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Repost: Christmas in Sweden.

Christmas in Sweden
This is a reposting of a guest blog post I did for Dos Family four 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. No need to create an account, just click on “download.” Easy!

God Jul!

Christmas in Sweden

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  • Reply Sarah Von December 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    So, so fun! My mom’s Swedish and Norwegian so I grew up making lefse, krumkake, and lutefisk every Christmas. I’m going to pass this along to my mom and aunts – I’m sure they’ll loooove it! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  • Reply Wendy December 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    THANK YOU!!!!

  • Reply Linn Raia December 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Anna, as a Swede living in the US I totally appreciate this! I downloaded the music and have been listening to it this morning, hearing songs I haven’t heard in ages, singing along. I love the vintage nature of this album, and the fact that there are so many “dance around the tree” songs, mixed in with Lucia, as well as more Church-traditional ones. Usually most albums are more in one category or the other and here you get one awesome compilation, complete with the background crackling just like the records my mom used to play for us when we were small too. So thank you! God Jul.

  • Reply josie December 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm


  • Reply CM December 6, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    My Swedish hubby is going to love this! I’m going to surprise him with this when he walks in! Jippi!


  • Reply karolina December 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I’ve been listening to this for going on three years now, thanks to you, Anna! Last year, through an amazing stroke of thrifting luck, I found it at my local Goodwill and, naturally, was smiling like an crazy person as I took it home with me.

    • Anna @ D16 December 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      Ah, that’s awesome!!

  • Reply Kate December 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I downloaded this from you last year, too, and just put it back on my iPod to listen to this season. Let me know if you want my dad’s *killer* glögg recipe in return. 😉 God jul!

    • Anna @ D16 December 6, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      Kate, I’d love it! 🙂

  • Reply mommy December 6, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Definitely puts me in the right mood to get ready for our gathering!

  • Reply anne b. December 7, 2013 at 3:41 am

    listening to it right now, thank you so much!

  • Reply Ariane December 7, 2013 at 4:26 am

    Now it will be listened to in France too ! Thanks for the link and happy holidays.

  • Reply gracie December 7, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Thank you! I love glogg!

    P.s I made a different chilli the other night and it was gross, yours is the best! 🙂

  • Reply C December 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I look forward to listening to this! Thank you for sharing it with us (or should I say, tack så mycket)!

  • Reply Chris December 8, 2013 at 12:30 am

    YES! lol

    So happy to be reminded of this:)

  • Reply KCF December 11, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Hi Anna, thanks so much. I downloaded this and, as I suspected, it was completely familiar. I’m 99% sure I had this in my Swedish-American home as I was growing up in the ’60s and 70’s! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  • Reply Florian December 20, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Season’s Greetings! I downloaded this last year but did not really listen to it. This year I listen to it all the time. Such fun! Since I don’t understand a word, I just go “hgn-hgn-HGN-hgn-hgn-HGN-hgn-hgn-HGN HOPPA!”

    In my picture books, when I was growing up, it said, the Swedes dance around the Christmas tree. Since those tunes are really catchy and lively and fun, I can well imagine doing a circle dance to this. However I can imagine just as well that this, in combination with sufficient holiday “cheer” aka Glögg, leads to frequent tree incidents.

    I asked friends in Sweden, whether they really do dance around the tree. They all answered, that it is done, but they personally don’t do it at home due to space constraints.

    So is this around the tree dance thing a nostalgic myth or just infrequently practiced? Any Scandinavians care to weigh in?

  • Reply Joy Fisher December 22, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this. We have learned so much about my father in law’s swedish history this year. I have created a whole little “report” for his as a xmas gift complete with citizenship documents and land deeds from when his great-grandfather came to the US from Sweden in 1893. Anyway, I burned a copy of this cd to put with the gift. He remembers his grandmother very fondly but she was quite old when he was little. I think it will be so special to have this songs playing for my father in law and his sons to listen to when we are opening gifts this year. A little piece of his grandmother and great-grandfather will be in the room with us. Thank you!!

    • Anna @ D16 December 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Thank you for sharing this, Joy! Come back and let me know how it goes. 🙂 God Jul!

  • Reply Stephen Coles December 15, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Hi Anna. Thanks for the record! My mom is from Sweden and emigrated to Salt Lake City when she was a toddler. We still celebrate Christmas in Swedish style and keep a variety of traditions, including “Santa Lucia” holding hands and dancing around the house to the refrain heard at the beginning and end of the first track. The words go something like this:

    Nu är det Jul igen
    Och nu är det Jul igen
    Och Julen varar skal till Påska
    Nu är det Jul igen
    Och nu är det Jul igen
    Och Julen varar skal till Påska

    Men det var inte sant
    Och det var inte sant
    För däremellan kommer Fasta
    Men det var inte sant
    Och det var inte sant
    För däremellan kommer Fasta

    Believe it or not, this means roughly:

    Now it’s Christmas again
    And now it’s Christmas again
    And Christmas will continue until Easter
    But that isn’t true
    And that isn’t true
    Because in between comes Lent

    Such a weird song to sing for Christmas. Makes me laugh everytime I read the translation. But our family eats it up every year.

  • Reply Stephen Coles December 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Oops, that should say: “Santa Lucia”, as well as holding hands…

  • Reply Glenn Navia November 27, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Omg, I grew up listening to this exact album!! The holidays aren’t complete without this music! For many years, I couldn’t find it anywhere (it wasn’t on CD, and I don’t think eBay even existed, yet, to get it even on vinyl. I have it now, finally, and it’s back to being a part of every holiday season. It warms my heart to see this photo.

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