List of Sveriges Medeltida Ballader

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This is a list of ballads found in Sveriges Medeltida Ballader.

Ballads of the supernatural (Naturmytiska visor)[edit]

Number Title TSB Cognates Notes Synopsis
1 Riddar Stigs runor A 4
2 Sömnrunorna A 11 Child 43[1] A young maiden is widely reputed to have spent the night with many men, yet she remains a virgin. Her reputation travels so far, it comes to the Prince of England. Determined to win her, he calls for his horse and rides to meet her. When he arrives, she invites him into her chamber, but as soon as he sits on her bed, his eyes grow heavy and he lays down to sleep. Three days later the maiden awakes him and sends him on his way, none the wiser. In truth, she had written "raven runes" [ramme runor], the 'Sleep Runes' of the song-title, upon the sheets.
3 Kung Erik och spåkvinnan A 12 King Erik sends for a fortune teller. After testing her abilities, he is informed that he (and in some variants his queen) does not have long to live.
4 Jungfrun i fågelhamn A 16 A man tries to catch a deer in the woods. The deer turns into a hawk. He feeds the hawk a piece of his own flesh, and it turns into a maid, who explains that her stepmother had cast a spell on her.
5 Den förtrollade riddaren A 19 A knight's stepmother transforms him into a werewolf, and tells him he must drink the blood of his brother to break the spell. He kills the stepmother and drinks the blood of her unborn son.
6 Varulven A 20 A maid is killed by a werewolf while walking the woods.
7 Förvandling och förlösning A 22 Mother and daughter are approached by a fox and a wolf who accuse them of being their mothers, and of having turned them into animals. They drink the women's blood, and a "fortune teller" appears, transforming them into humans again.
8 Blacken A 25 A king's enchanted horse, Blacken, swims after the king when he goes abroad. He returns and dies of exhaustion.
9 Ravnen Rune A 26 Rune the Raven visits Kerstin, who is held prisoner by her husband. Rune flies to Kerstin's father, who come to the rescue on his enchanted horse Blacken. In some variants, Blacken loses his powers when his name is spoken, throws his master off and continues alone (and dies of exhaustion).
10 Jungfrun i hindhamn A 27 A man out hunting fails to heed his mother's advice not to shoot a deer. When he flays the deer, he finds locks of hair and jewelry, and realizes that the deer was his sister (lover) under a spell.
11 Lindormen A 29 Child 34[1] A maid goes to bed with a lindworm, and wakes up next to a king's son.
12 Jungfrun förvandlad till lind A 30 Child 34[1] A maid has been transformed into a lime tree (usually by her stepmother). Another maid encounters the tree and sends for help.
13 De två systrarna A 38 Child 10[2] One sister drowns the other. The dead sister is made into a harp, and the harp reveals the crime.
14 Den förtrollade barnaföderskan (Liten Kerstins förtrollning) A 40 Child 6[2] A woman's pregnancy is prolonged through magic.
15 Redebold och Gullborg A 41 Child 7 (and Child 8)[2] The supernatural element in 15–16 lies in the breaking of the name taboo being the cause of Redebold/Hillebrand's death. This "dead-naming" is omitted in the English ballads. Redebold elopes with his beloved Gullborg. Her father and his men go after them. Redebold prepares to fight them, and asks Gullborg not to mention his name. When he kills her father (or brother), she calls out for him, and he is immediately cut down.
16 Hilla lilla A 42 Child 7 (and 8)[2] Hilla relates her misfortunes, including "dead-naming" her beloved Hillebrand, as in the above, and being sold (and/or locked up) by her family.
17 Riddaren i fågelhamn A 44 A maid will only accept a suitor who can fly. A young man makes wings of gold and flies to her.
18 Unge Svedendal (Hertig Silfverdal) A 45 Svipdagsmál Svedendal is cursed to not find peace until he finds the woman meant for him, whom he has never met. He awakes his dead father, who offers help in the form of various enchanted items. Svedendal meets a shepherd who leads him to the maiden, who awaits him, herself under a spell that only he can break.
19 Agneta och havsmannen A 47 Child 41[1] Agneta follows a merman to his underwater abode, where she stays and has several children. Hearing church bells, she longs for home, and is permitted to go visit her family. She disregards all conditions her captor has postulated for her release, and he appears, demanding she returns to care for her children, but Agneta says she does not care.
20 Näcken bortför jungfrun A 48 A neck abducts a maid.
21 Ungersven och havsfrun A 49 A man is abducted by a sea-troll, or mermaid, who makes him forget his past. In some variants, he saves himself by playing a magical harp.
22 Harpans kraft A 50 A man asks his beloved why she is unhappy. She replies that she has two (or more) sisters who drowned (or that she was prophesied to drown herself). Precautions are taken, but the girl falls in the river nonetheless. The man plays a magical harp to force the neck to give her (and her sisters) back.
23 Havsfruns tärna A 51 A man successfully frees his sister from a sea-troll or mermaid, where she has been held prisoner for years. The sea-troll mourns her loss.
24 Den bergtagna A 54 Child 41[1] A maid is led astray and imprisoned by a mountain dwarf (bergtagning [sv]). They have several children. She returns to see her mother, but is taken back inside the mountain and made to forget her family (or killed).
25 Bergman och Herreman A 58 A mountain dwarf asks for a maid's hand, then takes her away by force, but she turns around and rides back home.
26 Herr Magnus och havsfrun (Herr Mannelig) A 59 Sir Magnus is courted by a female troll, but turns her down.
27 Herr Peder och dvärgens dotter A 61 Sir Peder is out riding, and arrives in a mountain, where he meets a dwarf's daughter. He kills her.
28 Riddar Tynne A 62
29 Herr Olof och älvorna A 63 Child 42[1] Sir Olof encounters fairies who invite him to dance with them. He declines, and falls ill and dies.
30 Jungfrurnas gäst A 64
31 Älvefärd A 65
32 Sorgens makt A 67 Child 77[3] A mourning girl receives a nightly visit from her dead fiancé.
33 Styvmodern A 68 A woman returns from the dead when she sees her children suffer at the hands of their stepmother.
34 Gengångaren A 69
35 Herr Mårten A 70 A man encounters Sir Mårten, whom he knows to be dead. Apparently, Mårten had wrongfully claimed a piece of land, and demands that his wife return it. If his wife does not believe the man, Mårten explains, she shall find Mårten's boots filled with blood.
36 Herr Holger A 71

Legendary ballads (Legendvisor)[edit]

Number Title TSB Cognates Notes Synopsis
37 Jungfru Maria och Jesus B 4
38 Underbar syn B 7
39 Sankte Staffan B 8 Child 22[2]
40 Sankt Göran och draken B 10
41 Sankt Olovs kappsegling B 12
42 Liten Karin B 14 A king becomes infatuated with Karin (St. Catherine). He offers her gifts, but she refuses them. He has her executed in a "nail barrel" (Swedish: spik[e]tunna). She is taken to heaven, and the king to hell.
43 Maria Magdalena B 16 Child 21[2] Mary Magdalene meets Jesus in the wilderness. She claims to be a virgin, but Jesus says this is not true, and that she has had three children, with her father, her brother, and the parish priest. As punishment, she must stay in the wilderness for seven years. She is then allowed to enter heaven.
44 Fru Gunnel och Eluf väktare B 17 When the king is away, Lady Gunnel releases all prisoners. She blames Eluf the guard, swearing that if she is not speaking the truth, she will give birth to seven dogs. Eluf is executed; miracles occur at his place of death. Gunnel gives birth to dogs, which she kills.
45 Herr David och hans styvsöner B 18
46 Herr Peder och hans syster B 20 Sir Peder tries to seduce his sister. When she refuses his advances, he falsely claims that she has murdered her illegitimate children. She is burned at the stake. Peder refuses to let her drink. Doves take her to heaven, and ravens take Peder to hell.
47 Herr Töres' döttrar B 21 Child 14[2]
48 Duvans sång (Duvans sång på liljekvist) B 22 A bird sings to a maid that she is expected in (or asks her to follow it to) heaven. Soon after, as she is about to marry, she falls ill and dies.
49 Isa lilla mö B 25
50 Sjöfarare i hungersnöd B 26
51 Herr Peder och pilgrimen B 28
52 Eldprovet B 29
53 Rik och fattig syster B 30
54 Den rike mannens själ B 32

Historical ballads (Historiska visor)[edit]

Number Title TSB Cognates Notes Synopsis
55 Junker Stränger C 3 Queen Dagmar is brought to Denmark, 1205
56 Slaget vid Lena C 5 The Battle of Lena, 1208
57 Drottning Dagmars död C 6 The death of Queen Dagmar, 1212
58 Drottning Bengjerd C 7 Queen Bengjerd requests taxes, 1214
59 Vreta klosterrov C 8 Abduction from Vreta Abbey
60 Folke Algotssons brudrov C 15 Folke Algotsson abducts Ingrid Svantepolksdotter, 1288
61 Sven Grotheson C 16 Treats the same event as the preceding entry, and is also known as "Folke Algotssons brudrov", but considered a distinct ballad
62 Faxehus' förstörelse C 28 The burning of Faxehus (Faxeholm), 1434
63 Sten Sture d. ä. och dalkarlarna C 35 The War of Deposition against King Hans, 1501–1502
64 Dalvisan C 40 The Battle of Brunnbäck Ferry, 1521
65 Gustav Vasa och dalkarlarna (Vasavisan) C 41 The Swedish War of Liberation, 1521(–1523)

Ballads of chivalry (Riddarvisor)[edit]

Number Title TSB Cognates Notes Synopsis
66 Dansen i rosende lund D 7
67 Esbern Snare D 16
68 Den rika bondedottern D 21
69 Herr Karl av Norges land D 32
70 Herr Karl och klosterjungfrun D 37 Child 25[2] Sir Karl pretends to be dead in order to take his beloved out of convent.
71 Herr Lagman bortför herr Tors brud D 45
72 Rudegull seglar bort med sin trolovade (Vänner och fränder) D 46 Rudegull's beloved is married off to another while he's away, but he arrives just in time to elope with the bride.
73 Herr Nils och stolts Inga D 49
74 Stolts Inga och junker Willemson D 53
75 Pilgrimen och jungfrun D 60
76 Herr Samsing D 61
77 Kämpen Grimborg D 61 B
78 Herr Grönborg D 62
79 Herr Esbjörn D 67
80 Ung Hillerström D 69 Child 71[3]
81 Jungfrun hämtar sin fästman D 72 Child 53[1]
82 Herr Hjälmer D 78
83 Rosea lilla D 84 Rosea and her beloved, a duke, are separated by the king, and Rosea is married off to a count. Upon hearing this, the duke returns to her, and they die in each other's arms. Flowers or trees grow from their graves, their leaves intertwining.
84 Herr Niklas och stolts Adelin D 85
85 Axel och Valborg D 87
86 Broder prövar syster D 90 A young man courts a maid. She explains that she has lost her family, except for her brother. The man reveals himself as the brother.
87 Syster friar till broder D 91
88 Herr Axel och hans syster D 96
89 Henrik Valdemarsson D 99
90 Herr Esbjörn och Ingalill D 104
91 Ros Elin och kejsare David D 110
92 Rosilias sorg D 115
93 Den falska tärnan D 118
94 Det ärbara frieriet D 125
95 Stolts Inga och herr Joel D 131
96 Förtvivlan D 133
97 Riddar Stigs bröllop D 139
98 Giljarekonst D 140
99 De goda råden D 144
100 Den försmådde friaren D 148
101 Jungfru Gunnela och riddar Perleman D 153
102 Konungen och hertig Henriks syster D 154
103 Palle Bossons död D 163
104 Herr Oler D 167
105 Lussi lilla D 168
106 Brud i vånda D 182
107 Väna Sigrid D 184
108 Jöde Gunnarsson och stolts Hilla D 185
109 Herr Esbjörn och stolts Elin D 195
110 Torkel Tronesson D 201
111 Ungersvens klagan D 214 A young man holds off going to his betrothed due to bad weather. When he arrives the next day, he finds her with another.
112 Älskogsklagan D 216
113 Herr Peder och fru Margareta D 220
114 Trohetsprövningen D 224 A man pretends to be dead to see how his betrothed will react. He is upset to find her dancing and having fun. She says that she knew he was not dead.
115 Samtalet D 226
116 Herr Ivar Jonsson och danska drottningen D 228 Sir Ivar dances with the Danish queen. The king threatens to execute him, and he flees on a ship.
117 Liten Kerstin och drottningen D 232
118 Folke Lagmansson och drottning Hillevi (Falkvard Lagermanson) D 233
119 Falcken avrättas D 235
120 Frillans hämnd D 239 Child 68[3]
121 Herr Wronge D 243
122 Herr Peder och liten Kerstin D 245 Child 73[3]
123 Fru Märta och herr Tideman D 247
149 Blekman (Blekman och Alf) D 249, D 308
124 Herr Tavel och stolts Adelin D 250
125 Ebbe Skammelsson D 251 While Ebbe is away, his brother tells his betrothed he's dead, in order to marry her himself. Ebbe returns home for the wedding and kills them both (and kills or mutilates his parents).
126 Herr Ingevald dödar sin brud D 254
127 Apelbrand och lilla Lena D 255
128 Salmon D 256 Salmon invites his lovers to his wedding. They give him food and drink, which causes him to go on a rampage, killing the guests, ending with the bride.
129 Kung Valdemar och Tova (Tova lilla) D 258
130 Herr Peder, liten Kerstin och konungen D 260
131 Fru Gundela D 274
132 Dödsbudet D 279 Child 75[3]
133 Kärestans död D 280
134 Peder Pallebosson D 282
135 Hustrun dör D 283
136 Fästmannen dör D 284
137 Farsot i landet D 286
138 Lisa och Nedervall D 288 Child 15[2]
139 Sonens sorg D 289 Child 15[2]
140 Herr Peder och fru Malfred D 291
141 Herr Olof bränns inne D 292
142 Samsing drunknar D 293
143 Stolts Margreta drunknar D 294
144 Ungersvens svek D 295
145 Linden och den falska tärnan D 297
146 Herr Nils och herr Tideman D 299
147 Olof Strångeson D 300
148 Herr Dalebo Jonsson D 304
149 Blekman D 249, D 308
150 Ebbe Tykeson (Ebbe Tykesons dödsritt) D 309 Ebbe is killed by a group of men, and his horse carries his body (or his clothes) home. His mother does not let his fiancée know that the corpse is his, and when she finds out she dies from sorrow.
151 Ribbolt och Göta lilla D 311
152 Herr Aland och liten Cedeborg D 312
153 Sven i rosengård D 320 Child 13[2] Sven's mother asks him about his bloody clothes, and by degrees he confesses to having murdered his brother.
154 Den lillas testamente D 321 Child 12[2] A girl who has been poisoned by her stepmother divides her belongings among her family, but wishes the agonies of hell on her killers.
155 Tove Slätt D 323
156 Tore och hans syster D 324 Child 69[3] Tore interrogates his sister (or daughter) about her lover, but she explains away his accusations. He then shows her her lover's cut-off hand, and she realizes Tore has killed him.
157 Hustrudråpet D 329
158 Palne dräpes D 334
159 Rikelund och Vendeli D 342
160 Kung Valdemar och hans syster D 346 Child 64[3]
161 Ingemar och Hofrid D 352 Child 89[4]
162 Riddare på barnsängsgille D 358
163 Riddar Malkolm fängslas för häststöld D 359
164 Herr Peders sjöresa D 361 Child 57[3] Sir Peder is told that he will die at sea. When his ship begins to keel over, he and his crew play dice to determine who among them is the greatest sinner. Peder loses, and confesses to numerous sins. He is thrown overboard, and the ship recovers.
165 Riddar Stigs fall D 365
166 Herren Båld D 367
167 Kung Valdemar och hans söner D 372
168 Olyckligt levnadslopp D 374
169 Klosterjungfrun D 376
170 Paris och Helena I D 380
171 Paris och Helena II D 381
172 Hertig Fröjdenborg och fröken Adelin D 390 Child 269[5] Count Fröjdenborg courts Lady Adelin. Her father has Fröjdenborg locked up, and later killed. His heart is served to Adelin, and when she finds out, she kills herself. They are buried together.
173 Den bortsålda D 391 Child 95[4] A poor man sells his daughter, who tries to coax her relatives into buying her back. They all refuse, but her beloved gladly buys her freedom.
174 David och Solfager D 392 Child 266[5]
175 Hertig Henrik D 393
176 Knut Huling D 394
177 Per svinaherde D 395
178 Kerstin stalldräng D 396 Child 63[3]
179 Möns morgondrömmar D 397
180 Kung David och stolts Malfred D 398
181 Liten båtsman D 399 Child 110[4]
182 Liten vallpiga D 405 A king is charmed by a shepherdess's singing. He sends for her to come and sing for him, and ends up taking her as his queen.
183 Allebrand harpolekaren (Allebrand harpspelaren) D 409
184 De sju guldbergen D 410 (The first half of) Child 9[2]
185 Rövaren Rymer (Den falske riddaren) D 411 Child 4[2] A "false knight" abducts a girl, planning to kill her, as he has several others, but she ties him up and kills him instead.
186 Guldsmedsdottern som dräpte kungen D 413
187 Dankungen och guldsmedens dotter D 415
188 Herr Lage och jungfru Elinsborg D 419
189 Riddar Olle D 421 Child 5[2]
190 Florens Benediktsson och fru Margareta D 424
191 Skepparen och jungfrun D 426 A maid follows a skipper aboard his ship, falls asleep and wakes up in a distant country. Endings vary: the girl may drown or escape, or the skipper reveals himself as her beloved in disguise.
192 Dankungen och Långlöte möja D 427
193 Habor och Signild D 430
194 Karl Vågeman D 434
195 De bortstulna konungadöttrarna D 435 Two royal daughters are taken away at a young age. They come to a castle where they serve as maids. When the queen wants one of them to marry her son, they reveal that they are her long lost daughters.
196 Fredrik II i Ditmarsken D 436

Heroic ballads (Kämpavisor)[edit]

Number Title TSB Cognates Notes Synopsis
197 Vidrik Verlandsons kamp med Torkel Troneson E 5
198 De tolv starka kämpar E 10 Vilkina saga chapters 178–182; Der Rosengarten zu Worms[6]
199 Den stridbare munken E 19
200 David och Goliat E 23
201 Fästmö befriar fästman E 31 A girl frees her beloved from prison.
202 Syster befriar broder E 32 A girl frees her imprisoned brother (in some variants after killing several men).
203 Ulf från Jern E 37
204 Sivert Snarensven E 49
205 Sven Svanevit E 52 Sven Svanevit encounters a wandering shepherd, who claims to have killed Sven's father; Sven kills him with his thumb. He engages a second shepherd with a series of riddles; the shepherd answers them correctly, and Sven rewards him with a golden ring.
206 Stolt herr Alf E 58
207 Den stridbara jungfrun E 64
208 Kung Speleman E 90
209 Helleman unge E 96 Child 89[4]
210 Sven Fötling och trollet E 115
211 Vidrik Verlandsons kamp mot resen E 119 Vilkina saga chapters 170–177[6]
212 Tors hammarhämtning E 126 Þrymskviða[6]
213 Esbjörn Prude och Ormen stark E 128 Orm Stórólfssons saga[6]
214 Ulven starke E 129
215 Orm ungersven E 132
216 Holger Dansk och Burman E 133 Burman, a giant or ogre, claims the king's daughter Gloria. She releases the imprisoned Ogier the Dane who defeats Burman.
217 Ramunder E 139 Ramunder (or Ramund) gets new clothes and sets off to kill several giants.
218 Hemming och bergtrollet E 144
219 Havsmannen E 148

Jocular ballads (Skämtvisor)[edit]

Number Title TSB Cognates Notes Synopsis
220 Den giftaslystna F 1
221 Friarna F 5
222 De omöjliga uppgifterna F 6
223 Möns och svennens samtal F 7
224 Finn Komfusenfej F 8
225 Den motsträvige brudgummen F 10
226 Herr Lage och herr Jon F 11
227 Skära strå F 12
228 Valiknut F 16
229 Mjölnarens dotter F 17 A man hides in a sack in order to get near the miller's daughter.
230 Kom till mig på lördag kväll F 18
231 Bonde borrade hjul F 19
232 Flickor planterade kål F 20
233 Bonddrängen och jungfrun F 22
234 Germund smed och prästens dotter F 24
235 Klampen F 25 A maid refuses to let a man in, since she does not hear the sound of her beloved's wooden leg. The man kills him and steals the wooden leg.
236 Tiggargubbens brud F 26
237 Den förförde ungersvennen F 29
238 Käringen på havsbotten (Den ondsinta käringen) F 30
239 Änka och mö F 31
240 Malins prov F 32
241 Håkan Hök F 33
242 Käringen på bröllop F 36
243 Bonden och hans hustru (Det kommer en ryttare ridande) F 40 A farmer sees a knight approaching. The farmer's wife tells the farmer to give the knight the best of food and drink, and let him sleep next to her in bed, and that the farmer may sleep in the pigsty.
244 Per spelman F 45 Per trades his only cow for a fiddle, which he loses, and gets scolded by his wife.
245 Det underbara bältet F 46 A man has a belt that is so magnificent that everyone who sees it forgets what they are doing. He declines generous offers from priests and kings who wish to buy the belt, only to end up trading it for a pair of old gloves.
246 Truls med bågen F 53
247 Lars och Mas F 54
261 Den väldige mannen F 55
248 Bonden och kråkan (Bonden i timmerskog) F 58 Sometimes regarded as a satire on the tithe and other taxations.[7] A farmer shoots a huge crow. Its body is used for an impressive amount of things: food, shoes, and a ship.
249 Kolorumgris F 60
250 Rävens testamente F 63
251 Bonden och räven (Bonden gick åt grönan äng) F 64 A farmer bargains with a fox for his hide.
252 Kattens död F 66
253 Tordyvelns bröllop F 67 A beetle employs a horse-fly to propose to a fly on his behalf. The fly replies that she is rich (eats from silver plates) and the beetle poor (lives in the dirt, among the livestock). The horse-fly hits the fly, and she agrees to marry the beetle.
254 Bröllopet i Kråkelund F 68
255 Bonden och oxen F 69
256 Sven den unge F 70 Child 3[2][a]
257 Bröllopskosten F 71
258 Leja tjänstepiga F 72
259 Käringen och hovmannnen F 73
260 Tjuvarna F 75
262 Daniel ungersven
263 Bakvända världen

See also[edit]


  • Jonsson, Bengt R.; Solheim, Svale; Danielson, Eva, eds. (1978). The types of the Scandinavian medieval ballad (2nd ed.). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. ISBN 82-00-09479-0.


  1. ^ Child does not name the Swedish ballad, but one of its source texts, or one or more of its Scandinavian counterparts.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Child, Francis James (1884). The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. 1. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Child, Francis James (1882). The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. 1. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Child, Francis James (1885). The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. 2. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Child, Francis James (1886). The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. 2. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b Child, Francis James (1894). The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. 5. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d Arwidsson, Adolf Ivar (1834). Svenska fornsånger (in Swedish). 1. Stockholm: P. A. Nordstedt & Söner. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Inspelningar och noter". Svenskt visarkiv (in Swedish). Musikverket. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2018.