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New CD from Baggalútur Sólskinið í Dakota

When we visit the Heritage Center at Icelandic State Park in Mountain North Dakota, the Stephan G. Stephansson monument at Garðar, ND and K.N.’s (Kristján Níels Júlíus) grave at the ruins of the Þingvallakirkja outside of Mountain, ND, we are reminded of the past. How Stephan G., one of Iceland’s most beloved poets, who lived at Garðar with his family in the 1880s, before moving to Markerville in Alberta, was able to overcome unbelievable difficulties.

We are also reminded that this month, on 7 April 2010, 150 years have passed since K.N., who also is one of the most beloved Icelandic poets, was born.

He left Iceland in 1878 and lived in Pembina, ND till his death in 1936. Last year in June in nearby Grafton, ND Kristín Hall celebrated her 100th birthday.

She and her generation and many much younger people of Icelandic descent, both in the USA and Canada, still speak Icelandic. She is “Stína litla” in K.N.’s poem.

These and many other Icelandic heritage matters are precious, their value cannot be calculated in monetary terms. They must be preserved forever. There are many ways to preserve the heritage, traditional and new. One new way is the Baggalútur way.

Recently the Icelandic Baggalútur band travelled in this area of North Dakota and also above “the line” to Gimli, MB, and got to know the people there, the descendants of the Icelandic settlers, most of whom left Iceland between 1870 to 1914.

They made wonderful modern music to K.N,’s poem for Kristín Hall’s birthday. Baggalútur did more than that. The band was so taken by what they experienced during their trip that they produced a whole CD called Sólskinið í Dakota with their fabulous music and singing to K.N.’s and Stephan G’s poetry.

With Baggalútur, Megas and Gylfi Ægisson also sing on the CD. What a perfect new and old Icelandic harmony! A modern popular band singing texts of K.N. and Stephan G.The Embassy highly recommends Baggalútur’s CD, Sólskinið í Dakota – “The Sunshine in Dakota”.

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Courtesy Icelandic Embassy Washington newsletter
                        
Dakota Sunshine
When the winter winds have waned
And warm breezes playWhat a lovely sight to see
The sunshine on your day.
If in Dakota land you dwell,
And harvesters you meet
What a lovely sight to see
The sunshine on the wheat.
When the meadows have been cut,and in rows it lay,
What a lovely sight to see
The sunshine on the hay.
If you hunger for a treat
And fish is what you like,
What a lovely sight to see
The sunshine on the pike.
When you want a glass of milk,
Oh, you may raise your brow;
But it’s a lovely sight to see
The sunshine on the cow.

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