Svenska Låtar (Swedish songs)

11 05 2021

The SAHSWI March 2021 meeting featured Carol Gustafson and Mary Stetson, artistic name “Goda Vänner”, where they presented and and performed a program about Traditional Swedish Folk Music. Being American, learning Swedish Musical Language goes beyond learning melodies. Carol and Mary discussed and demonstrated how to sound Swedish in various types of Swedish folk tunes: Gånglåt, Vals, Schottis, Polska, and Mazurka. All songs are played by and recorded by Carol and Mary.

Gånglåt

A gånglåt category includes a fiddle-tune in an easy, 4 4 or 2 4 march meter. The name in Swedish means “walking tune”, and the traditional tempo is that of a stately walk like a processional march for a ceremony; i.e. Midsummer

Gånglåt Äppelbo
Drottningens Marsch

Vals

Vals (Waltz) can be Relaxed or Quick, ¾ Time with emphasis on 1st beat.

Christina’s Waltz (Written by Christina Nilsson) – Relaxed
Fisk Vals

Schottis

Schottis is similar to a Marching Tune; A happy, upbeat tune

The World’s best Schottis
Plog Anders Rattig

Polska

  Polska includes a wide variety of music. The emphasis is on 1st and 3rd beats and is often used for a Hambo

Wigers Polska
Boda Polska

Mazurka

  Mazurka has ¾ time – emphasis on the 2nd beat; The Mazurka dance came from Poland

Masurka Druttchikaleken

In the second part this program Carol and Mary discussed a meeting they attended about the Snoose Boulevard festival. This popular festival in the 1970’s was broadcasted all over United States, and also in Sweden.

Snoose Boulevard festival

Snoose Boulevard. The main street in a Scandinavian neighborhood was known in early 1900’s as “Snoose Boulevard”. In Chicago that was Chicago Avenue; in St Paul, Payne Avenue; and in Minneapolis, Cedar Avenue. In Minneapolis, on Saturday nights thousands of Scandinavians, Czechs, Slovaks, Irish, Germans and other Minneapolitans would come to Cedar Avenue and Seven Corners looking for a good time. They came to dance, drink and socialize in the bars, halls and theaters that lined Cedar and Washington Avenues. Swedish vaudeville at Dania Hall and the Southern Theater were major attractions. Scandinavians were the largest groups of revelers and many enjoyed “snus” (Swedish for a wet tobacco, enjoyed under the lip), which was often left on the streets after they went home. Cedar Avenue earned the epithet “snus gatan” (Snoose Boulevard). (Source: Augsburg Digitours)

Snus Boulevard Festival started in 1972 on Cedar Street in Minneapolis. Folklorist and musician Maury Bernstein organized in Cedar-Riverside the Snoose Boulevard Festival, a weekend-long revival and celebration of the songs popular along Cedar Avenue between the 1880s and early 1950s. There was dancing, and the street rang to the lively and melancholy songs of the Scandinavian pioneers. The festival was held to tell the story of immigration. In 1973, the festival was on 102 NPR radio stations. The tradition ended in 1977. (Source: Snooseboulevard.org)

Anne-Charlotte Harvey, Swedish Immigrant, Lead Singer for Snoose Boulevard Festival has released 4 albums and 1 single between 1972 and 1986.

“Chikago (Chicago)” – Memories of Snoose Boulevard, 1972

“Nikolina” – Memories of Snoose Boulevard, 1972

At the end of the program Carol asked all the participants to sing along with Anne-Charlotte Harvey, for the Swedish Immigrants, a popular song, Hälsa Dom Därhemma, some of the Swedish immigrants really missed their home country.

“Hälsa Dem Därhemma (Greet Those at Home)” – Memories of Snoose Boulevard, 1972

If you want to hear or recollect more of these songs, search the internet for the album illustrated below.


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One response

11 05 2021
John Hedstrom

Whoever put this email together deserves a lot of credit. I could not attend the meeting but thoroughly enjoyed listening to the music. Thank you.

“If you’re not dead you’re not done!l —-John Ortberg

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