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Cradle-Song For My Son Carl

Carl Michael Bellman 1740 (Stockholm) – 1795 (Stockholm)



Little Carl, sleep soft and sweet:
Thou'lt soon enough be waking;
Soon enough ill days thou'lt meet,
Their bitterness partaking.
Earth's an isle with grief o'ercast;
Breathe our best, death comes at last,
We but dust forsaking.

Once, where flowed a peaceful brook
Through a rye-field's stubble,
Stood a little boy to look
At himself; his double.
Sweet the picture was to see;
All at once it ceased to be;
Vanished like a bubble!

And thus it is with life, my pet,
And thus the years go flying;
Live we wisely, gaily, yet
There's no escape from dying.
Little Carl on this must muse
When the blossoms bright he views
On spring's bosom lying.

Slumber, little friend so wee;
Joy thy joy is bringing.
Clipped from paper thou shalt see
A sleigh, and horses springing;
Then a house of cards so tall
We will build and see it fall,
And little songs be singing.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Carl Michael Bellman

Carl Michael Bellman was a Swedish songwriter, composer, musician, poet and entertainer. He is a central figure in the Swedish song tradition and remains a powerful influence in Swedish music, as well as in Scandinavian literature, to this day. He has been compared to Shakespeare, Beethoven, Mozart, and Hogarth, but his gift, using elegantly rococo classical references in comic contrast to sordid drinking and prostitution—at once regretted and celebrated in song—is unique. Bellman is best known for two collections of poems set to music, Fredman's songs (Fredmans sånger) and Fredman's epistles (Fredmans epistlar). Each consists of about 70 songs. The general theme is drinking, but the songs "most ingeniously" combine words and music to express feelings and moods ranging from humorous to elegiac, romantic to satirical. Bellman's patrons included King Gustav III of Sweden, who called him a master improviser. Bellman's songs continue to be performed and recorded by musicians from Scandinavia and in other languages, including English, French, German, Italian and Russian. Several of his songs including Gubben Noak and Fjäriln vingad are known by heart by many Swedes. His legacy further includes a museum in Stockholm and a society that fosters interest in him and his work. more…

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