National Anthem of Sweden (Lyrics, History)

The national anthem of Sweden is called “Du gamla, du fria,” which means, “Thou ancient, Thou free.” It is not the official national anthem of the country but is the de facto song. It is recognized by many as the national anthem and is used during events and ceremonies throughout the nation. The song was originally named “Sang till Norden,” or “Song to the North.” This was later changed to match the lyrics of the first line of the song.

The melody of the song is based on Swedish folk music. The lyrics for the song were written in 1844, and it was arranged in 1933 by Edvin Kallstenius. It was during the 1930s when a public service radio station began playing the song that it gained de facto status. The song was thought by many to not be very patriotic, so additional lyrics were added. Though they aren’t used all of the time, they are becoming more accepted about the Swedish people.

Lyrics

Ye free, ancient country


Ye high mountained north


Ye silent and free


and so delightful


We greet you as loveliest


land upon earth


Your shining sun, your sky


Your pastures green


(repeat previous two lines)


You rest on your memories


of days great and past


When all round the world


your name was honoured


I know that you'll always remain


the way you were


In my own Nordic land


I'll live forever


(repeat previous two lines)