The Elf Waltz – More about the Tomtar from Sweden

In my last blog post, I talked about the tomtar – little elf-like creatures in Sweden. The tomtar are nice to people who are nice to them, but they can act mischievously towards people who don’t treat them well.

The song below ends with the tomtar showing up at the door. The question is, are they there to help or hinder?

Picture of Tomte

Here’s the song Tomtevalsen (The Elf Waltz) in Swedish, followed by an English translation and the midi tune.


Lilla lisa i sitt kök
Rustar till et värre stök.
Suckar bittida och sent
Aldrig får man rent.

Från sitt allra sista golv
Trött honn somnar då

Men när klockan den slår tolv
Knackar tomten på

The Elf Waltz
(English Translation)

Little Lisa sits in the kitchen,
Preparing for a difficult clean-up.
Sighing, early and late,
Never will she clean.

From the back of the room where she sits,
Tired, she dozes off.

But when the clock strikes twelve,
The elves come knocking.

Midi tune of Tomtevalsen

Ed Gawlinski sent me this song. He was the director of a Santa Lucia festival for over 20 years. He told me that this song was sung by the 4 year olds who dressed up as tomtar (elves) for the performance.

Many thanks to Ed for sending me this song and the midi, and to Jason Pomerantz for helping with the translation.

-Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Wednesday, December 19th, 2007 at 1:14 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Christmas, Christmas Songs, Countries & Cultures, Folk Lore, Folk Songs, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Languages, Sweden, Swedish, Swedish Children's Songs, Tomtar. 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.

4 Responses to “The Elf Waltz – More about the Tomtar from Sweden”

  1. Steve Says:

    Hi! Cool website!
    Can anyone help me find the sheet music to a song called “The Dream of Martin Luther King”? I learned it years ago, but I haven’t performed it for years and I’ve forgotten how the verse and bridge go. Thanks for any help anyone can give!

  2. julie Says:

    Songs from Sweden christmas songs that people can download to there computer that is sung in swedish do you know of any sites please let me know..

    my e-mail address is
    i sure would like to here back from you
    thank you julie merry christmas & happy new year for you all…. :)

  3. Ed Gawlinski Says:

    Julie …
    you might try

  4. Maria Says:

    Peter and Mary Alice Amidon recorded “The Dream of Martin Luther King” on their album, “All I Really Need.” The last contact information I have for them is:
    6 Willow Street
    Brattleboro, VT 05301

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