One hundred and fortysecond åsic- Trettondagsmarschen at Oyster Café

My husband and I had the great opportunity to drive in the countryside of Scotland in 1995. All our friends informed us about the damp and drizzling rain and the foggy hills and wondered why on earth one would even think of going to Scotland during the summer, when our Swedish summer is as its best… Luckily enough we were there the one and only fortnight when Scotland had lovely sunny weather round +30C for the first time in years. This was long ago, so we didn’t have any AC in our car, nor did we have any suitable summer clothes in our luggage… We had to put back all the woolies, the wellingtons, the raincoats and the umbrellas and search for a shop where we could buy shorts, swimsuits, tanktops and sun glasses. We also did a very exotic thing for being in Scotland; we swam in a creek, because if we hadn’t, we would have fainted from the heat in the car. We simply had to take a swim in the creek. I found some lovely pebbles in that very creek and I brought them back to Sweden. Why? Because I wanted to tease the future archeologists who might search for old habitats in my specific garden hundreds of years from now… I would want to be there at the time when they find the Scottish pebbles and frown at their findings of such a pebble so far away from the Scottish creek…

20-40mm-scottish-cobbles.jpg (1000×667)

On a day like this, called the Twelfth Day of Christmas, or Epiphany in Great Britain, but Trettondedag jul in Sweden (thirteenth day of Christmas), I remember one of the evenings on Isle of Skye when we walked from our hostel to a local café to try their famous walnut cake. The evening was crystal clear, not at all cold or damp and the sun was still out. The beautiful scenery of Scotland was at its best. The café was not far away and in there was more locals than tourists and that was a nice detail in my opinion, although I realize that we, of course, would represent a group that would be considered ”intruders” if we would ask the villagers for their opinion. We ordered the walnut cake we had heard so much about, and a kettle of tea. While we were having this fika (as we would say in Sweden)… we enjoyed the music from a CD. I could recognize ”The Boys of the Lough” since I had listened to them back home in Sweden, when they were playing at Falun Folk Music Festival. I love the way they play and I enjoy dancing to their music, too. This time, however, I could recognize a specific tune. I said to my husband; ”this is Trettondagsmarschen!!!!!”. Then I told him that all my childhood when I listened to fiddlers all the time, since my father plays the fiddle, I had heard this tune over and over again, since I liked it so much, but also because of its importance in official settings such as the beginning of the Bingsjöstämman, which was a big get-together for folk music lovers when I was little. It still is, but not as many visitors find their way to the middle of the forest outside Rättvik where the event is held. When I was little, as many as 30 000 people would be there to listen to the many fiddlers. Knis Karl Aronsson would be the leader of the many hundred fiddlers, conducting the tune Trettondagsmarschen. The teenaged Kalle Moreaus who is now in his fifties, would be there too, dressed in his folkloristic costume from his village Orsa in Dalarna, Sweden… I have many more memories to this marvellous tune that I love so much, but none of them is as exotic as the one at the Isle of Skye. I rushed up from the walnut cake and headed towards the girl behind the counter saying ”This is a Swedish tune called, Trettondagsmarschen, isn’t it?!” Oh, no, she said. This is an Irish group that plays celtic tunes in general and also some Scottish music. Yes, I said, but this very tune is Swedish, isn’t it? She handed me the CD-cover and still said; ”no, but you can check the tunes here, if you like”. I did… and I found it…! and the girl was really surprised when I told her that the tune WAS in fact Swedish. (http://www.boysofthelough.com/006.htm)

I couldn’t find it with Boys of the Lough, but on a day  like this Trettondedagen, you simply have to listen to it, don’t you? Kalle Moraeus plays Trettondagsmarschen together with Dalarnas Spelmansförbund, which is a group of musicians from the county of Dalarna:

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