Saturday, October 26, 2013


Jens Nielsen story by Anni Damkjaer Herning, Denmark

Jens worked at the roads. He sat every day – summer and winter – behind a windbreak, where he hammered stone into small pieces, so they could use them as filling on the roads.

A couple of years after Jens died in 1901 a young (now famous) poet Jeppe Aakjær came to the place, where Jens had been working, and Jeppe started a talk with the new road worker. 
He told Jeppe about the hard working Jens, who had worked there before and told him, too that the family didn’t have had money to buy a tombstone to his grave. There was just a decayed piece of board with his name on. (The board is saved and stills stand on the graveyard today). 
Jeppe Aakjær felt sorry for the poor late road worker and wrote a song about him.  

Here is the song in Danish. The real name at the song is: Hvem sidder der bag skærmen”. (Who is sitting behind the windbreaker), but no one calls the song the right name. It’s always called Jens Vejmand.

Hvem sidder der bag skærmen
Tekst: Jeppe Aakjær, 1905
Melodi: Carl Nielsen, 1907
Hvem sidder der bag skærmen med klude om sin hånd,
med læderlap for øjet og om sin sko et bånd,
det er såmænd Jens Vejmand, der af sin sure nød
med hamren må forvandle de hårde sten til brød.

ENGLISH first verse
Who sits behind the screen with the cloth on his hand ,
with leather patch on the eye and on his shoes a tape
That is indeed Jens Vejmand that its acidic enjoyed
with hammering must transform the hard stones into bread .

Last Verse       translated by Anni 
On the graveyard there is an old decayed piece of board
It rake to the side and the paint is almost missing
It was Jens Vejmand; his whole life was full of stones
But on his grave when he died they couldn't give him any stone or tombstone)

No comments:

Post a Comment