Thursday, October 30, 2008

Norwegian Rock and Thoughts of Shortening Days

As the days get shorter, my thoughts wander to more northerly latitudes. I have never been in northern Norway when it is dark at noon, but the thought fills me with a chilly sort of awe.

The Scandinavian languages (aside from Finnish) are very close to each other, to the point that they can read each other's newspapers without undue difficulty. English is so far apart from its closest relative that it is not mutually intelligible in its spoken form with any other language. Individual words do however resonate with similarity. In Dutch, fijve, tijn and wereld sound like five ten and world in English. I visualise the languages of the world as raucous relatives crowding into a family photograph. An examination of most European languages makes this a resonant comparison. (Try counting to ten in Spanish and Italian)

Viking raiders are part of what gave England its linguistic makeup. English is a Germanic tongue with heavy French influences.

When I listen to the Norwegian rock group Folque , I am struck by its similarity to English folk rock such as Fairport Convention and Pentangle .
Sometimes the similarity to American country and bluegrass music is unmistakable. It is almost as though music and etymology are echoes of DNA and history.

I am presenting with this posting aywo songs from the Norwegian rock group Folque. I am grateful to them for showcasing the beauty of their language and musical traditions. They are a living reminder of my belief that the best gift to give the world is to be yourself, to keep your language and folkways alive. The members of Folque have done this well. Sphere: Related Content

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