Tomtar are Like Gnomes and They’re an Important Part of Christmas in Sweden

Picture of Tomtar

In Sweden the tomtar are an important part of Christmas. The tomtar are a kind of tiny, benevolent elf or gnome. There are many holiday songs about them. Here’s one called Tomtarnas Julnatt – The Gnomes’ Christmas Night – in both Swedish and English followed by a YouTube recording of the song.

Tomtarnas Julnatt

Midnatt råder,
tyst det är i husen,
tyst i husen.
Alla sover,
släckta äro ljusen,
äro ljusen.

Tipp, tapp, tipp, tapp, tippetippetipp tapp! Tipp, tipp, tapp.

Se, då krypa
tomtar upp ur vrårna
upp ur vrårna,
lyssna, speja,
trippa fram på tårna,
fram på tårna.

Tipp, tapp, tipp, tapp, tippetippetipp tapp! Tipp, tipp, tapp.

The Gnomes’ Christmas Night

Midnight reigns,
It’s quiet in the houses,
Quiet in the houses.
Everyone sleeps,
The candles are put out,
Candles put out.

Tipp, tapp, tipp, tapp, tippetippetipp tapp! Tipp, tipp, tapp.

Look, there comes
The gnomes out from the corners,
From the corners,
List’ning, watching,
Sneaking on their toes,
On their toes.

Tipp, tapp, tipp, tapp, tippetippetipp tapp! Tipp, tipp, tapp.

Tipp, tapp, tipp, tapp, tippetippetipp tapp! Tipp, tipp, tapp” is the sound of the tomtar tiptoeing around on their small feet.

Many thanks to “Whendin” for the great video and to Leif Stensson of Project Runeberg for contributing and translating this song!

-Mama Lisa

Come visit the Tomtarnas Julnatt page on Mama Lisa’s World for a longer version of this song and more about the tomtar.

This article was posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2007 at 4:05 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Christmas, Christmas Songs, Countries & Cultures, Folk Lore, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Languages, Sweden, Swedish, Swedish Children's Songs, The Gnomes' Christmas Night - Tomtarnas Julnatt, Tomtar, Tomtarnas Julnatt - The Gnomes' Christmas Night, YouTube. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Tomtar are Like Gnomes and They’re an Important Part of Christmas in Sweden”

  1. Monique Says:

    Reminds me of “The Wonderful Adventures of Nils” (Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige) by Selma Lagerlöf. I love this book and I used to read a few pages every morning to my first graders. Even if kids won’t remember any of Sweden geography and history, this book has many lessons to teach about living together, mutual help, good and evil and is worth reading… just to imagine oneself as a tomte flying on a goose back.

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