One of my colleagues, half-Australian/half-Swedish, asked me today if I had any Swedish Christmas music she could borrow.
“Of course I do”, I told her, promising to bring some in to work.
She said she was feeling a little homesick.
I don’t quite understand why “Christmas Music” is so popular in Sweden. Perhaps it’s the snow?
In the same way that we so strongly associate this time of the year with summer, perhaps the Swedes, with their dramatically contrasting weather, feel as strongly as we do about the season, but for completely different climatic reasons?
Actually, if you take a look at the Swedish album charts at the moment, you’ll find SEVERAL Christmas albums.
Right now, for example, the Top 40 features the following…
# 7 Lotta Engberg with Jul hos mig
Lionheart Records / Universal UNI LHICD0095
# 10 Andrea Bocelli with My Christmas
Universal / Universal UNI 060252720642
# 13 Sissel og Odd with Strålande jul
Universal / Universal UNI 060252724410
# 14 Magnus Carlsson with Christmas (a box set)
Freestar Music / Universal UNI FREE005BOX 2
# 16 Carola with Christmas In Bethlehem
X5 Music / Universal UNI X5CD100
# 25 Bob Dylan with Christmas In The Heart
Columbia / Sony Music SME 88697573232
# 26 Sanna, Shirley, Sonja with Our Christmas
Lionheart Records / Universal UNI LHICD0067
# 39 Georg Wadenius / Arild Andersen / Jan Lundgren with Jul på Svenska
Emi / Emi EMI 509994578442
And although it seems like a lot, it actually doesn’t seem as much as last year.
And yet there are contraditions. ABBA, as a group, for example, never recorded a Christmas CD.
Agnetha and Frida recorded songs individually, but always in Swedish. Frida also did a Christmas medley in English a couple of years ago.
Agnetha also recorded a Christmas CDwith her daughter, sure, but ABBA never recorded even a single Christmas-related song. The closest they got was “Happy New Year” and its Spanish version, “Felicid”.
I suspect it was part of a broader corporate strategy about “neutrality”. Or perhaps it was because Bjorn, as the main lyricist, has loudly declared himself an atheist?
So yeah, here it is December 23 and I’m auditioning some Swedish Christmas music so I can take into my colleague to hopefully help make her feel a little less hemsjuk.
LIfe could be worse… :)