A typical snapsvisa is a short, vigorous song; its lyrics usually tell of the delicacy and glory of the drink, or of the singer’s craving for snaps. Snapsvisor are short, bright, and easy to learn.
Snapsvisor are an important part of traditional and family festivities in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and among Swedish-speaking Finns. The singing of these drinking songs is also a lively part of Scandinavian student culture. They are also widespread among monolingually Finnish students in Finland, although they are rarely met with elsewhere in Finnish drinking culture.
The history of singing snapsvisor during parties is quite old. Carl Michael Bellman, a Swedish poet, published a collection of them in 1790; this was the Epistles of Fredman (Fredmans epistlar) which included 82 songs. In 1791 he published another collection, Songs of Fredman (Fredmans sånger), containing 65 songs.