Små grodorna

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Små grodorna (Swedish for "The Little Frogs") is a traditional Swedish dance and song traditionally performed at midsummer, where the participants dance around the maypole. The dance involves movements that illustrate body parts that frogs lack, namely "ears" (öron) and "tails" (svansar). Occasionally, Små grodorna is also sung at Christmas, but instead of dancing around the maypole, Swedes dance around the Christmas tree.

The melody originates from a military march from the french revolution "La Chanson de l’Oignon" ("The onion song"),[1] with the chorus "Au pas, camarade, au pas camarade / au pas, au pas, au pas!" ("In step, comrade"). The enemies of the French at the time, the British, changed the text with condescending irony to "Au pas, grenouilles!" ("In step, little frogs"). The melody is still in use in a French children's song with the original lyrics "Au pas camarades" and is also used in Military occasions.. It is still (1999) not known how the melody ended up in Sweden, but the Swedish lyrics are clearly inspired by the English version.

Although the song is not often performed outside Sweden, hundreds of examples of people singing and dancing "Små grodorna" have been uploaded to YouTube, and the performance groups range in size from backyard family parties to multiple thousands gathered in fields and public parks. The actress Caroline Lagerfelt can be heard singing the song in Steven Spielberg's Minority Report. In the film, Peter Stormare is playing an eye-doctor, and Lagerfelt plays his nurse. She subsequently replaces the "ears" (öron) mentioned in the song with "eyes" (ögon).

Traditional lyrics in Swedish:

Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se.
Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se.
Ej öron, ej öron, ej svansar hava de.
Ej öron, ej öron, ej svansar hava de.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.[2]

English translation:

The little frogs, the little frogs are funny to observe.
The little frogs, the little frogs are funny to observe.
No ears, no ears, no tails do they possess.
No ears, no ears, no tails do they possess.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.

A more literal English translation:

The small frogs, the small frogs are funny to see.
The small frogs, the small frogs are funny to see.
No ears, no ears, no tails have they.
No ears, no ears, no tails have they.
Quack quack quack, quack quack quack,
Quack quack quack quacka.
Quack quack quack, quack quack quack,
Quack quack quack quacka.

There is also a version featuring pigs.

Små grisarna, små grisarna är lustiga att se.
Små grisarna, små grisarna är lustiga att se.
Båd öron, båd öron, och svansar hava de.
Båd öron, båd öron, och svansar hava de.
Å nöff nöff nöff, å nöff nöff nöff,
å nöff nöff nöff nöff nöff.
Å nöff nöff nöff, å nöff nöff nöff,
å nöff nöff nöff nöff nöff.

English translation:

The little pigs, the little pigs are funny to observe.
The little pigs, the little pigs are funny to observe.
Both ears, both ears and tails do they possess.
Both ears, both ears and tails do they possess.
Oh oink oink oink, oh oink oink oink,
oh oink oink oink oink oink
Oh oink oink oink, oh oink oink oink,
oh oink oink oink oink oink

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sydsvenskan 21 juni 2007 -"Små grodorna" är en lökvisa
  2. ^ Texten till "Små grodorna" | Nyheter | Aftonbladet