This is the seventh in a series of blogs about the songs on our new CD “The Wandering Ballad”.
This song is a small fragment from a long ballad, noted down in the Swedish speaking prat of Finlend, about two Vikings meeting in a lonely place.
One of them threatens to kill the other unless he can correctly answer to a riddle.
The theme of having to answer a riddle to be allowed to pass is common in medieval tales and legends, including the tales of King Arthur. I have found it added to many ballads and the actual questions vary wildly.
Here I just chose a couple of strophes from the much longer riddle.
What’s rounder than a wheel?
Where can you see the brightest light?
What is faster than a larks wing in flight?
Who builds the broadest bridge?
Where do the fish reign?
Who sings louder than a crane?
The sun is rounder than a wheel.
In the sky is the brightest light.
The soul is faster than a larks wing in flight.
The ice builds the broadest bridge,
there under fish reign.
Thunder sings louder than a crane.