The ripples continue to spread from the Scandinavia-negating video commercial by SAS. The graphic below is one example (hat tip LN), as is the brief satirical essay below it by Thomas Bertonneau.
Nothing Swedish here…
by Thomas F. Bertonneau
There is nothing characteristically Swedish about generic person Fred Åkerström’s vintage televised performance of the entirely forgettable Fredmann’s Epistle No. 48 — “Solen glimmar blank och trind” [“The Sun is Shining Smooth and Round”] — by the generic poet-musician Carl Michael Bellman (1740-1795), who only accidentally wrote in Swedish. Notice Åkerström’s two accompanists — the Bantu flutist and the Samoyed violoncellist. It is well known that Bellman’s poetry is based on the oral traditions of the ancient Peruvians, which were culturally appropriated by the Vikings during their imperialistic voyages in the eleventh century. Of course, there was nothing characteristically Scandinavian about the Vikings either. Their “dragon ships” were plagiarized from the hull-form of the Polynesian Kon-Tiki rafts.
Below are the first three stanzas in English. The full verses may be found here.
The sun is shining bright and round
The water is like a mirror
After a while a wind starts blowing
into slacking sails
The pennant is unfolded and with an oar
Olle is standing on a hay-boat
Kerstin comes out from the cabin
locks the door
The steel is shining, the pipe is light
Olle scratches his ear
The rudder is turned, the boat turns around
The old man is busy
Beneath strong eyebrows
he grins against the sun in the sky
Kerstin, the sweetheart of the old man
will tend to the sails now
The sails are flapping, the boat is moving forward
Jerker grabs his lyre
The lyre hums, the waves hit against the boat
With force and frenzy
The boat creaks, fragile, thin
The wind is seen in the top of the boat
The rooster crows so harsh and hoarse
The clock just struck four
For previous essays by Thomas F. Bertonneau, see the Thomas Bertonneau Archives.