Here, in the depths of winter, when it is cold and gloomy and windy and wet, I pine, like all Danes, for springtime. We always have, and we always will -- our winters are like that.

Time, then, to share with you a Danish song of springtime and love, one of my favourites. Written in 1895 by Ludvig Holstein (1864-1943), and later (1938) set to music by Poul Schierbeck (1888-1949), this is the story of a woman celebrating the coming of spring by bringing hyacinths to her beloved. I offer you the original text in Danish, and a translation of the sense of it. The original Danish version is poetic and beautiful. My translation, alas, is more prosaic and mundane, but I hope you'll get the gist of its beauty, even so.

Det er i dag et vejr

Det er i dag et vejr - et solskinsvejr!
O, søde vår, så er du atter nær!
Nu vil jeg glemme rent, at det var vinter,
nu vil jeg gå og købe hyacinter
og bringe dem til én, som jeg har kær.

Hun købte af de hvide og de blå,
hun købte af de smukkeste, hun så.
Det er i dag et vejr! Og solen skinner!
Og om mig sværmer lutter lyse minder,
dem ta’r jeg med til den, jeg tænker på.

Og de kom svævende i ring og rad.
Hun gik imellem dem og var så glad.
Det er i dag et solskin uden mage!
Og jeg har solskin nok til mange dage,
og jeg må kysse hvert et lille blad.

Hun kyssede dem alle, hver især,
hun bragte dem til den, hun havde kær.
Min ven, her kommer jeg, med hyacinter!
Min ven, nu glemmer vi, at det var vinter!
Det er i dag et vejr, et solskinsvejr!

Ludvig Holstein 1895

Such weather today

Such weather today - such sunny weather!
O, sweet spring, you are near again!
Now I will completely forget that it was winter,
Now I will go and purchase hyacinths
And bring them to someone that I hold dear.

She bought the white ones and the blue ones,
She bought the prettiest that she saw.
Such weather today! And the Sun is shining!
And about me are swirling bright memories,
I'll bring them with me to the one I'm thinking of.

And they came floating in circles and in rows.
She walked among them and was so happy.
Today is a sunny day without peer!
And I have sunshine enough for many days.
And I must kiss each tiny petal.

She kissed them all, each and every one,
She brought them to the one that she held dear.
My friend, I come to you with hyacinths!
My friend, let us forget that it was winter!
Such weather today - such sunny weather!

Lyrics by Ludvig Holstein, 1895.
Translation by Peter Ravn Rasmussen, 2009.

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