Barneblad: New Norwegian children’s songbook published, Bamsen Min (My Teddy bear)

Jorid Vorum, composer and author, with her new book of songs. Photo: Frittspillerom / Facebook

Jorid Vorum, composer and author, with her new book of songs. Photo: Frittspillerom / Facebook

Heidi Håvan Grosch

Have you ever had a Teddy bear (bamse) or stuffed animal (kosedyr)? My grandparents gave me my first Teddy bear when I was 13 years old. I named him Christmas (because he was a Christmas present). Thirteen is kind of old to get your first Teddy bear, but I was excited and I still have him here in Norway!

Do you know where the name Teddy bear came from? American President Teddy Roosevelt way back in 1902 refused to shoot a bear tied to a tree. A newspaper cartoonist drew a picture of that day and a candy shop owner was inspired to make a stuffed bear. Those bears, originally Teddy’s bear, became so popular that candy shop owner became a full time Teddy bear maker! Stuffed bears, however, were popular before they became famous. In Germany, people could order them from a 1894 catalog.

You also might know the popular jump rope rhyme (called a skipping rhyme in British English) about Teddy bears called “Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around.” There are many versions; here is one:

      Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,

 

      Turn around.

 

      Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,

 

      Touch the ground.

 

      Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

 

      Touch your shoe.

 

      Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

 

      That will do.

 

      Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,

 

      Go upstairs.

 

      Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,

 

      Say your prayers.

 

      Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,

 

      Turn out the light.

 

      Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

 

    Say good night!

Now there is a brand-new Norwegian songbook called Bamsen Min (My Teddy Bear) by Jorid Vorum from Steinkjer in North Trøndelag. This talented preschool teacher knows her audience well, and has written all 21 songs in this songbook, something she has always dreamed of doing. Her songs are easy to sing and don’t have a lot of fancy words, so even children learning Norwegian can sing-a-long. Not all the songs are about Teddy Bears, and the hello (Hallo, hallo and Hei, Hei, her er jeg) and goodbye (Ha det bra) songs are the types of songs that stick in your head. There are goodnight songs (God natt and Vuggesang), a song about dancing (Nå skal jeg lære deg å danse), a song about a squirrel (Ekornet klatrer i treet), and of course songs about Teddy bears.

In a newspaper article in the Trønder Avisa on August 10, Jorid says that some children miss having someone close, like mommy or daddy, and that can be a little hard for them. But a Teddy bear can be a friend that helps these children feel safe. Jorid’s songs are also that way, helping children feel happy and safe. “It is important that all children are seen and heard,” she says.

All the pictures in this brand-new songbook are drawn by Sanna Revdal, an artist and art teacher from Finland, and a CD with all the songs comes with the book. Twelve of the songs are also available on another CD with full musical accompaniment including fiddle, cello, guitar, banjo, and accordian!

If you would like to order the song book and/or CD, click on “Bestill Bamsen Min” i dag on the Frittspillerom homepage. By the way, Frittspillerom is Jorid’s business where she teaches children’s music classes, plays the violin, and writes poetry… and songs!

Frittspillerom’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FrittSpillerom
Frittspillerom’s Homepage: frittspillerom.no
Grown-ups can read more about the Teddy bear here:
www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-history-of-the-teddy-bear-from-wet-and-angry-to-soft-and-cuddly-170275899/#KlzGefGqsA0Zoibe.14

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 7, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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