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December 13, 2009

Happy bilingual holidays!

"I prefer Christmas songs in English," I told my family a few days ago, "Christmas lyrics in English remind me of celebrations. Christmas lyrics in Norwegian remind me of doing homework."

"Well of course" my mom answered, "We move back here, you get older, and December is all about studying for end-of-semester exams."

"That's not what I mean," I protested, "Norwegian lyrics remind me of when we first moved back here, and I had to learn all the Norwegian lyrics as homework because I didn't know any of the Norwegian songs."

When I studied for my first university exams, I listened to Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan's alternative (very sad, not Christmasy) lyrics to the Silent Night melody:

It's simple: I grew up in English, and Christmas is all about nostalgia. My sister, who is only two and a half years younger than me, has a very different connection with the Norwegian Christmas songs.

Here's two different versions of Silent Night in Norwegian. Oddly enough, they have two completely different lyrics.

I'm blogging about Christmas music every day until the 24th.

Posted by Julie at December 13, 2009 10:51 PM

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