The Orkney & Shetland Norn Forum
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:13 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:00 pm
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According to this webpage: the Old Norse skaldic poem Darraðaljóð (or The Javelin-Song), was sung in Old Norse in North Ronaldsay (Orkney) until the middle of the eighteenth century.

Could it be, that it was actually sung in the Orkney Norn language rather than Old Norse?

Darraðaljóð is found in chapter 157 of Njáls saga. The song consists of 11 stanzas, and within it twelve valkyries weave and choose who is to be slain at the Battle of Clontarf (fought outside Dublin in 1014 CE).

Two Old Norse versions of the poem:

Here is maybe a better English translation of it:

This poem is an obvious candidate to be translated into Orkney Nynorn, at some point !!

Anyone who has any information about this Norse song from Orkney??

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:12 am
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Location: An Eaglais Dhubh, Alba
It's extremely unlikely to have survived in Old Norse and although I am not well up on Scandinavian language, I'll tell you why I think so:

In the Kilfinan Parish, a song of the Lochaber poet, Eóghann MacLachainn was sung 'Song to the Summer'. Although it was written in Lochaber Gaelic, the version that Holmer gleaned from his informant in Kilfinan village was decidedly "corrupted". I did not see corruption however, I just saw that local Gaelic had influenced the voicings.

Now he would have learned that song from perhaps his father or mother or maybe grandfather and it was only written in the early 19th century, so my guess is that it had become 'Cowalised' in this short period of time: c1820-c1890

Think what would have happened to an Old Norse song over time -hundreds of years?- when sung repeatedly by generations of Norn speakers! :)


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