The Wandering Ballad – Song no. 11: Systrarna

The last song on our CD is Systrarna, a Scandinavian version of the ballad Binnoorie or The Cruel Sister. The main difference between the British/U.S. and Scandinavian versions seem to be that the water where one of the sisters drowns is a river in Britain/The U.S. and the sea in Scandinavia. In Scandinavia the fiddler who finds the bones of the girl usually makes a harp, while in Britain/The U.S. it is usually a fiddle. But the terrible crime is the same. A young woman drowns her sister out of jealousy. The sister returns from the dead to accuse her in the form of a musical instrument built from her bones. The musician breaks the instrument and the girl is resurrected. Spelmannen tog hennes

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