The Lullabies of Europe
Danish lullabies

Hear samples of lullabies in Danish, follow the words, sing along and understand in English. You will find the audio samples below, with the lyrics. More about Danish Lullabies

The Elephant’s Lullaby (lyrics below)


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  The Sun is so red, Mother
I will Count the Stars
The Elephant’s Lullaby
Goodnight Song
Mother’s Song to Little Hans
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The Sun is so Red, Mother
Solen er så rød, mor
Sample (MP3 )

The sun is so red, mother
And the forest is becoming so dark
Now, the sun is dead, mother
And the day is over.
The fox goes out there, mother
We lock our gate.
Come, sit by my side, mother
And sing a little song.

The sky is so large, mother
With clear stars
What monsters live there, mother
On the star in the blue?
Do you think, they are boys, mother
Who looks down on me?
And do you think that they have beds, mother,
Aand sleep like me

Why does it becomes night mother?
With cold and bitter wind?
Listen to the little cat, mother
It miaws and likes to come in!
Seagulls and (bird)
Have no places to live
Listen, the stars are singing
They sing to calm me.

Solen er så rød, mor
og skoven bli'r så sort.
Nu er solen død, mor
og dagen gået bort.
Ræven går derude, mor
vi låser vores gang.
Kom, sæt dig ved min side, mor
og syng en lille sang.

Himlen er så stor, mor
med klare stjerner på
Hvem monstro der bor, mor
på stjernen i det blå?
Tror du det er drenge, mor
der kigger ned på mig?
Og tror du de har senge, mor
og sover li'som mig?

Hvorfor bli'r det nat, mor
med kold og bitter vind?
Hør den lille kat, mor
den mjaver og vil ind!
Mågerne og ternerne
har ingen sted at bo.
Hør, nu synger stjernerne,
de synger mig til ro!

About The Sun is so Red, Mother
The boy talks with his mother and asks a lot of questions as children usually do.
The idea is that when evening falls, it is associated with things that a child (or an adult) can be afraid of: darkness, death, evening sounds. In contrast to the “scary things” we have the mother singing to the child and the bright stars, where – in the boy’s imagination – other boys like him are living. (That is: the light and the life in the sky in contrast to the darkness and death in the night.)
This is considered a classic among Danish lullabies, written in 1920 by the Danish novelist, playwright and poet, Harald Bergstedt (1877-1965), with music composed by the world-renowned classical composer, Carl Nielsen (1865-1931).

The Elephant’s Lullaby
Elefantens vuggevise
Sample (MP3 )

Now the stars ignite in the blue sky
The half-moon raises its sable
I keep watching, so the bad mouse
Will not sneak into your trunk
Sleep tight, little Jumbo, rock-a-bye
Now the wood is getting dark
Now aunty, the old ostrich, is sleeping
And so is your uncle, the rhinoceros.

Now the wild beast calls in its sleep
In the brushwood of the big lianas
And the monkeys sing themselves to sleep
,in the cradle of green bananas.
Sleep tight, little Jumbo, you little darling
You will want for nothing, my friend
Tomorrow you will have a coconut
That you will use as a rattle.

A zebra puts on his pyjamas
With black and white stripes
A flying squirrel with fluffy legs
Sits in the dark and squeaks.
Sleep tight, little Jumbo, you’ve eaten well?
You know nothing of the worry a mother has
A little plantation with thousands of reeds
That we will pickle tomorrow.

Listen, the tiger roars its evening song
And looks out in all directions
At the waterhole, with sharpened claws,
the black panther sneaks around.

Sleep silently, little Jumbo, you little mite
You cute little beetroot
You asked me to tell you a fairy tale
Now you are already sleeping.

Nu tændes der stjerner på himlens blå
halvmånen løfter sin sabel
jeg våger, at ikke de slemme mus
skal liste sig op i din snabel.
Sov sødt, lille Jumbo, og visselul
nu bliver skoven så dunkel
nu sover tante, den gamle struds
og næsehornet, din onkel.

Nu kalder i søvne den vilde gnu
i krattet af store lianer
og aber synger sig selv i søvn
i vuggen af grønne bananer.
Sov sødt, lille Jumbo, dit lille pus
slet intet, min ven, skal du mangle
i morgen får du en kokosnød
og den skal du bruge som rangle.

En zebra tager sin natdragt på
med sorte og hvide striber
et flyveegern med lådne ben
sidder i mørket og piber.
Sov sødt, lille Jumbo, nu er du vel mæt?
du kender ej husmodersorgen
en lille plantage på tusinde rør
dem skal vi ha' syltet i morgen.

Hør, tigeren brøler sin aftensang
og spejder mod alle kanter
ved vadestedet, med slebet klo
der lister den sorte panter.

Sov tyst, lille Jumbo, dit lille myr
din nuttede lille rødbede
du bad mig fortælle et eventyr
nu sover du sødt allerede.

About The Elephant’s Lullaby
This lullaby is among the most popular lullabies today, and considered a classic among Danish lullabies. Using exotic animals as theme, the content and the text are simple and easily understood by a child. This was made politically correct in the 1990s: The word, negerdukkedreng (negro boy doll) was changed to kokosnød (coconut). The song was written in 1948 by the Danish writer and poet, Harald H. Lund, with music composed by writer-musician, Mogens Jermiin Nissen (1906-72).

Goodnight Song
Sample (MP3 )

Now the sun has gone to bed
Outside, night lies in wait
We must sleep now,
We must rest our body,
Because tomorrow we must get up.

The calmness of night is descending
All becomes calm, all breathes peace.
We must sleep now,
We must rest our body
,but tomorrow we will get up.

To a lovely day with music,
Friends, play and some sweets
We must sleep now,
We must rest our body,
Now the moon has risen.

Nu er solen gået i seng,
udenfor står natten på spring.
Vi skal sove nu,
vi skal hvile vores krop,
for i morgen skal vi op.

Nattens stilhed sænker sig ned,
alt bli'r roligt, alt ånder fred.
Vi skal sove nu,
vi skal hvile vores krop,
men i morgen står vi op.

Til en dejlig dag med musik,
kammerater, leg og lidt slik.
Vi skal sove nu,
vi skal hvile vores krop,
nu er månen stået op.

About Goodnight Song (ca. 1995/2000)
This lullaby is very popular, and was composed (lyrics and music) by Sigurd Barrett (1967 - ), pianist, composer and host of a Children’s TV programme in Denmark, and by fellow musician Steen Nikolaj Hansen . Sigurd usually sings this song at the end of his children’s show. This lullaby has sleeping time as theme: The day is over and we must sleep and rest so we will be fresh again in the morning

Mother’s Song to Little Hans
Mues sang få Hansemand
Sample (MP3 )

Be quiet now, my little boy
Please lie down to sleep
Mum is sitting by your bedS
inging rock-a-bye
Mum is so very tired
She badly needs to rest
It is dark and late at night
Go to sleep my child.

Dad is working very hard
Mum has to help
Hans cries again and again
When she has to leave
We have to work to earn a living
The children will suffer.
We cannot give them any better
even though we want to.

But in a little while
The harvesting is over
Then Mum and Dad will have money
Mum will have more time
there will be enough money
for a little winter clothing and shoes for each child,
Little Hans for sure
will get a sweater and a hat.

How will it go later,
when you kids grow up?
You’ll have to earn a living.
Who will take care of you?
I’ll think of you every day
And pray to The Lord
He will support you
,much better than I can do.

Ti no stell mi bette dreng,
leg dæ nie å sow,
Mue hon sedde ve di seng,
synge bysselow.
Mue hon æ få dawen træt,
trænge hått te hvill,
de æ mørk å silde næt,
sov do no bånlill.

Fåe han slidde dawen long,
Mue må å go mæj,
Hans han grædde manne gong,
næe hon goe hind væj,
vi må tien få fød å klæjr,
bønen må li ild,
vi kan itt gi dem et bejr,
liså gjan vi vild.

Men næe no, om itt så læng,
høsten æ fåbi,
så foe Fåe og Mue pæng.
Mue foe bæje ti,
så foe hwer ow bønen lett
vintestøv å sku,
Hansemand vi å ska hett
tråj a vinter lue.

Hwodden ska et go jer sien,
nær I blywe stue?
I skal sajtens ud å tien,
hvem ska vær jer gue?
A vil tænk po jer hwæ daw,
bej å te Wohæer,
han må bliw jer støttestaw,
bæjr end a kan væer.

About Mother’s Song to Little Hans
This lullaby originated from south Jutland, and is very old (year of composition, unknown), but not well-known in Denmark. This may, in part, be due to the fact that it was written in Jutlandic dialect. The song’s text was written by Marie Thulesen (1878-1924) with music by the Danish musician, Oluf Ring (1884-1946).

The song’s theme is about life in the country and a mother’s hopes and worries for her child: she sings for her son, Hans, who must sleep. She is tired and sad that she has to leave her children all day to work on the farm. But she hopes that things will get better and that her children will have a better future when they grow up and leave home. She promises to think of them everyday and to pray to God that they have a good life.

I will Count the Stars
Jeg vil tælle stjernerne
Sample (MP3 )

I will count the stars.
Now when there is peace.
But it is so hard.
To count them all.

I must use my fingers
to count them.
But Ole’s little hand,
has only five.

Five and five is only ten.
Off with shoes and socks!
I need to count my toes
To have enough.

There are still not enough.
Thousands of stars twinkle.
It was much easier
If I counted moons.

Jeg vil tælle stjernerne,
nu hvor der er fred.
Men det er så svært at få
alle sammen med.

Jeg må bruge fingrene
for at tælle dem.
Men på Oles lille hånd
er der bare fem.

Fem og fem er bare ti.
Af med sko og sok!
Jeg må tælle mine tæer,
hvis jeg skal få nok.

Der er ikke nok endnu.
Tusind stjerner blåner.
Det var meget nemmere,
hvis jeg talte måner.

About I will Count the Stars
This lullaby was written in 1951 by the famous Danish poet and writer, Halfdan Rasmussen (1915-2002). Rasmussen had written numerous rhymes and jingles, some of which are still being used in Danish beginner classes in public schools (e.g. Halfdans ABC). This lullaby’s music was composed by Hans Dalgaard (1919-81). The song is a simple story of a child who tries to count the stars with his/her fingers and toes.

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