"Sverige" as written by and Joakim Berg....
Sverige, Sverige älskade vän
En tiger som skäms
Jag vet hur det känns
När allvaret har blivit ett skämt
När tystnaden skräms
Vad är det som hänt

Välkommen, välkommen hit
Vem du än är var du än är

Duka din veranda till fest
För en långväga gäst
I landet lagom är bäst
Vi skålar för en midsommar till
Färsk potatis och sill
Som om tiden stått still

Välkommen, välkommen hit
Vem du än är var du än är

Regnet slår mot rutorna nu
Men natten är ljus i ett land utan ljud
Och glasen glittrar tyst på vårt bord
Lika tomma som ord
Visst är krleken stor

Välkommen, välkommen hit
Vem du än är var du än är
Välkommen, välkommen hit
Vem du än är var du än är


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"Sverige" as written by Joakim Berg

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Sverige song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis is a sad lovesong to Sweden, a melancholic nationalhymn if you like. Like in many of Kents lyrics there is not a specific "opinion" like niamh seems to belive but more like poetic thoughts. He describes the mentality of swedes but also the emptiness we all feel inside. Its just a very emotional song that can not be explained with logic. And the word "lagom" is actually a very good word to descibe the mentality of swedes, "not to much, not to little", "not good, not bad" but something in between, like a golden middle-path.
    Moltisantion November 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBasically it's often a problem to translate a song from one language to another. For us outside living of the english part of thw world we often can understand the lyrics due to the fact that we have english in school but that doesn't mean that we understand all the cultural aspects of the english songs. I think we often miss the cultural aspects of many english songs.

    Well, particuarly this song confronts every non-swedish listener with TWO problems: one is the language, spoken by 9 milion and understood by maybe about 20 milion people. And the other problem is that the song refers to certain aspects of the swedish culture. I will try to explain the song as much as I can. I am non-swedish myself so my explanation is based on my own observations and explanations on the text from my swedish friends.

    The first verse:

    Sverige, Sverige, älskade vän
    En tiger som skäms
    Jag vet hur det känns
    När allvaret har blivit ett skämt
    När tystnaden skräms
    Vad är det som hänt

    The Translation would be then:

    Sweden, Sweden, beloved friend
    A tiger who is ashamed
    I know how it feels
    When the seriousness has turned into a joke
    When the silence is frightening
    What is it that has happened

    Well, the first problem here is that the second line "En tiger som skäms" is a wordplay refering to a slogan from the second world war when the government wanted every swede not to talk too much too foreign people, i.e. governmental secrets should remain secret. The slogan was called "En svensk tiger". And in swedish the word "tiger" means two different things: 1. a tiger, 2. the conjugated form of the verb "tiga" which means "to remain silent". There was also a poster of it, you can find it here:

    arrelius.se/live/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/…

    About the rest of the 1st verse: I think the author is joking about some feelings/habits that many swedes have, like feeling ashamed sometimes of their own behaviour (in swedish there is an expression called "something/someone is unswedish" which actually means that something is or someone behaves really really good!!). The lines "When the seriousness has turned into a joke
    When the silence is frightening" may refer to the fact that swedes like to joke about many things in life, even very serious things. It could also be a joke about the cliché that swedes don't talk much.

    The second verse:
    Duka din veranda till fest
    För en långväga gäst
    I landet lagom är bäst
    Vi skålar för en midsommar till
    Färsk potatis och sill
    Som om tiden stått still

    In english:
    Set your veranda for a party
    For a distant guest
    In the land "just right" is best
    We toast for another midsummer
    Fresh potatoes and herring
    As if time has stood still

    Well, here you can see the swedish word "lagom" (just right) which is really hard to translate. Like "dongiovanni" wrote it can mean many different things. You can say "Maten är LAGOM saltad" (The food contains the perfectly right amount of salt). So in that way, LAGOM would mean "perfectly right". But as I understand it lagom is also a kind of mentality that every swede is striving for. There is this expression "Lagom är bäst" (Lagom is best) which refers to a state of mind of not being too sad or too happy ... just "lagom" :-)

    The part about the midsummer refers to one of the greatest traditions in Sweden, midsummer which takes place around the 21st of june (the solstice) and is often a big party with a lot of traditional swedish food (potatoes and herring are some of the ingrediences) and alcohol. You have to keep in mind that summers are very short in Sweden. That explains the importance of the midsummer. The last line "As if time has stood still" could mean many things, I don't want to interprete that one.

    The 3rd verse:
    Regnet slår mot rutorna nu
    Men natten är ljus i ett land utan ljud
    Och glasen glittrar tyst på vårt bord
    Lika tomma som ord
    Visst är kärleken stor

    In english:
    The rain hits the windows now
    but the night is bright, in a country without sound
    And the glasses glimmer silently on our table
    As empty as words
    Surely love is great

    Rain is very usual during swedish summertime (and even the other seasons of the year ...) and nights during summertime are very bright because Sweden is in the far north and in midjune the sun is not even setting all the way, even in southern Sweden you always can see a glooming on the horizon.
    "a country without sound" could refer to the emptyness of the whole country due to the fact that the population is quite small and the country itself is very big. As in the 1st verse the band is maybe joking about the cliché, that swedes are very quiet and dare to express their feelings. That would fit with the line "as empty as words" in one way, but I'm really not sure.

    Well, as I wrote above, my interpretation is a mix of own observations and what my friends told me about the lyrics.

    Feel free to correct me if you think that I got it wrong!




    Struenseeon June 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI've always wondered whether these lyrics are sarcastic or not. Are they loving the fact that Sweden is so open or are they critizising the country's immigration laws?
    Goatmaniaon October 11, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell, sverige is sweden, isn't it. i have no idea what he's singing.but beautiful song.
    melpomeneon May 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThat's the translation I found:

    - So I basically just start then, right
    - Yep
    - Three, four
    Sweden, Sweden, beloved friend
    A tiger who is ashamed
    I know how it feels
    When the seriousness has turned into a joke
    When the silence is frightening
    What is it that has happened
    Welcome, welcome here
    Whoever you are, wherever you are
    Set your veranda for a party
    For a distant guest
    In the land "just right" is best
    We toast for another midsummer
    Fresh potatoes and herring
    As if time has stood still
    Welcome, welcome here
    Whoever you are, wherever you are
    The rain hits the windows now
    but the night is bright, in a country without sound
    And the glasses glimmer silently on our table
    As empty as words
    Surely love is great
    Welcome, welcome here
    Whoever you are, wherever you are

    Hope it helps :).
    RealSugaron October 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that one of the worst translations i´ve ever seen... but i´m not going to do it better...
    Basicly this song is about sweden, in a ironicle way, he sings about some swedish traditions. And about the way swedes look at themselves. he´s not very fond of it
    niamhon January 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a melancholic look at Sweden. Perhaps he isn't "very fond" of it, but I get the impression that he loves it anyway. I think the "just right" bit of the translation needs clarifying. Swedish has a very particular word, not found in many (if any) other languages, 'lagom', which, although can be translated as "just right", is also more "not too good, not too bad", a sort of mediocrity seen by the stereotypical swede to be a virtue. Many swedes have a contempt for this view that 'lagom' is best.
    dongiovannion March 11, 2007   Link

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