The Song of Roland – Viking version

The Song of Roland is a very well-known medieval epic poem based on the Battle of Roncevaux in 778.  It inspired many subsequent writers, poets and musicians.

While browsing through YouTube this morning, I was intrigued to come across a Norwegian ballad, dating from about the 12th century, retelling the saga of Roland from a quasi-Viking perspective.  It’s in Norwegian, of course, but a translation has been provided as it plays.  It’s illustrated with medieval- and Renaissance-era portrayals of the battle.  It’s a rousing battle tune, well suited to the Vikings who would have sung it.

Now there’s an interesting historical twist . . . a Viking interpretation of a medieval Christian fable!  It’s sung by the Trio Mediaeval as part of an entire album of Norwegian medieval folk songs.  I think I’m going to have to buy it – it’s cheap enough to be affordable, and if this song is anything to go by, it’ll be interesting listening.



  1. I liked that – thanks for announcing it, Peter. I'm getting a CD for me and one for my baby brother, who is a fanatic SCAer.

  2. OK, that CD is a must-have. Just ordered one while the orderin's good.
    …By the time I heard of Stary Olsa, their CDs had disappeared….

  3. @Peter: Ah. So they are! And I guess I can burn a CD for the car from MP3 files… but that doesn't come with the artwork, unless I print my own labels and covers.
    (Which is something I used to do, back when I was converting out-of-print cassettes to one-off CDs.)
    I must be getting old; I remember when music came on CDs, and the publishers were outraged that users were format-shifting to MP3. And I still have several feet of vinyl to convert, When I Get Around To It.

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