the time, but I do use it as it is better than nothing. Try translating one of the Ballads on this site into English and see what comes out, it can be quite entertaining!

On another note, Kate (my OH) and I are currently working on a recording of Valravnen, in English. We are tidying up Prior's original lyric which doesn't scan with the tune in places, and trying to correct unnecessary changes in meaning he has made (luckily written Danish is usually transparent enough to an English speaker to work out where changes have been made when you see the two texts in parallel). I'd love to post our new text here for your comments before we record it.

Anyway, thanks again for all your help,


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Liselle Angelique Evers Krog Awwal

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Posts: 407

Post #6 Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:08    
  Help, help, the English are invading! And so soon after St. Brice's Day, too ;P

Kidding aside - yay for more foreign visitors, I think it's exciting every time new people wander in. Welcome to you both, I hope you'll find the site and forum useful, and hope you stick around.

How did you come across the site, through searching or word of mouth? Curiosity asking Smile

Also, once you finish your version of Valravnen I would just love to hear it (and I'd also dearly love to pass it on to English speaking friends of mine who usually have to bear with my simultaneous translations when I introduce them to Danish lyrics).

And I know that several of us would also be more than happy to take a look at your translated lyrics and offer opinions if you'd like - there are some of us who spend our time translating as well, though usually from English to Danish Smile
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Corwen Broch

Posts: 4

Post #7 Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 18:30    
  I think you'll find it was you that invaded us first!

To be truthful I can only apologise for the cowardly acts of my forebears back in 1002, especially that business in Oxford.

I prefer to remember the happy days when we shared King Cnut with you. Smile Having visited Norway and met many Danes and Swedes I can only lament the fact that England so nearly became a Scandinavian country, only to have our future so thoroughly ruined by the French in 1066... Sad

I'm glad you are happy to have visitors!

I found the site whilst looking for Medieval Scandinavian Ballads, there is very little on the net, especially in English (not that I'm complaining- the fact that this site has so many texts alongside their melodies is fantastic). They shed so much light on our own traditional ballads, especially since few of ours have tunes. We have used one or two of the Danish melodies to perform related British ballads, such as The Laily Worm and the Machrel of the Sea which fits nicely to the tune of the related ballad The Nightingale.

Anyway, nice to meet you. I'll post our translation of The Raven here in a day or two when we are completely happy with it.
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Rikke Munchkin Sørensen

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Posts: 1566

Post #8 Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 19:31    
  Welcome indeed.

I'd love to take a look at your english Valravnen (and make lots and lots of critical feinschmecker comments, if you let me Wink) - which should obviously be posted in the "Sange og tekster"- part of the forum, once you finish Smile

Just to clarify, I would like to tell you that this is not a 100% historical medieval music site. It has a lot of songs written more recently for the purpose of live roleplaying (which makes us accept a lot of more modern tunes/feeling and so on).
But we *are* a bunch of nerds and happy to help Smile

Maybe you would benefit from visiting too? It is purely a ballad site (though also only in danish :-/) and has a lot of medieval songs that we don't.
But of course, the first step would still be to find out, which songs you would like to hear about. We don't know all, but... I'm being the curious cat here, so please, please, PLEASE post either titles or texts (in "Sange og tekster") as soon as possible... or ask about some of the songs that we do have music for on our site.
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