"The version of the song 'Byssan lulle barnet' on your site is a shorter fragment of an older tune called 'Bissam bissam baad'ne', (Bissam bissam barnet)." -Siri Randem


*In the stove


We were sent a less well known 2nd verse to this that reminds me of the English song, Hush-a-bye Baby...

Byssan barnet i treets topp.
Vinden gynger deg ned og opp.
Men blåser vinden så grenen knekkes,
så faller vuggen, og ungen vekkes,
barnet i treets topp.

Hush the child in the top of the tree
The wind swings you up and down
But if the wind blows (so hard) so the branch breaks
The cradle falls, and the child wakes (up),
The child in the top of the tree.

Siri wrote, "I believe this information to be a mistake on the informant's part, since the verse given here is just a poetic translation of 'Hush-a-bye baby in the tree top'. It is not Norwegian in origin at all, and neither is it singable to the known tune of 'Byssan lulle barnet'.

In the 'proper' and original Norwegian lullabies there are never references to mishaps with falling babies from neither tree tops nor the cradles. Common themes in Norwegian lullabies are references to close family, the animals in the forest and on the farm, and activities closely related to the home, like winding yarn and eating porridge. There never was a tradition of putting babies to sleep in the trees, like it's said about native Americans here: That story might even be a myth, since the publishing date of the hush-a-bye song version with the falling cradle is around 1675, according to Wikipedia."



Thanks to Siri Randem for the recording!

Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Byssan lulle barnet

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Sølvi Skylstad for contributing and translating this song. Thanks to Siri Randem for commenting on it.

Tusen takk!