Can Anyone Help with the Swedish, "The Herdsman Song"?

Lindsey wrote asking for help with a Swedish song called "The Herdsman Song":

I saw your website and thought you might be able to help me.  I am a teacher writing lesson plans for an old novel entitled, "They Came From Sweden: Sod House Winter."  It is by Clara Ingram Judson.  It is about a Swedish family who immigrated to Wisconsin from Sweden.  She mentions a Song entitled "The Herdsman Song." 

I spent quite some time researching and came to the conclusion that this might be it.  I’ve attached the song (below).  Do you know of a Swedish song with this title and is there an English translation available.  A tune would be great too!

Thanks for your assistance.  I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Lindsey Small

Menomonee Falls, WI


If anyone can help Lindsey, please comment below.


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Friday, July 22nd, 2011 at 9:41 am and is filed under Christmas Songs, Countries & Cultures, Holiday Songs, Languages, Questions, Sweden, Swedish. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

7 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with the Swedish, "The Herdsman Song"?”

  1. Uly Says:

    Is that Swedish? It looks more like Scots.

  2. Lisa Yannucci Says:

    We think it’s Scots too. We’re trying to get the correct lyrics.

  3. Monique Says:

    To sum it up: Lyndsey is looking for a song mentioned in a book first released in 1942 by an American author about mid-1800’s Swedish immigrants so the song is supposed to be Swedish but the author gives the title in English (the Swedish would be Herdens sång visa or something like that). She sent a sheet music for The Herdsman Song (same title) with Scots lyrics said to be first written by Martin Luther who was German.

    I wonder if the author made the whole story up, you never know with novels authors!

  4. Monique Says:

    Laila, a Swedish lady living in Australia, wrote that none of the people she asked ever heard of such a song. Anyone in Sweden?

  5. Lisa Says:

    Meanwhile… these are the lyrics we have in Scots:

    Luik thou, my hert, behaud an see;
    What’s liggin intil yon cribbie?
    What babbie’s yon, sae guid an fair?
    At’s my wee darlin Jesus thair!

    2 Ah, Lord! at med aa cre-ature,
    O hou art thou becum sae puir,
    At thou upo thon hay will lie,
    The feed o ass an clartie kye?

    3 The silk an sander thee til aise
    Ar fell course hay an sweillin claes,
    Whaurin thou glories, grytest King,
    As thou in heiven war in thy ring.

    4 Ah, my dear hert, wee Jesus, hush!
    Mak thee a beddie saft an sprush,
    An I sall rock thee i my hert;
    I’ll nane lat thee my thochts depert.

  6. Kate Says:

    This has nothing to do with Jesus or babies. But this is the ‘herdsman’s song’
    It’s probably not what your looking for though..

  7. Monique Says:

    I asked for some help from The Mudcat Café Scottish members to get an English translation of the Scots lyrics and here is what I got:

    Look you my heart behold and see;
    What’s lieing asleep in yonder(that) crib
    What babies that so good and fair
    That’s my little darling Jesus there

    Ah Lord that made all creature
    Oh how have you become so poor
    That you upon the hay will lie
    The feed of ass and dirty cattle

    The silk and sander thee till aise
    (this provides some difficulties sander one who delivered sand doesn’t fit in context and aise meant ashes but again in this context would appear wrong perhaps they meant sandre which was sandlewood and used aise as a corruption of ease making the line)
    The silk and sandlewood you to ease
    Are very course hay and swaddling clothes
    Where are your glories greatest king

    Ah my dear heart little Jesus hush(be quiet)
    Make your bed soft and spruce(Neat)
    And I shall rock you in my heart
    I will not let you from my thoughts depart.

    Thank you Megan!

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