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.


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)