My Favorite Nordic Lullabies Translated (+ Playlist)

Last Updated on Categorized as Media

For the first few years of my sons’ lives, I’ve made a habit of singing Swedish lullabies at bedtime, the same ones my mom sang to me when I was little plus some Danish and Norwegian discoveries I have made on my own. I love them all, and many of them are moody in a way only Scandinavian lullabies can be; telling tales of wolves on the prowl, troll mothers, sleeping bears, and sea-faring adventures of all kinds.

I figured there might be some people out there looking for a carefully curated list of the best Nordic lullabies, so I created a playlist with my favorite ones and included them all individually with lyrics (in Swedish, Danish or Norwegian with an English translation) below.

Pro tip: The playlist is perfect to play at bedtime if you want to expose your kids to Nordic languages and folk tales from an early age.

Maybe you have Nordic roots and want to keep them alive, maybe you are thinking of moving to the Nordics and want to prepare yourself and your kids for the dark and moody nights ahead, or maybe you just like the sound of them—either way, i hope you enjoy them as much as my sons and I have!

So without further ado, let’s bring out the tunes:

Full Nordic Lullaby Playlist

If you’d like to find out more about the individual songs and see the lyrics, including English translations, just keep scrolling!

Vargsången – Astrid Lindgren

Swedish lyrics

By Astrid Lindgren

Vargen ylar i nattens skog,
han vill men kan inte sova.
Hungern river hans vargabuk,
och det är kallt i hans stova.
Du varg, du varg, kom inte hit,
ungen min får du aldrig.

Vargen ylar i nattens skog,
ylar av hunger och klagan.
Men jag ska ge’n en grisasvans,
sånt passar i vargamagar.
Du varg, du varg, kom inte hit,
ungen min får du aldrig.

Vargen ylar i nattens skog,
och hittar sig inget byte.
Men jag ska ge’n en tuppakam,
att stoppa ner i sitt knyte.
Du varg, du varg, kom inte hit,
ungen min får du aldrig.

Sov, mitt barn, i bädden hos mor,
låt vargen yla i natten.
Men jag ska ge’n en hönsaskank,
om ingen annan har tatt ‘en.
Du varg, du varg, kom inte hit,
ungen min får du aldrig.

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

The wolf howls in the forest dark,
he wants but he cannot sleep.
Hunger tears in his wolf belly,
and it’s cold down in his den.
Oh wolf, oh wolf, do not come here,
you’ll never get my child.

The wolf howls in the forest dark,
he howls of hunger and pain.
But I’ll give him the tail of a pig,
such things fit in wolf stomachs.
Oh wolf, oh wolf, do not come here,
you’ll never get my child.

The wolf howls in the forest dark,
and he is finding no prey.
But I’m gonna give him a rooster comb,
to put down in his knot.
Oh wolf, oh wolf, do not come here,
you’ll never get my child.

Sleep, my child, in your mother’s bed,
let the wolf howl away in the night.
But I’ll give him a chicken shank,
if no one else has snatched it.
Oh wolf, oh wolf, do not come here,
you’ll never get my child.

Trollmors vaggvisa – Margit Holmberg

Swedish lyrics

By Margit Holmberg

När trollmor har lagt de elva små trollen
och bundit fast dem i svansen,
då sjunger hon sakta för elva små trollen
de vackraste ord hon känner:

Ho aj aj aj aj buff, Ho aj aj aj aj buff,
ho aj aj aj aj buff buff! Ho aj aj aj aj buff.

När trollmor har lagt de elva små trollen
och bundit fast dem i svansen,
då sjunger hon sakta för elva små trollen
de vackraste ord hon känner:

Ho aj aj aj aj buff, Ho aj aj aj aj buff,
ho aj aj aj aj buff buff! Ho aj aj aj aj buff.

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

When mother troll has laid the eleven little trolls and tied their tails together,
then she sings slowly for the eleven little trolls
the most beautiful words she knows:

Ho aj aj aj aj buff, Ho aj aj aj aj buff,
ho aj aj aj aj buff buff! Ho aj aj aj aj buff.

When the witch has laid the eleven little trolls and and tied their tails together,
then she sings slowly for the eleven little trolls
the most beautiful words she knows:

Ho aj aj aj aj buff, Ho aj aj aj aj buff,
ho aj aj aj aj buff buff! Ho aj aj aj aj buff.

Godnatsangen (Nu Er Dagen Igen Forbi) – Povl Kjøller

Tre godnatsange (Three Danish Lullabies)

Danish lyrics

By Povl Kjøller

Nu er dagen igen forbi
Luk så øjnene i
Du skal sove til det bliver morgen igen

Bamse ligger ved siden af
Som en Bamse jo skal
Sig til ham at det er sovetid nu min ven
I er trætte begge to
I Har brug for ro

Og så er det allerbedst at sove

Nu er dagen igen forbi
Luk så øjnene i
Du skal sove til det bliver morgen igen

Ska’ du nu ha’ vand igen
Nej, la’ vræe med en
Læg dig nu og drøm noget dejligt

Nu er dagen igen forbi
Luk så øjnene i
Du skal sove til det bliver morgen igen

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

Now the day is over again
Now close your eyes
You have to sleep until it’s morning again

Teddy is next to you
As a Teddy Bear should be
Tell him it’s bedtime now my friend
You’re both tired
You need to rest

And that’s when it’s best to sleep

Now the day is over again
Now close your eyes
You have to sleep until it’s morning again

Do you really want water again
No, I think one’s enough
Lie down now and dream something sweet

Now the day is over again
Now close your eyes
You have to sleep until it’s tomorrow again

Byssan Lull – Evert Taube

Swedish lyrics

By Evert Taube

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full.
Det kommer tre vandringsmän på vägen.
Den ena han är halt,
den andra han är blind,
och den tredje har trasiga kläder.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
på himmelen vandra tre stjärnor
Den ene är så vit
den andra är så röd,
den tredje är månen den gula.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
där segla tre skutor på vågen.
Den första är en bark,
den andra är en brigg,
den tredje har så trasiga segel.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
sjökistan har trenne figurer.
Den första är vår tro,
den andra är vårt hopp.
den tredje är kärleken den röda.

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

Byssan lull, boil the kettle full.
There will be three hikers on the road.
One of them is lame,
the other he is blind,
and the third has torn his clothes.

Byssan lull, boil the kettle full,
in the sky, there are three stars traveling
One is so white
the other is so red,
the third is the moon so yellow.

Byssan lull, boil the kettle full,
there are three schooners sailing on the waves.
The first is a bark,
the other is a brig,
the third one has broken sails.

Byssan lull, boil the kettle full,
the sea coffin contains three symbols.
The first is for our faith,
the second is for our hope.
the third is for love, the red.

Den lille Ole med paraplyen – Peter Lemche

Danish Lyrics

By Peter Lemche

Den lille Ole med paraplyen,
Ham kender alle småfolk i byen,
Hver lille pige, hver lille dreng,
Han lægger sødt i sin lille seng.

Så vil han ud paraplyen brede
Og uskylds hygge om lejet sprede,
Da vil i drømme den lille fyr
Fortælle dejlige eventyr.

Han vil fortælle om stjerner klare,
Og om den dejlige engleskare,
Og om den yndige lille fe,
Som alle børn vil så gerne se.

Og har om dagen de artig’ været,
Og kærlig fader og moder æret,
Da kan så glade til sengs de gå,
Og drømme smukt om Guds engle små.

Og når om morgenen solen skinner,
Da vågner de med små røde kinder,
Og takke Gud for, hvad de har drømt,
Og kysse fader og moder ømt.

English lyrics

Translated by R. D. Rodholm

Dear little Ole with his umbrella,
All children love him, the friendly fellow.
When you are sleepy, he’ll take your hand
And tiptoe gently to fairyland.

This strange umbrella he spreads above them,
It’s full of pictures, and children love them,
And when the child into dreamland sails,
He tells them wonderful fairy tales.

He tells of beautiful stars that guide us,
Of lovely angels that walk beside us,
Of fairies dancing so merrily
That everybody would like to see.

And all the children who mind their mothers,
And always try to be good to others,
Shall under Ole’s umbrella hear
Angelic voices so soft and clear.

When night is over and day is breaking,
With rosy cheeks and smiles they awaken.
A kiss for mother and also for dad,
And thanks to Ole for the dreams they had.

Ro, ro, barnet – Alice Tegnér

Swedish lyrics

By Alice Tegnér

Ro, ro, barnet,
katten hänger i garnet,
ro, ro, lilla barn,
katten hänger i mammas garn.
Ro, ro, barnet,
katten hänger i garnet,
ro, ro, lilla vän,
katten kommer nog loss igen.

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

Calm, calm, child,
the cat is hanging in the yarn,
calm, calm, little child,
the cat hangs in your mother’s yarn.
Calm, calm, child,
the cat is hanging in the yarn,
ro, ro, little friend,
the cat will probably let go again.

Sov alla – Astrid Lindgren / George Riedel

Swedish lyrics

By Astrid Lindgren

Sova alla, sova alla vågor på vida havet nu.
Sov alla, sov alla havets vindar nu.
Vågor och vindar som på havet bo,
nu har de alla snart gått till to.

Sov alla, sov alla, susande gröna skogar nu.
Sov också, dröm också, slumra också du.
Träden i skogarna, de sover nu.
Vänta, snart sover väl också du.

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

Sleep all, sleep all the waves on the wide sea now.
Sleep all, sleep all the winds of the sea now.
Waves and winds that live on the sea,
now they have all soon gone to sleep.

Sleep all, sleep all, windy green forests now.
Sleep also, dream also, slumber also ye.
The trees in the forests, they are sleeping now.
Wait, soon you will sleep too.

Sov nu lillebror – Hans Alfredson

Swedish lyrics

By Hans Alfredson

Sov nu lillebror
Jag ska vakta dig
Jag är redan rätt så stor
Det har farsan sagt till mig

Sov nu lillebror
Morsan har gått ned till konsum
för att köpa lite mat
Men hon kommer snart tillbaks

En gång tänkte jag
Att du var så dum
Och att jag får inte ha
Längre något eget rum

Och då tänkte jag
Vilken äcklig liten brorsa,
han är jämt vid mammas bröst
Jag vill inte ha nån bror

Men nu tycker jag
Att du är okej
När du skrattar blir jag glad
Jag ska vara snäll mot dig och,

Vet du, lillebror? När du sen blir lite större
och nån grabb är dum mot dig
Ropa då på storebror

Sov nu lillebror
Mamma kommer snart tillbaks
Till dig

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

Sleep now little brother
I’ll be watching over you
I’m already pretty big
That’s what dad told me

Sleep now little brother
Mom has gone down to the market
so that she can buy some food
But she will be coming back

Once upon a time, I thought
That you were so mean
And how I no longer have
my very own room

And then I thought
What a yucky little brother,
he is stuck to mommys breasts
I do not want a brother

But now I think that
you are more than okay
Your laugh makes me happy too
I want to be nothing but kind to you and,

You know what, little brother? When you then get a little bigger
and some guy is mean to you
Just call for your big brother

Sleep now, little brother
Mom will be back soon
To you

Alla ska sova för nu är det natt – Astrid Lindgren / George Riedel

Swedish lyrics

By Astrid Lindgren

Nu lilla humla nu ska du sova
alla små ungar i sina sängar
och deras mammor
och deras pappor
alla ska sova för nu är det natt.

Sova ska också var eviga katt
Kossor och kalvar i sina hagar
alla små föl och alla små grisar
alla kaniner och alla små lamm,
nu ska de sova för
nu är det natt.

Sova ska också Skogar
och hagar
åkrar och ängar
blommor och fåglar
och alla små kryp
allting som lever
på hela jorden, allting ska sova
för nu är det natt.
Sova ska också du.

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

Now little bumblebee now you are going to sleep
all the little ones in their beds
and their mothers
and their fathers
everyone should sleep because now it’s night.

Sleep should also take our cat
Cows and calves in their pastures
all little foals and all little pigs
all rabbits and all little lambs,
now they are going to sleep for
now it’s night.

The forests should also go to sleep
and the pastures
fields and meadows
flowers and birds
and all small insects
everything that lives
on the whole earth, everything should sleep
because now it’s night.
In fact, you should sleep too.

Solen er så rød mor – Harald Bergstedt / Carl Nielsen

Danish lyrics

By Harald Bergstedt

Solen er så rød, mor
og skoven bli’r så sort
Nu er solen død, mor
og dagen gået bort.
Ræven går derude, mor
vi låser vores gang.
Kom, sæt dig ved min pude, mor
og syng en lille sang.

Himlen er så stor, mor
med klare stjerner på
Hvem monstro der bor, mor
på stjernen i det blå?
Tror du der er drenge, mor
der kigger ned på mig?
Og tror du de har senge, mor
og sover li’som jeg?

Hvorfor bli’r det nat, mor
med kold og bitter vind?
Hør den lille kat, mor
den mjaver og vil ind!
Mågerne og ternerne
har ingen sted at bo.
hør, nu synger stjernerne,
og de synger mig til ro!

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

The sun is so red, mom
And the forest becomes so black
Now the sun dies, mom
And the day is over
The fox goes outside, mom
we lock our entrance
Sit with me on the pillow, mom
And sing a little song

The sky is so big, mom
With clear stars shining bright
Who do you think lives there, mom
In the stars above
Do you think there is a girl, mom
Who looks down on me
And do you think they have beds, mom
And sleep there just like here?

Why is it getting dark, mom
With a cold and bitter wind
Hear the little cat, mom
It meows and wants to come in
The gulls and terns
have no place to stay
Hear now the stars sing,
and they sing me to rest!

Vem kan segla förutan vind

Swedish lyrics

By Unknown

Vem kan segla förutan vind,
vem kan ro utan åror,
vem kan skiljas från vännen sin
utan att fälla tårar?

Jag kan segla förutan vind,
jag kan ro utan åror,
men ej skiljas från vännen min
utan att fälla tårar.

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

Who can sail without the wind,
who can row without oars,
who can leave their friend behind
without shedding some tears?

I can sail without the wind,
I can row without oars,
but I can’t leave my friend behind
without shedding tears.

Sov du lilla videung – Zacharias Topelius / Alice Tegnér

Swedish lyrics

By Zacharias Topelius

Sov du lilla vide ung,
än så är det vinter,
Än så sova björk och ljung,
ros och hyacinter.
Än så är det långt till vår,
innan rönn i blomma står.
Sov du lilla vide,
än så är det vinter.

Solskens öga ser på dig,
solskens famn dig vaggar.
Snart blir grönt på skogens stig,
och var blomma flaggar.
Än en liten solskensbön:
vide liten blir så grön.
Solskens öga ser dig.
Solskens famn dig vaggar.

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

Sleep now little willow young,
for it is still winter,
Still the birch and heather sleeps,
rose and hyacinths too.
Spring is still a long way off,
when rowan will in flower stand.
Sleep now little willow,
for it is still winter.

The eye of sunshine looks at you,
the sun’s embrace now rocks you.
Soon the forest path turns green,
where each flower blooms.
Another little sunshine prayer:
willow young becomes so green.
The eye of sunshine looks at you.
The sun’s embrace now rocks you.

Sångerna – Helen Sjöholm / Tomas Andersson Wij / Billy Joel

Swedish lyrics

By Tomas Andersson Wij

God natt mitt hjärta du ska sova nu
spar de där tankarna till nästa dag
Jag tror jag vet vad du funderade på
och jag ska svara dej så du förstår
Har lovat dig att aldrig ge mig av
och du ska veta det vart än din resa bär
vem den än gör dig till så är jag aldrig långt från dig.

God natt mitt hjärta du ska sova nu
det är mycket jag vill säga dig
kan höra sångerna du sjöng för oss
den sommardan på skärgårdsvågorna
och som den båten gungar jag dig nu
jag vaggar dig till sömns
Vattnet är så mörkt och djupt och inga löften finns.
Mer än att jag ska va hos dig.

God natt mitt hjärta du kan drömma nu
dröm om ditt liv och allt du önskar dig
Om du får egna barn och tröstar dem med sångerna
vi sjunger nu då är jag där hos er var kväll
En dag försvinner vi men sångerna har många liv
de följer oss in i en ny och evig tid.

English lyrics

By Billy Joel

Goodnight my angel, time to close your eyes
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you’ve been asking me
I think you know what I’ve been trying to say
I promised I would never leave you
Then you should always know
Wherever you may go, no matter where you are
I never will be far away

Goodnight my angel, now it’s time to sleep
And still so many things I want to say
Remember all the songs you sang for me
When we went sailing on an emerald bay
And like a boat out on the ocean
I’m rocking you to sleep
The water’s dark and deep, inside this ancient heart
You’ll always be a part of me

Goodnight my angel, now it’s time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Someday your child may cry, and if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart there will always be a part of me
Someday we’ll all be gone
But lullabies go on and on
They never die
That’s how you and I will be

Elefantens vuggevise – Harald Lund / Mogens Jermin Nissen

Danish lyrics

By Harald Lund

Nu tændes der stjerner på himlen blå,
Halvmånen løfter sin sabel.
Jeg våger, at ikke de slemme mus
Skal liste sig op i din snabel.

Sov sødt, lille Jumbo og visselul,
Nu bliver skoven så dunkel.
Nu sover tante den gamle struds,
Og næsehornet, din onkel.

Nu kalder i søvne den vilde gnu
I krattet af store lianer,
Og aber synger sig selv i søvn,
I vugger af grønne bananer.

Sov sødt lille Jumbo, dit lille pus!
Slet intet min ven skal du mangle,
Imorgen får du en kokosnød,
Den kan du bruge som rangle.

En zebra tager sin natdragt på,
Med sorte og hvide striber.
Et flyveegern med lodne ben,
Sidder i mørket og piber.

Sov sødt lille Jumbo, nu er du vel mæt?
Du kender ej husmodersorger.
En lille plantage på tusinde rør
Dem skal vi have syltet i morgen.

Hør, tigeren brøler sin aftensang
Og spejder mod alle kanter.
Ved vadestedet, med slebet klo,
Der lister den sorte panter.

Sov tyst, lille Jumbo, dit lille myr,
Din nutted lille rødbede.
Du bad mig fortælle et eventyr,
Nu sover du sødt allerede

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

The stars light up in the sky above,
The crescent moon lifts its saber.
I’ll watch that not the bad mice
Will climb up in your trunk.

Sleep sweet, little Jumbo and whistle,
Now the forest is getting so dark.
Now aunty ostrich is sleeping tight,
As well as your uncle rhino.

Now sleep calls the wild wildebeest
In the thicket of vines and trunks,
And monkeys sing themselves to sleep,
In the cradles of green bananas.

Sleep sweet little Jumbo, you little thing!
Nothing at all will you miss my friend,
Tomorrow you’ll get a coconut,
You can use it as a rattle.

A zebra puts on its nightgown,
With black and white stripes on.
A flying squirrel with furry legs,
Sitting in the dark and whistling on.

Sleep sweet little Jumbo, now you must be full?
You do not know housewife worries.
A small plantation of a thousand pipes
We’ll have to pickle them tomorrow.

Listen, the tiger roars his evening song
And looks around all sides.
At the ford, with sharpened claw,
There the black panther crawl.

Sleep quietly, little Jumbo, you little ant,
You nutty little beetroot.
You asked me to tell a story,
And you’re sound asleep already

Kalle Teodor – Astrid Lindgren

Swedish lyrics

By Astrid Lindgren

Minns du en sjöman för länge, länge sen,
minns du hans namn var Kalle Theodor?
Aldrig så ser du den sjömannen igen,
han vilar i havet, Kalle Theodor.

Men en stormnatt kan du höra
nån som ropar: Hej hå!
Ifrån havets djup det kommer
och det låter så:

Hej hå! Hej hå
I storm på Biskaya gick skeppet i kvav,
skeppet han segla’, Kalle Theodor,
och därför så vilar han nu i sin grav,
vaggad av sjögräs, Kalle Theodor.

Men en stormnatt kan du höra
nån som ropar: Hej hå!
Ifrån havets djup det kommer
och det låter så:

Hej hå! Hej hå!

Yngst bland de sjömän som på böljorna for,
det var den lille Kalle Theodor,
och därför så sörjde och grät ju hans mor,
fast nu minns väl ingen Kalle Theodor.

Men en stormnatt kan du höra
nån som ropar: Hej hå!
Ifrån havets djup det kommer
och det låter så:

Hej hå! Hej hå!

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

Do you remember a sailor long, long ago,
Do you remember his name was Kalle Theodor?
You’ll never see that sailor again,
he rests in the ocean, Kalle Theodor.

But a stormy night you can hear
someone shouting: Hey ho!
From the depths of the sea it comes
and it sounds like this:

Hey ho! Hey ho
In a storm on Biskaya, the ship suffocated,
the ship he sails, Kalle Theodor,
and therefore he now rests in his grave,
rocked by seagrass, Kalle Theodor.

But a stormy night you can hear
someone shouting: Hey ho!
From the depths of the sea it comes
and it sounds like this:

Hey ho! Hey ho!

Youngest among the sailors who sailed on the waves,
it was the little Kalle Theodor,
and therefore his mother mourned and wept.
but now no one remembers Kalle Theodor.

But a stormy night you can hear
someone shouting: Hey ho!
From the depths of the sea it comes
and it sounds like this:

Hey ho! Hey ho!

Björnen sover – Carl Michael Bellman

Swedish lyrics

By Carl Michael Bellman

Björnen sover,
björnen sover
i sitt lugna bo.
Han är inte farlig,
bara man är varlig,
men man kan dock,
men man kan dock
honom aldrig tro.

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

The bear is sleeping,
the bear is sleeping
in his quiet home.
He will not attack you,
as long as you are careful,
but you cannot,
but you cannot
trust him anyway.

Klatremus’ voggevisa – Thorbjørn Egner

Norwegian Lyrics

By Thorbjørn Egner

Vyss lull lilla palt,
So, ro, Lillemann
Nå er dagen over
Alle mus i alle land
Ligger nå og sover

So og ro og tipp på tå
Sov min vesle pode
Reven sover også nå
Med halen under hodet

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

Hush, now, little spud,
Rest now, little man
Now the day is over
All mice in all countries
Now lying and sleeping

So calm down and tip your toe
Slept my little graft
The fox is sleeping now too
With the tail under the head

God natt min nalle – Lotta Olsson

Swedish lyrics

By Lotta Olsson

God natt min nalle och dockan Katt, 
och Siv och Kalle god natt, god natt.
God natt till bollen som visst försvann
God natt till trollen och Spindelman

God natt, god natt, god natt.

God natt på kroken, min röda kjol. 
God natt till boken, god natt min stol. 
God natt till magen, min bil Charlotte
och hela dagen. Ja, sov så gott. 

God natt, god natt, god natt. 

God natt nu, skrattet, jag väcker dig. 
God natt, god nattet, god natt till mig. 

God natt, god natt, god natt.

English lyrics

Translated by Karl Andersson

Good night my teddy bear and good night my doll,
and Siv and Kalle good night, good night.
Good night to the ball that somehow disappeared
Good night to the trolls and to Spider-Man

Good night, good night, good night.

Good night over on the hook, to my red skirt.
Good night to the book, good night my chair.
Good night to the stomach, my car Charlotte
and the whole day. Yes, sleep so well.

Good night, good night, good night.

Good night now, my laugh, I’ll wake you up.
Good night, good night, good night to me.

Good night, good night, good night.

Similar Posts:
Get Nordic and scandinavian tips

Awaken your inner Scandinavian

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Nordic resources, insights, tips, hidden gems, and much more.

By subscribing, you agree to get emails from Nordic Perspective. We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe any time.

By Karl Andersson

As a native Swede with a Finnish mother, Karl identifies as both Nordic and Scandinavian. He left Sweden at 19 to explore the world, and stayed abroad for almost 8 years—during which he backpacked, worked every job there was, earned a degree from UC Berkeley, and met the future mother of his children. He ultimately returned to his native Malmö with his love, where they now have 3 Swedish-American boys eager to explore the world.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *