Friday, January 2, 2015

Lincolnvisan (The Lincoln Song)




I found this song a while back.  In 1865, a Swedish professor and satirist named His Henric Hallback of the University of Lund composed Lincolnvisan for his school's student union.  It starts off mocking the news of President Lincoln's assassination, calling him "the king of Northern America."  Hallback continues with vivid if exaggerated descriptions of his head being shot off and speaking while disembodied.  It ends, however, on a positive note when it blessed the dead king and damned the murderer.  This is just another in a long line of references to the Civil War from around the world.

This is a link to a Swedish musician singing this song while playing the guitar, to give you some idea of how it sounds.     


The chorus is actually nonsensical, designed to carry on the melody, as if saying "la la la la".

As I am not a Swedish speaker, I had to rely on Google Translate to convert the original text into English, with some modest changes.  Any fault is mine alone.

Lincoln Visan by His Henric Hallback

Have you heard the terrible event,
it is true for it to happen right now,
when the King of Northern America
was shot, well shot down the middle.

Tjolahopp Tjang Chong faleladala,
Tjolahopp Tjang Chong fallirej.
when the King of Northern America
was shot, well shot down the middle.

He went out to see a play
for it amused His Majesty
But he could well imagine,
that he would be shot just for that.

Tjolahopp Tjang Chong faleladala,
Tjolahopp Tjang Chong fallirej.
But he could well imagine,
that he would be shot just for that.

But then came a villain through the door,
ugh, so frightful perilous he looked!
And in his hand he bore a pistol,
which was loaded with bullets and gunpowder.

Tjolahopp Tjang Chong faleladala,
Tjolahopp Tjang Chong fallirej.
And in his hand he bore a pistol,
which was loaded with bullets and gunpowder.

And so he shot the king of the planet
so that the head jump from his neck;
and blood it splashed on the wallpaper,
and it asked: who had done this?

Tjolahopp Tjang Chong faleladala,
Tjolahopp Tjang Chong fallirej.
and blood it splashed on the wallpaper,
and it asked: who had done this?

And so [they] lay the king on a couch
and stroked his hair.
And the king he took himself to the head
and said: Aye, aye so bad I feel.

Tjolahopp Tjang Chong faleladala,
Tjolahopp Tjang Chong fallirej.
And the king he took himself to the head
and said: Aye, aye so bad I feel.

"Oh, goodbye" said the good-natured king
"Now to heaven joy I receive,
where little angels they flap their hands,
so what fun they have."

Tjolahopp Tjang Chong faleladala,
Tjolahopp Tjang Chong fallirej.
where little angels they flap their hands,
so what fun they have."

And so died the good natured king
and is blessed, I think, right now.
But damn embrace the culprit,
who shot the king in half!

Tjolahopp Tjang Chong faleladala,
Tjolahopp Tjang Chong fallirej.
But damn embrace the culprit,
who shot the king in half!

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