Friends + Family + Music + Movies + Books

Repost: Christmas in Sweden.

Christmas in Sweden (front)

This is a reposting of a guest blog post I did for Dos Family two years ago. I regularly receive emails asking for the link to download the Swedish Christmas record, so I will repost it here yearly!

In the United States, it’s not uncommon to hear Christmas music wafting from shop speakers as early as the beginning of November, but it’s not “Here Comes Santa Claus” or “Jingle Bell Rock” that puts me in the holiday spirit. For me, it’s not Christmastime until I put on the recording of Swedish Christmas music that I grew up listening to each and every year: Christmas in Sweden, recorded in 1962 by Åke Jelving and a chorus of parents and children.

This is jovial, happy music, sung with energy and enthusiasm…and with audible gasping and stomping!

Our mother may be Swedish, but my siblings and I haven’t got a clue what the lyrics mean. I suspect that they, like me, sing along phonetically (and badly) in the privacy of their own homes. On Christmas day, we put the record on and leave the singing to Mommy as we all hold hands and dance in a circle, usually around the spread of snacks and glögg on the kitchen island.

My gift to you is a download of Christmas in Sweden. Evan made the MP3s directly from the record, so you’ll hear all the same snaps and crackles that I do when I listen to the original. I think that just adds to the appeal! Unless you’re a Swede, this may not sound like Christmas music to you at first, but give it time. (And maybe enjoy it with a little glögg.)

To download the album, you’ll need to visit this link. If you don’t have an account, that’s okay—just wait for the countdown to finish, then click the “regular download” button. Easy!

God Jul!

Previous Post Next Post

Other Stuff You Might Be Into

47 Comments

  • Reply Lindsay December 6, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Aww! I must have missed this when you initially posted it. My grandpa was Swedish and boy do I want to go listen to this NOW. Sadly, I’m at work (and they frown on downloads – in fact, I’m guessing that site is even blocked), but I’ll check it out as soon as I get home!

    God Jul to you too! 🙂

  • Reply Anya December 6, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Perfect timing Anna, I’m putting up my Christmas tree and decorating for the holidays. These songs make me want to learn Swedish. Thank You!

  • Reply mommy December 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    This is music to a Swedish mother’s ears! You remind me it’s time to get the straw goats out of storage and start decorating the house.

  • Reply Courtney December 6, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for reposting! I missed this in the past, and it’s wonderful! And quite the change from my Christmas line up of Elvis’s Blue Christmas, Bing Crosby, the Rat Pack, and the Tractors’ Christmas album (my grandmother’s favorites; it wouldn’t be Christmas for me without them).

    Merry Christmas!

  • Reply Lena December 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    May I ask why you and your brothers & sisters didn’t learn Swedish? Do you regret it? I was always jealous of all my bilingual friends (especially the ones who were bilingual in Swiss French & German) and kind of mad at my parents for being of so boringly Swiss German heritage.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 December 7, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      We didn’t learn it because we weren’t taught it! My father is American and English is what was spoken at home growing up, and I just don’t think my mother saw any particular reason why we should learn Swedish. It just didn’t seem important. Also, I know she grew up in a bilingual (Swedish and Danish) household and had some language issues as a kid because of that, and I think that figured in. (She’s probably reading this, so maybe she can chime in!)

      We all give her a hard time (jokingly) about it now, and of course we all wish we could speak Swedish, but I doubt any of us will take the time to do it now. 🙂

  • Reply Kristina December 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I love this! I’m Norwegian (and my grandmother is Swedish), so I actually understand it. Thanks for posting.

  • Reply Amanda J. December 6, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I’m looking forward to listening to this :).

  • Reply Vanessa December 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I am indeed a Swede, so these songs make me feel all warm and fuzzy and Christmassy inside. Thanks!

    (Stupid question, though. How do I convert these mp4s to mp3s? It will only allow my to open them in Spotify…)

    • Reply Anna @ D16 December 7, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      You shouldn’t have to convert them at all, just drag them into iTunes!

  • Reply Gina December 6, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks Anna, this made my day. Am listening to right now!

  • Reply Kati @ so happy home December 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing another bit of your childhood… I ended up buying the Moomin books for my niece upon your recommendation (still not sure if she appreciates them – time will tell). I love learning about how other people grew up, what they remember and what they love. Thank you.

  • Reply Mieze December 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Yay! This puts me in the mood! I’ve been reading your blog for some months now and really enjoy it… thanks for your generosity in posting this totally awesome album.

  • Reply Amy December 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Sweden really knocks it out of the park with Christmas traditions (and music). I’ve co-opted several even though my family is Irish – living in Minnesota it seems like nearly everyone else is scandinavian so the cookies and decorations and songs are everywhere.

  • Reply Dori December 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I downloaded this last year and loved listening to it! I’ve already broken it out this Christmas season. Thanks so much!

  • Reply Andrew Hughes December 6, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Ahhhh. That’s better. Noobly oobly em. Noobly oobly em. Noobly oobly vladi vostock! (I ‘think’ those are the words – it’s what I sing anyway).
    Thanks again!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 December 6, 2011 at 5:22 pm

      HAHAHAHAHAH

    • Reply Andreas December 18, 2011 at 5:29 am

      Hahaha! =)
      Maybe I should translate a song for you so you can enjoy it more? 😉

      Greetings from Sweden!

  • Reply amy h December 6, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I downloaded this, but as soon as I started listening, I knew where I had heard the beginning of the first song before. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of an animator name Don Hertzfeldt, but he used that song for a very, uh, un-Christmasy animated short (“Rejected”). It’s forever burned in my brain.

  • Reply guildencrantz December 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    How fun! Thank you! 🙂

    I listen to my grandma’s old albums every year. My favorite song is “That Holiday Feeling” by Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence. It’s very much in the vain of “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. Here is a link to the song on youtube! 🙂

    http://youtu.be/QcH9rSmZvi4

  • Reply Anna (twelve22) December 6, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Yay! I also have this on vinyl (a 50¢ clearance find several years ago), and I listened to it just yesterday. Nothing makes me feel Christmas-ier!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 December 7, 2011 at 8:15 pm

      Oh, excellent! I wish I had a backup copy of the record.

  • Reply Scott December 7, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Could somebody be so kind as to host the zip file somewhere else? I can’t access megaupload from Hong Kong. 🙁

    Thanks to the person who helps me get my Swedish holiday fix!! 🙂

    • Reply Anna @ D16 December 7, 2011 at 7:24 am

      Scott, if you can suggest a site that both you and I will be able to access, I’d be happy to upload it for you.

  • Reply RoseTO December 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Thank you, Anna and Evan! My mother lived in Sweden in the early 1960s and brought this record (and some stunning furniture!) back with her. I grew up in Texas listening to this ever single Christmas. It’s such a treat to hear it again!

  • Reply Sara December 7, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Is it bad that all I can think looking at this post is that your house seems so clean! I mean, that’s a baseboard and a floor, right?

  • Reply Gladys December 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I luv it! Thank you Anna for this original gift. Merry Xmas to you 4.

  • Reply Megan December 8, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Thanks for making this available! I can’t wait to play it for my almost three year old daughter. I’m sure she’ll love it!

  • Reply Jenni December 8, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Ooh, very nice! Christmas greetings from Finland!
    Since swedish is the other official language in here we all have to learn it in school.

  • Reply Leanna December 8, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have been listening to it daily ever since I downloaded. It’s such a treat!

  • Reply Niko December 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I think this just made my Christmas. Exactly the kind music I’ve been looking for to get me in the spirit of the season!

  • Reply Gabriella December 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Thank you so much!!! I love listening to Christmas music, and it’s lovely in a different language. Merry Christmas!

  • Reply guildencrantz December 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Just had brunch at Tres Kronor, where they were playing this album! Very festive!

  • Reply Allison December 11, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    My mother is from Sweden (also Finnish) and even though me and my siblings never learnt the language we were surrounded by the rich culture and the music. Around Christmas every year we bake Swedish food and listen to Christmas, I think my mother actually has this record haha. I love sweden <3
    Hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

  • Reply Nina December 12, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Attack of the Nordic people… Yet another Swedish-speaking reader here though Finnish by nationality and part of the minority Jenni mentioned. Thanks for the file, I will listen to it soon! Happy holidays and hopefully you’ll have a chance to get some peace and quiet, too!

  • Reply Jessica December 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this! God Jul!

  • Reply Sarah December 13, 2011 at 4:33 am

    jettekul!

  • Reply Meggan December 13, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Thanks so much for posting this — Such a great album (and cover. hah!). And bonus points for the Don Hertzfeldt reference of that infamous “Rejected” scene! I’m always on the lookout for fun, unique holiday music, and am definitely bringing a copy home for Christmas this year!

  • Reply Kac December 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Hello,

    I’m sitting in my house in Prague (the Czech Republic, Central Europe), reading homeworks of my students and listening these lovely songs.

    Thank you for the file and for your blog.

    Merry christmas!

    Kac

  • Reply Helena December 14, 2011 at 4:23 am

    I just saw this in a charity-shop the other day (in Sweden). A slightly different titel to the album, “En svensk jul” (translates “A Swedish Christmas”), but in every other way the same album! I wouldn´t even have noticed it if I haven´t read this post! 🙂

  • Reply Christina December 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Tack så mycket! This is my favorite Christmas album ever. When my parents were first married they lived in Goteborg and as a result loved all things Swedish. Growing up in NY I was the only kid who listened to this. I was allowed to load it on the record player with much care. Now living in New Zealand I can enjoy it still thanks to your upload.

    God jul!

  • Reply Sarah C. December 28, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Anna, I was record hunting yesterday and–lo and behold!–happened upon Christmas in Sweden. I think I even let out a little shriek of delight, having recognized it from your post. As someone who, as a child especially, has a very soft and nostalgic spot for holiday music, I had to buy it ($1).

    Thanks for your story and the good cheer!

  • Reply Susan B December 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Wow! I’m 55 years old and grew up with this album. My mom was Swedish but she and her brother never learned it – when her parents settled in the US they wanted their kids to be American, not Swedish so they didn’t teach the kids. But like some of you have said, it’s not Christmas till I hear this music. There is a CD out but the cover is all in Swedish. By accident a friend of mine ran across it so I have my tattered LP and a CD. In the first song I hear: Yully yully yen…

  • Reply David Virta December 16, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I, too, grew up listening to ‘Christmas in Sweden’ and have also hoped to find it on CD someday. When I saw you’d posted a download gift of the album, I was delirious with joy! Alas, it doesn’t seem to work (anymore) … would it be possible to repost the download?
    Thanks and Merry Christmas from Germany

  • Leave a Comment

    Door Sixteen is a hate-free, drama-free, spam-free zone. Open dialogue is welcome, but comments designed to harm or deceive will be removed.

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.