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Lær meg å kjenne dine veier

The Norwegian singer, Sissel Kyrkjø, most famous for her singing on the soundtrack of the movie, "Titanic," has recorded a Norwegian folk song relating to a pilgrimage.  According to her interview on National Public Radio of October 30, 2002, http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/me/20021030.me.16.ram, this song tells of a pilgrim who returned home to find that his house had burned down and his family killed.  He continues to have faith, as he prays "Lær meg å kjenne dine veier," or "Teach me to know your pathways."  (The phrase appears in Psalm 25, as well as in other passages of the Bible.)
 

LÆR MEG Å KJENNE DINE VEIER

(Folketone fra Åseral)

Lær meg å kjenne dine veie
og gå dem trøstig skritt for skritt!
Jeg vet at hva jeg fikk i eie,
er borget gods, og alt er ditt.
Men vil din sterke hånd meg lede,
jeg aldri feil på målet ser,
og for hvert håp som dør her nede,
får jeg et håp i himlen mer.

Men lær meg fremfor alt å kjenne
din grenseløse kjærlighet,
den som kan tusen stjerner tenne
når lykkens sol for meg går ned.
Den tørrer tåren som den skapte
og leger såret som den slo.
Dens vei går gjennom det vi tapte,
den gir oss mere enn den tok.

TEACH ME TO KNOW YOUR PATHWAYS

(Norwegian Traditional)

Teach me to know your pathways and to walk faithfully, step by step.

I know that what I have is borrowed goods, and all is yours.

But I want your strong hand to lead me, and I will never stray from the final goal.

And each hope that dies down here below, makes me hope in heaven more.  (Trans. by Gary T. Johnson)

Sissel sang this lovely song at the royal wedding in Norway on May 24, 2002.  It is appropriate that she sang this in the cathedral of Trondheim, which was the traditional Norwegian pilgrimage site.  According to one account, "The wedding ceremony was between princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn. Sissel performed beautifully 'Lær meg å kjenne dine veier' (Norwegian tune written in 1902 from Åseral in Vest-Agder) with help from the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and the Nidaros Girls' Choir. In Norway it is tradition to wear a national costume (bunad) during special occasions, and Sissel followed the tradition wearing a green, Luster-bunad.  About 1000 people attended the wedding ceremony in the the Gothic cathedral of Trondheim."

See a video clip of Sissel performing "Lær meg å kjenne dine veier":

nrkwedding2.jpg
Sissel at royal wedding. Photo: Screenshot NRK.

Last updated November 10, 2002.