Swedish Folkie Greets Spring

Spring’s finally reached Stockholm! To celebrate, here’s a song by one of the city’s finest folk singers, Stefan Sundström, off of his 1992 album Happy Hour Viser, “Happy Hour Songs”. I translate:

Spring Samba
By Stefan Sundström

One morning when he awoke spring was already here
He was bleary, tired and hung over, pretty bedraggled
She got in through the window like a crazy samba in April
And took him right there, no ifs ands or buts

She danced around the room like a stoned tornado
Like a fairy there to wake the mountain trolls
And she ran up to the window and yelled “Our time is now!”
And she stretched her arms wide to the sun

Chorus: Then he said, “Watch out, you might get burned
Watch out”

Well, there he was in the pollen storm, caught red-handed
With his winter’s introverted snowballing
The flies in the window had suffocated from the dust in there
Tired of midnight buzzing

After sitting around getting poisoned like Indian Faqirs
And talking crap for hours about this and that
After he’d gotten hooked on love, always unrequited
He happily ran head first into the wall

He asked her about a lot of things she didn’t know
All she said was “Too much love will only hurt you”
But he refused to believe it, yeah, he couldn’t believe it
And they didn’t care what would happen next

Chorus: And they sang, “But watch out, you might get burned
Watch out”

But now spring was here and swept away every trace
of all the pain way down beneath the snow
And she was zipping around his place throwing up dust clouds from the floor
Someone had to do it after his hibernation

They had to hurry to the train because there wouldn’t be many more of them
He was half asleep standing on the platform
And she left heading for the spring
And he went home and wrote this song

And he sang, “Watch out, you might get burned
Watch out
You gotta look out, my child
Watch out, you might get burned
Watch out”


  1. #1 ArchAsa
    March 27, 2009

    Excellent translation!
    Stefan Sundström Rules!

    May I auggest you translate ‘Näktergal’ (Nightingale) when summer arrives – it’s the most beautiful and sad summer song ever created IMO. Knocks even ‘Cecilia Lind’ out of the park.

  2. #2 Larry Ayers
    March 27, 2009

    I enjoyed that! Listening to the song was like receiving an answer to a hypothetical question: what if Bob Dylan had been born in Sweden?

    Thanks for the translation!

  3. #3 immo
    March 27, 2009

    “Spring’s finally reached Stockholm!”

    Hej Martin, hold the horses and have a look out of the window!!! There are 10 cm of snow which certainly weren’t there this morning…

  4. #4 Lars L
    March 27, 2009

    immo: hold _your_ horses, what if Dr Rundkvist is experencing an inner spring feeling? I mean, after wiggling away to the tones of ABBA etc etc…?

  5. #5 Amber
    March 29, 2009

    I really like your translation – perfect!!

  6. #6 Martin R
    March 29, 2009

    Many thanks!

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