"'Hårgalåten' (The Hårga Song) is a traditional folk melody based on a legend (the oldest record of the legend is from 1785 by a man named Johan Gabriel Lindström). The legend takes place on Hårgaberget which translates to 'The Hårga Mountain'." -Johannes Andersson
The legend is of the Hårgadansen (Hårga Dance). It's about the devil disguised as a fiddler and the youngsters in the village of Hårga he made dance themselves to death.
You can read about the legend in the Song Notes below.
The Harga Song
Spelmannen drog fiol'n ur lådan och
Lyfte stråken högt mot söndagsolens kula
Då blev det fart i Hårgafolket
De glömde Gud och hela världen
Dansen gick på äng och backar
Högt upp på Hårgaåsens topp
Man slet ut båd skor och klackar
Aldrig fick man på dansen stopp
Varifrån kommer du som spelar
Säg vem har lärt dig detta spel
Det vilda galna
Stannar du inte brister hjärtat
Åh gud bevare han har bockfot
Klockorna hade ringt i dalen och där gick
Far och mor och bror till sockenkyrkan
Var kan nu Hårgas ungdom vara
Å herregud de dansar ännu
Dansen går till Hårgalåten
Högt upp på Hårgaåsens topp
Man har inte långt till gråten
Dansar nu sönder själ och kropp
Hejda din stråke spelman innan du
Dansar liv och själ och alla ben ur kroppen
Nej inte slutar han sin dans förr'ns om
Allesammans faller döda
The fiddler pulled his fiddle out of its case and
Raised his bow to the rising Sunday sun
Then the people of Harga got excited
They forgot God and the whole world.
The dance took place in the meadows and slopes
High up on the peak of the Harga Mountain
They wore out both shoes and heels
Never getting the dance to stop.
Where do you come from fiddler?
Tell us who has taught you this wild and crazy melody?
If you don't stop now our hearts will burst
Oh God forbid, he has a hoof.
The bells rang in the valley and there went
Father and mother and brother to the parish church
Where can the youth of Harga be now?
Oh my God, they're still dancing!
They were dancing to the Harga song
High up on the Harga mountain peak
Tears aren't far off
While dancing, they wore through both body and soul.
Stop your bow fiddler, before we
Dance life and soul and all the bones out of our bodies
No, he won't stop the dance before
Everyone falls down dead.
"Here is some background. This is a translation about the legend from the Wikipedia page in Swedish... -Johannes Andersson
"It is a late Saturday night and all the young people in Hårga have gathered to dance in a barn. Suddenly in the middle of the dance, the music gets interrupted and a new fiddler steps forward from the shadows. He had a large dark hat on his head and you could see a pair of 'burning' eyes. The fiddler lifted the violin to his chin and began to play a song that had never been heard before. All the young people immediately began to dance to the new tune. But once they entered the dance, they could not stop dancing. The dance continued throughout the night and when dawn arrived the fiddler left the barn. After him came all the dancers, following him in a line. They couldn't stop dancing. The sound of the violin fueled the dancers will to move their feet. When the church bells rang for service, the dancers disappeared with the fiddler. A girl remained laying on the dance floor in the lodge. No one had listened to her when she warned them about the fiddler, and no one noticed the fiddlers hooves in the midst of the wildest dance they've ever been through.
The legend continues, saying that the fiddler led the dancers to Hårgaberget (Hårga Mountain) where they danced until only their bones were left. Some even say that you can still see the marks from the ring dance at Hårgaberget, and if you are so brave to venture out on a night of the full moon, it is said that you can hear the music that the devil once played for those who died."
Thanks and Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Johannes Andersson for sharing this song with us and for translating the Wikipedia entry about the legend for us! Translation by Johannes Andersson and Lisa Yannucci.