Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stjernesludd lyrics, breaking down the text


The song Stjernesludd was first released by DumDum Boys on a single in 1997 and you can hear the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOVx7myiXCk (blocked by SME in many countries including Norway (and I'm unable to embed it on this page))
http://music.yahoo.com/dumdum-boys/albums/stjernesludd--159874800
http://wimp.no/wweb/track/1795367
http://itunes.apple.com/no/album/schlagers/id276853112

One of the songs that are played every Christmas is Stjernesludd by DumDum Boys. It has also been covered by a number of artists (including myself). Of the cover versions, I think this one is among the better ones:
In the Youtube comments there are people requesting lyrics in english and people trying to translate it. There are also people stating that they don't understand the lyrics. That's why I'm posting this this (and this is way too much text to fit inside a youtube comment field).


Many songs by DumDum Boys include one or more moments in each of their songs that make them stand out from many other artists. Stjernesludd is no exception as it breaks at least one rule since the first verse has fewer text lines than the other verses and the motion during the bridge is somewhat unusual.


Most of the lyrics written by Kjartan Kristiansen it’s full of metaphors and is quite cryptic at first glance. Some of them are easier to understand than others and you will realize what some texts are about only by hearing a single keyword about the song. Most people will not understand what the texts are about unless they read in between the lines.



Note that this is my own interpretation of this song. I have discussed it with a few friends and none of them had thought that this was what the song was about, but that what I said kind of made sense.

The lyrics+translations are as follows:
November har vært her,
lagt igjen sludd,
ser solen går ned i svarthvitt.

Gatene her har bare brente broer,
i kveld blinker byen som et mareritt.

Året så langt har vært bare myke pakker,
er redd det er for sent å ta det pent.
Glorien falmet før bladene falt,
grenene hvisket jeg fikk som fortjent.

Det er ikke alt jeg har sagt som er bull,
hadde jeg gods skulle du fått gull.



For i natt,
snøen laver ned,
lager vi engler,
og vi er i himmelen.



Alle snille barn er kjøpt og betalt,
på skjermen har sjarmen gått tom.
Gatens løse fugler er lagt under tre,
herberg er lagt ned så ingen har rom.
Jeg trenger noen svar,
så jeg ringer en svarer,
stemmen lyder kjent,
så lenge det varer.



I natt,
snøen laver ned,
lager vi engler,
og vi er i himmelen.
November has been here,
left sleet,
watching the sun go down in black and white.

The streets here have just burned down bridges,
tonight the city flashes like a nightmare.

The year so far has brought only soft gifts,
fear it’s too late to do it nicely.
The halo faded before the leaves fell,
the branches whispered I got what I deserved.
Not everything I have said was bull,
if I had goods you should get gold.



Because tonight,
the snow lowers down,
we create angels
and we are in heaven.



All good children are bought and paid for
the screen has no charm left.




The streets’ loose birds are placed under the tree, the hostels are closed down so no one have room.




I need some answers, I call an answerer,
the voice sounds familiar,
as long as it lasts.





Tonight,
the snow lowers down,
we create angels
and we are in heaven.



As you can see the lyrics are quite confusing.

Christmas is a time of the year where we have a peak in people committing suicide. I guess it’s worse being lonely at this time of the year than normally.

Let’s look at the lyrics....

November har vært her,
lagt igjen sludd,
ser solen går ned i svarthvitt.
November has been here,
left sleet,
watching the sun go down in black and white.

When it’s November, the winter time should have arrived with snow. This time it only brought us sleet, which looks like snow when it falls down, but since it’s not quite snow it’s not going to stick to the ground as snow either. If you’re a kid waiting for the snow, this will be disappointing for you since you will not be able to use your snowracer etc. Now that the sun is setting you're sitting at home watching TV (an old one). At Christmas eve the sun sets early in the afternoon (~1500 / 3pm) where the author lives and at this time many families gather and go to Church (starts at 1600) at this time.



Gatene her har bare brente broer,
i kveld blinker byen som et mareritt.
The streets here have just burnt bridges,
tonight the city flashes like a nightmare.

You may have had some New Years resolution to rebuild some bridges, probably meaning to reestablish family relationships that are not ok. Now that we’re entering christmas all the bridges are burned, meaning that during the year you have not managed to fix anything, just made it worse. On Christmas eve there should be a “light in every room” (old christmas tradition) and people are also having blinking christmas lights decorating their homes symbolizing the Christmas as a family gathering event. But to you, this is a nightmare since you can’t participate.


Året så langt har vært bare myke pakker,
er redd det er for sent å ta det pent.
The year so far has brought only soft gifts,
fear it’s too late to do it nicely.


When you’re a kid you don’t wish to receive soft gifts (clothes). You want hard ones (toys). So this year has been disappointing since you haven’t got anything of what you wanted, and now that Christmas is here it’s too late to fix what’s wrong in a gentle way.


Glorien falmet før bladene falt,
grenene hvisket jeg fikk som fortjent.
The halo faded before the leaves fell,
the branches whispered I got what I deserved.

You were trying to be good this year, but you had done so many bad things already before the autumn was over and all you hear is that everyone agrees that you are a fool and got as deserved.



Det er ikke alt jeg har sagt som er bull,
hadde jeg gods skulle du fått gull.
Not everything I have said was bull,
if I had goods you should get gold.


You may have said a lot of bad things but the good things may have been ignored because they were overshadowed by the bad things. If you had a lot of money everything would have been fine, especially for the people you care for.






For i natt,
snøen laver ned,
lager vi engler,
og vi er i himmelen.
Because tonight,
the snow lowers down,
we create angels
and we are in heaven.


Many people think that this is about creating snow angles, but I think not. This is about new angels that are arriving heaven tonight.




Alle snille barn er kjøpt og betalt,
på skjermen har sjarmen gått tom.
All good children are bought and paid for
the screen has no charm left.


Before Christmas people buy gifts to show how kind they are, even if they really don't care about others than themselves. The TV screen is your only entertainment.



Gatens løse fugler er lagt under tre,
herberget er lagt ned så ingen har rom.
The streets’ loose birds are placed under the tree, 
the hostels are closed so no one have room.


Nobody cares about lonely people during Christmas (they only care for themselves) and nobody wants your company.



Jeg trenger noen svar,
så jeg ringer en svarer,
stemmen lyder kjent,
så lenge det varer.
I need some answers, I phone an answerer,
the voice sounds familiar,
as long as it lasts.

You make a phone call because there are things you need an answer to, but nobody want to talk to you. All you receive is the answering machine. Hearing a familiar voice is kinda nice, but it lasts only for a few seconds and can't replace the real thing.


Kjartan Kristiansen used to be a drug addict, and the title Stjernesludd (star sleet) probably refers to bad heroin (the kind of heroin that is killing people more frequently). Some suggest that the theme of this song is similar to the story "The little match girl". I totally agree.

Merry Christmas!

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