Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Tryggare Kan Ingen Vara

One more before I go.

"Children of the Heavenly Father," an old Swedish hymn that still hangs on in some Lutheran and Covenant churches. In those places, it is mostly sung in English with only the last verse being in Swedish. Usually phonetic Swedish, with most of the children's choir having little idea what is being said. It looks like some Methodists have found it as well.

We are singing this version for the memorial service of Swede Nelson in a couple of weeks, who sang with the choir and directed the Men's Chorus for many years. Loved the man. Lots of fun to be with and still kept people focused on rehearsing. I think the church could bring in a bundle auctioning off the use of his nickname at this point. I, for one, have always coveted it, though "Swede Wyman" just doesn't work as well.

Interestingly, many of the old Swedes in the congregation say they did not hear the song as children, and it only started to become popular in the 1960s. Something similar was said at my last Swedish congregation. It does not seem to be regional, either, as both the Swedes who grew up in New England and those who grew up in the Midwest said the same. It must have been traditional somewhere, and then in the 50s someone started hitting it repeatedly and hard in children's choirs or Luciafest or something. 

I sang it at my Great Aunt Selma's and then my mother's funeral, so I can get a bit weepy at the "Though He giveth or He taketh..." part.. I didn't put it on the list for my own memorial service, not because i don't like it, but because other things pushed it out.

2 comments:

Christopher B said...

In my ELCA church in Iowa the pastor would parade a newly baptized infant around the congregation while the choir sang 'Children', often with humorous results as you can probably imagine. They often sang one verse in Swedish.

As I remember we sang it fairly often in Sunday School at my hometown church which was a good solid German Lutheran (ALC, first and second versions) one. That would have been in the late 1960s to early 1970s.

It's shown up a couple of times as a hymn in the UMC church I joined here in Louisville.

Texan99 said...

Beautiful.