Saturday, January 18, 2014

Evert Taube, Sommarnatt / Summer Night



Kom i min famn och låt oss dansa här en vals, min Rosmari!
Natten är ljuv, le blott och dansa!
Lekfullt och lätt du svävar än som fjäril väckt av sommarvind
D                                A
än som den skyggaste hind.  
 [ NB Often quoted as "skygga hind", but I think "skyggaste" is Taube's original.] 
(f) A
   Stödd mot min arm du böjer nätt ditt huvud och ditt gyllne hår
A                 A7                  D
lyser av ungdom och doftar vår,
D                                  A
tvekande ler du åt de bevekande tonerna,
             E7                  A
lätt och lekande valsen går.


Fönsterna öppnas mot sommarnatten
Bm             Bm/A      E7/G#   E7
blommorna dofta och fjärdens vatten
A                                               F#m
speglar den stigande månen som röd över
E        B7       E      (g#-e-f#-g#-a-b)
Ingaröskogen står.
A                             F#m      C#7
Vinden har somnat i båtarnas segel,
C#7                               F#m
ut över Baggensfjärdens spegel
tonerna ila,
måsarna vila
E7       E9 E7  A
tysta, i månens ljus.

        Bm  Bm/A Bm/G#   Bm/F#       E7                  A
Vad vore livet,   Rosma - ri,       för - utan sång och dans?
A                   E/A          Bm7         E
I sommarnattskymningen ljuvlig och sval,
  Bm7         E       D/F#           A
i toner som locka förföriskt till bal,
  Bm      F#7/C#     Bm/D    Bm/A  G#7
i dans, i dans       vi glömma tid och rum!
G#7   C#7   F#m4  F#m
Kom, låt oss far  -   a
  D             A         Bm
i blomdoft, ljus och toner
D        Db5        E7  A
hän till drömm - ars  land!

SUMMER NIGHT   (singable free translation)

Skerry Waltz

Come to my arms and let us dance a waltz together, Rose-Marie!
Soft is the night, just smile and dance now!
Playful and light you flutter like a butterfly in summer breeze,
shy as the deer in the trees.
Here in my arms, you bow your head and lean your lovely golden hair,
fragrant with youth and the fresh spring air.
Smiling, you hesitate at the beguiling tones of the waltzing violin's harmony.

Windows wide open to summer evening,
scent of the flowers, and bay-waters gleaming,
showing the path of the moon rising over the
woods of the neighbouring isle.
Windless the sails of the scattered flotilla,
all of the bay is as still as a mirror;
music comes creeping,
seagulls are sleeping,
silent in pale moonlight.

What would our lives be, Rose-Marie, without a song or dance?
In summer-night twilight so clear is the call,
the sounds that entice us to come to the ball.
The dance, the dance, we lose our sense of time and space, let's wander
with fragrance, light, and music, in the land of dreams!

This ought to be a public service, because the guitar chords of Evert Taube's loveliest song aren't available anywhere else (the attempt on is a botch). I give it in A, the key of the piano transcription in Hjärtats nyckel heter sång. You've got to love a sequence that includes a G#7 --technically eight sharps! (The lower-case letters represent single notes on the guitar.)

But A was far too low for my voice, so for the English version I sang it in in D, using a capo at the fifth fret and retaining the chord shapes shown above. When I came to record the Swedish version I decided this was still a bit low, so I transposed the chords to "D" (this plays better, I think)  and then used the capo at the second fret so I could actually sing in E.  Non-guitarists may find this confusing!

The song was apparently written in 1928 (1927 according to Svenska Akademien Ordbok); it is often called "Rose-Marie" or "Kom i min famn". It was published in the 1936 collection Ultra Marin. Each of the three verses has different music, and the lyrics follow this spontaneous flow of melody and deploy rhyme capriciously or not at all; it manages to sound like a flowing casual speech as well as a waltz that starts from the gentlest birdcalls and ends in giddy ecstasy. The third verse is usually given twice.

[In Abba's barn-storming show tune "Thank You For The Music", the chorus runs (in part):

Who can live without it
I ask in all honesty
What would life be
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say Thank you for the music, for giving it to me...

The italicised words are a very overt tribute to the climactic line in "Sommarnatt".]

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