Music + Movies + Books

Download: Swedish Christmas music!

Swedish Christmas decorations in Santa Fe, NM -

I decorated the fireplace mantel for Christmas last week, and I really love the combination of classic New Mexican architecture, modern design objects, and traditional Swedish decorations. It looks so festive and cheerful, especially with a roaring fire going! The Julbock (Christmas goat) is one of several my mother had for many years, and the Jultomten (Christmas…goblin) and straw wreath are gifts she gave me more recently to help make my home feel more…well, like home at Christmastime.

In recent years, I’ve neglected to uphold my old tradition of posting Swedish Christmas music here on the blog. My sister Melissa texted me the other day asking for a link to download it, and that’s when I realized that the old link on the blog doesn’t actually work anymore. So! Let’s do it again!

(By the way, I looked at the calendar this morning thinking it was the 11th, and then had a small freakout when I realized it’s actually the 17th. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Considering 2020 has been approximately 97 years long, I don’t understand how it’s possible that the last two months have moved at lightning speed. What even is time? And is 2021 an actual year, or is it a science fiction genre?)

Åke Jelving - Christmas In Sweden - download -

Growing up, this is the Christmas album we listened to in my house. It was recorded in Sweden in 1962 and then released in the United States by Capitol, and as far as I can tell, it’s been out of print for a very long time. Åke Jelving was a Swedish violinist, and his downright jaunty playing style is the sound of Christmas in my family. There is no other music that instantly evokes this kind of intense, comforting nostalgia for me!

On Christmas Eves untouched by a pandemic, we’ve joined hands during “Nu Är Det Jul Igen” (“Now It’s Christmas Again”) and danced around the island in my mother’s kitchen—preferably after taking a few gulps of glögg to tamp down any inhibitions. And while our mother may be Swedish, my siblings and I haven’t got a clue what most the lyrics mean! I suspect that they, like me, sing along phonetically (and badly) in the privacy of their own homes.

This music is absolutely joyous, and it’s the thing I miss the most at Christmas if I’m not with my family. This year in particular feels especially difficult, and I’ll be leaning hard on Åke Jelving and his band of merry Swedes to keep me in the spirit.

If you haven’t already downloaded Christmas in Sweden from my blog in the past, I truly hope that you’ll do so now. Over the years, I’ve heard from so many people without any Swedish ancestry who have told me that this album has become part of their own family’s annual traditions, and that makes me so, so happy.

Download Christmas in Sweden / Åke Jelving with Chorus and Orchestra (1962)
Grab a new link here!

God Jul!

Åke Jelving - Christmas In Sweden - download -

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  • Reply Jenica December 17, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    I am so envious of your gorgeous fireplace!

  • Reply kiki December 17, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    yes! i downloaded this from you YEARS ago! My husband’s grandparents (on both sides) are Swedish – they immigrated to Canada in the 50’s. It was so nostalgic for him to hear some of these songs he hadn’t heard since they’d passed. It’s now an annual tradition in our house too, thank you so much for sharing!

  • Reply mommy December 17, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    It means so much to me to see how you and your siblings continue with the Swedish traditions. Christmas will be different this year, but we will definitely put the music on. Love you!

  • Reply Cat December 18, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    This is wonderful – have downloaded. My family are Finnish but you know… close enough! Merry Christmas x

  • Reply RebeccaNYC December 18, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    I downloaded this years ago at your suggestion. Since then, I have found “Folk Jul, A Swedish Folk Christmas” which my friends and I have decided that, phonetically, “Folk Jul” is THE 2020 Christmas album. And the primal screaming at the end of the (first) album, during the ” Veni, veni, Emmanual ” ? Just perfection.

  • Reply Bridget Wall December 18, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    Anna, you’ll never guess what record I found in a record store this year!! I felt so lucky to have my own copy – it’s a fun one. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Elin December 28, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    I found what I believe to be the same record, though the Swedish album name version, on Spotify too:

    It’s called En riktig svensk jul (A real Swedish christmas).

    • Anna Dorfman December 28, 2020 at 8:49 pm

      It’s not available in the US, unfortunately!

  • Reply Kristin December 14, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    God Jul!

    The link is broken. 🙁

  • Reply Emma July 31, 2022 at 9:36 pm

    Hello Anna, I know this post is 2 years old, but the link to download does not work for me. I was wondering, would you be so kind and make it available for download again? I can’t find the album anywhere! 🙁 Thank you!!!

  • Reply Paul December 4, 2022 at 10:36 am

    Merry Christmas, Anna! Thank you so much for posting both the name and album cover for this recording of Swedish Christmas music. I, too, grew up listening to this album every Christmas and to this day, 62 years later, Christmas isn’t Christmas without hearing this music, despite the fact that my brothers and I, like you and your siblings, don’t know what the lyrics mean. Thank you so much!

  • Reply Emma Stockton September 28, 2023 at 2:14 am

    Amazing fireplace and lovely christmas tradition even if you don’t know what the lyrics mean it gives that christmas feeling!

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