“Den milde dag er lys og lang”



I continue to be enchanted by Carl Nielsen’s songs.

He wrote hundreds of them.

In my post

Carl Nielsen, “Fynsk Foraar” (“Springtime in Funen”)




I mentioned the baritone solo in the piece: “Den milde dag er lys og lang” (The mild day is bright and long).

I have found two recordings of it:


by the Danish tenor (and later baritone) Aksel Schiøtz (1906-1975). He does it beautifully. The recording is a bit scratchy.




by the Danish tenor Michael Kristensen











Den milde dag er lys og lang

Aage Berntsen, 1921 (Fra Fynsk Forår)


1. Den milde dag er lys og lang
og fuld af sol og fuglesang,
og alt er såmænd ganske godt,
når blot, når blot, når blot,
når blot vor nabos Ilsebil
vil det, som jeg så gerne vil
vil lægge kinden mod min kind
med samme varme sind,

2. vil række mig sin lille hånd
med samme redebonne ånd,
vil lukke øjet som til blund
og give mig sin mund!
Ja, dagen den er lys og lang,
og der er nok af fuglesang,
men jeg er bange, Ilsebil
vil ikke det, jeg vil!

3. Bag hækken kommer Ilsebil –
mon det er mig, hun smiler til?
Hun bærer mælk i klinket fad
og giver katten mad.
Å se, nu smiler hun igen,
min Ilsebil, min egen ven –
det er, som selve solens skin
faldt i mit hjerte ind.



The Mild Day Is Light and Long (1921)

words by Aage Berntsen (from “Springtime in Funen”)


1. The mild day is light and long
and full of sun and birdsong,
and everything is quite good,
just when, just when
just reach our neighbor’s Ilsebil
want what I would like to do
will put the cheek on my cheek
with the same warm mind,

2. will reach me his little hand
with the same red-minded spirit,
will close the eye like to nap
and give me his mouth!
Yes, the day it is light and long,
and there are plenty of birdsong,
but I’m afraid, Ilsebil
do not want what I want!

3. Behind the hedge comes Ilsebil –
Mon, it’s me she’s smiling for?
She carries milk in a grated dish
and gives the cat food.
To see, now she smiles again,
my Ilsebil, my own friend –
It’s like the sun’s skin
fell into my heart.


(The English translation is from Google Translate and is no doubt imperfect.)



— Roger W. Smith

    May 2018

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1) rogersgleanings.com, a personal site, he also hosts websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin.
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