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Sorrow of Norway

The latest reports of the massacre at an island summer camp are horrific.  The death toll has already exceeded 80 people, some of them as young as 16.  This looks like an act of domestic terrorism.  The person who was captured and is presumed responsible for this is a right wing extremist who may have bought a farm near Oslo with the express purpose of buying chemical fertilizers.

I can’t imagine what kind of political mindset you have to have to carry out this level of barbarism and murder.

We are very sad for the parents of the children who died or are still missing as well as the people in Oslo who died during the explosions at the government buildings. We remember the Oklahoma City bombing and the death of many innocents. Our hearts go out to Norway.

I remembered this Norwegian folksong from one of my more obscure collections.  One of the translations I found goes like this:

“Heiemo and the Water Sprite”
Heiemo in valley proclaimeth the song
Awaken ye children of noble notion
It heardeth Water Sprite’s cry on ocean
For they have slept time so long.
Water Sprite speaketh to captain-man
Thou steerest my ship on Christian land.
Heiemo singeth and Water Sprite, danceth doth he
It pleaseth the people in parlour, they happy be.
Oh Heiemo! Heiemo! Stilleth your harm!
Thou shall`st sleep on Water Sprite`s arm.


10 Responses

  1. From the description of the suspected murderer, the Oklahoma City bombing sounds like a good analogy, as his motives sound more like those of McVeigh than of a jihadist.

    And if he is indeed guilty, I hope Norway has retained a death penalty for terrorist murder.

    • No not the death penalty, what good would – or does – that do? Instead, as the PM put it: When our democracy is attacked we’ll push back with more democracy.

      I went to bed with the horrible news that 7 members of the Labour Party Youth had been killed at the camp and woke up to the almost incomprehensible news that it was almost 90! And police still looking for bodies in the water, as many tried to flee by swimming from the island, while still being shot at.

      Absolutely heartbreaking news. And the eye witness reports about the killer’s behaviour are chilling. What creates such hate, such disregard for human beings?

  2. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

    Thank you for posting the poem. Somehow it helps….

  3. If I understand the myth correctly, the water sprite is a troll who hears Heiemo singing and wants to take her with him. She resists him so he tries to kidnap her. She threatens him with a knife. In the end, does she harm him or does she reconcile with him?

  4. While Norway, or rather the Norwegian government, as I’m certain it and not the Nobel Committee made the decision, deserves any bit of ridicule it gets for awarding Obama the NPP – I actually think they deserve it more for the awarding than Obama for the receiving – it is unfathomable, that this peaceful, prosperous democracy has been not only attacked, but attacked by one of “their own”. And not only attacked with the devastating bombing of inner city Oslo, but as if that wasn’t enough, followed by the gunning down of close to 90 youths gathered at the annual Labour youth camp at Utøya.

    If you google “Norway+peace” you’ll find that the (somewhat devalued) NPP is but a minor part of Norway’s serious work for peace worldwide. One of their most prominent peace workers, former PM Gro Harlem Brundtland, was actually speaking at the camp only hours prior to the shooting.

    And props to the Norwegian National TV, for reporting on this tragedy with dignity and calm. Reporting actual facts, avoiding unnecessary, premature speculation, in a non-sensational manner. Of course deeply moved but all through without letting emotions get in the way of actual, professionel reporting. Admirable!

  5. […] Confluence Sorrow of NorwayBernie says it may be time to primary ObamaWell, there’s your problem right thereFriday: […]

  6. terrible tragedy..

  7. It’s an incredible loss to a fairly small country. May they eventually find some semblance of peace.

  8. It is a horrible, terrible crime and my thoughts go out to all of Norway, but especially those directly impacted by this event.

    Someone from his conservative party who knew the gunman said meeting him was like meeting Hitler before WWII. How terrible.


    • That’s what someone said only after the killings, though. Prior to that no one really remembered having met him. Apparently a loner, quiet, low key. Which kind of follows a pattern with the “lone gunman”, I think.

      Also, he’s mom, with whom he lived untill recently (he’s 32!), was very proud of him.

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