Til ungdommen (English: "For the Youth"), also known by the words of the first line Kringsatt av fiender ("Surrounded by Enemies"), is a poem from 1936 by Norwegian poet and writer Nordahl Grieg (1902–1943) . It was set to music in 1952 by the Danish composer Otto Mortensen (1907–1986). The song has been recorded by various artists and has been sung at meetings held by various organizations. After the terror attacks of 22 July 2011, it was used in many memorial gatherings and services.
The poem was written in 1936 by Nordal Grieg at Ny-Hellesund in Søgne for use by the Norwegian Students' Society after a request by Trond Hegna (1898–1992) who was a Member of Parliament. The poem is directly inspired by the Spanish civil war, which had broken out the same summer. It was set to music by composer Otto Mortensen in 1952, some nine years after Grieg's death.
In 1988 it was recorded by Grex Vocalis. In 2000 it was orchestrated by Tormod Tvete Vik and sung by Norwegian actress and singer Herborg Kråkevik in her CD titled Kråkeviks Songbok. Kråkevik's version excludes verses 7-10.
The song has also been recorded by Danish rock musician Kim Larsen, first on his album 231045-0637 from 1979. However, on this album it was called 682 A rather than Til Ungdommen, a reference to the song's listing in the Danish folk high school songbook. Kim Larsen also included the song on his live album Kim i Cirkus (1985), and on the live CD and DVD on YouTube (2007), on these two occasions titling it by the first line in the Danish version of the poem, Kringsat af Fjender.
The song has also been recorded by Norwegian experimental band The Soundbyte. Til Ungdommen was sung by Norwegian singer Torhild Ostad on 23 November 2003 in Kleinmachnow near Berlin, Germany, as the memorial stone was unveiled at the site where the poet Nordahl Grieg died when the Lancaster bomber in which he was flying as a war correspondent hit the ground on 2 December 1943.
On 24 July 2011, under enormous worldwide media coverage, the song was sung by the congregation of the Oslo Cathedral memorial service in relation to the 2011 Norway attacks. It was also sung at Denmark's official Memorial Service at Vor Frue Kirke in Copenhagen on 27 July 2011.
Sissel Kyrkjebø sang the song as the concluding performer during the Norwegian National Memorial Ceremony on 21 August 2011 in the Oslo Spektrum arena, which was held to remember those killed in the 2011 Norway attacks. The program was broadcast on all TV channels across Norway. Ingebjørg Bratland sang the song on 30 July 2011 in the Oslo Cathedral.
Text of the poem
Til ungdommen by Nordahl Grieg.
|Original Norwegian[a]||Poetic English[b]|
Kringsatt av fiender, gå
Faced by your enemies
- Kim Larsen's version (in 1979) of the song is titled "682A" — a reference to its place in Højskolesangbogen, the Danish Folk High School songbook
- The song was performed live in July 1988 by Kim Larsen, Björn Afzelius, Åge Aleksandersen and Jahn Teigen, with verses alternating between Danish and Norwegian. The song was recorded and shown live on television, but never released on CD or vinyl.
- Anders Buaas has recorded his non vocal version of a song called Til Ungdommen on his musical work "The Witches of Finnmark" (2017).
In popular culture
- The instrumental song Closing the Circle by Danish progressive metal band Beyond Twilight (on their 2001 album The Devil's Hall of Fame) contains melody snippets taken from Til Ungdommen.
- The song Songen Åt Fangen by Norwegian black metal band Vreid (on their debut album Kraft) uses Til Ungdommen as its primary melody.
- The poem Til Ungdommen(in Norwegian)
- To The Youth - English Version, Translated by Rod Sinclair (in English)
- Memorial stone to War Correspondent Grieg (Loss of Lancaster Lm316)
- SULA song sung at Berlin memorial concert (Sula:Kirstine Sand, Mette Kathrine Jensen and Rod Sinclair)
- Torhild Ostad - Music (Myspace Inc.)
- "Kongen og dronningen gråt av sang i domkirken". NRK. Retrieved 25 July 2011. (Contains video from the service)
- Andreassen, Jostein (1992) Nordahl Grieg på Sørlandet: Et studieheft om forfatterskap og miljø (J. Andreassen) ISBN 978-82-91188-01-0
- Nag, Martin (1989) Ung må Nordahl Grieg ennå være (Solum) ISBN 978-82-560-0655-7
- Hoem, Edvard (1989) Til ungdommen : Nordahl Griegs liv (Oslo: Gyldendal) ISBN 82-05-29946-3