Even though I’d experienced snow before, my visit to Sweden earlier this year was the first time I’d REALLY experienced snow. Not just a little bit of snow at an Australian ski resort, but snow that was sometimes a few metres deep. Snow that varied in colour and texture :)
It was also the first time I’d ever walked on a frozen river or lake. With an ever so slight trepidation I followed in the foot-steps of others and relished the liberating feeling of walking on snow and ice, and yet knowing and fearing that, if I’d taken the wrong step, I could have plunged to an icy, watery depth on the other side of the world.
For just a moment tonight I was taken back to my experiences with snow.
The other day, my fellow Scandophile, Liam mentioned in a comment on my blog a Swedish band, Hello Saferide, who sing in English. They’re the English language band of the singer, Annika Norlin, who I discovered through her Swedish language band, Säkert!
Liam described Hello Saferide in these terms…
The songs are wonderful, and she’s without a doubt my favourite lyricist: her words are poetic, with the sweet turns of phrase unique to Scandinavian speakers of English. Each song is a wonderful short story: hopes for the child she could have had with her ex, waiting for a new lover to come back from a holiday, wishing she was a lesbian because she loves her best friend so damn much. Playful, everyday, lovely stuff.
And so tonight I went online to find out a little more about them.
That’s when I discovered the song “Arjeplog” by Hello Saferide. It’s a song about getting out of Stockholm and spending time in the countryside at any place in particular, I assume, but in this song, it’s a small town in the Sweden’s north. Co-incidentally, I actually work with someone from this town who went to university with Annika, so discovering the song had a double poignancy for me.
It’s a lovely song, very pretty, with slightly melancholic, clever lyrics.
And the wind in the trees are all: sch-uuung, sch-uuung
And the trains that pass by are all: sch-du-dung, sch-du-dung
And you and me are like: let’s go out for a walk
And our feet in the snow are like: tsch-ooo, tsch-ooo
and the choir in my chest is like: oooo- oooo
And the Stockholm insecurity is like: I don’t exist
But what moved me most was the simple, single-shot video clip…
I’m beginning to understand how the Swedes think about snow. It’s maybe similar to how I feel about the outback and the desert. It’s a place where you can go somewhere truly alone, and experience the power of silence, and where you can really hear yourself think, if you know what I mean.