Monday, December 12, 2005

Pickled Herring

I bought a jar of pickled herring -- Norwegian soul food, because I was lonesome for the far north country where I did once dwell, and the cold water fjords and the rushing rivers of Puget Sound, the tall trees, the dark nights in winter and longing for the return of the light.

Now I'm in Texas, which I love and embrace, but I still miss what I once had in the Skagit Valley up north.

I've been singing a Swedish song all week (Swedes and Norwegians!) for the feast of Santa Lucia. I had been practicing it, getting good at a proper Swedish accent, and dwelling in the meaning and melody of this traditional Christmas carol on the feast of St. Lucy, Santa Lucia, the fair maiden wearing a wreath lighted candles on her head, bearing the tray of sweet saffron pastries.

I was going to talk about this old custom at Elaine's Christmas party and then sing the song, but I am not quite a performer, so I did not. I'm sure they would have liked it, and I might get another chance, perhaps with a smaller audience, four or five people at most. That I could do. Here's the lyrics:

Natten går tunga fjät
runt gård och stuva.
Kring jord som sol´n förlät,
skuggorna ruva.
Då i vårt mörka hus
stiger med tända ljus
Sancta Lucia, Sancta Lucia.

Natten är stor och stum.
Nu hör det svingar
i alla tysta rum
sus som av vingar.
Se, på vår tröskel står
vitklädd, med ljus i hår
Sancta Lucia, Sancta Lucia.

Mörkret skall flykta snart
ur jordens dalar.
Så hon ett underbart
ord till oss talar.
Dagen skall åter ny
stiga ur rosig sky.
Sancta Lucia, Sancta Lucia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You really are homesick, aren't you? :)