Carl Nielsen, “Der er et yndigt land” (A fair and lovely land)







Posted here are two versions of the anthem “Der er et yndigt land” (A fair and lovely land) by the Danish composer Carl Nielsen. The text is by the Danish poet Adam Oehlenschläger.

As noted in a Wikipedia entry:

“Der er et yndigt land,” commonly translated into English as “There is a lovely country,” is one of the national anthems of Denmark.

The lyrics were written in 1819 by Adam Oehlenschläger and bore the motto in Latin: Ille terrarum mihi praeter omnes angulus ridet (Horace: “This corner of the earth smiles for me more than any other”). The music was composed in 1835 by Hans Ernst Krøyer. Later, Thomas Laub and Carl Nielsen each composed alternative melodies, but neither of them has gained widespread adoption, and today they are mostly unknown to the general population.

The first version posted above is for soloist (baritone) and piano. The second version is for a mixed choir.






Der er et yndigt land


Der er et yndigt land,
det står med brede bøge
nær salten østerstrand
Det bugter sig i bakke, dal,
det hedder gamle Danmark
og det var Frejas sal.

Der sad i fordums tid
de harniskklædte kæmper,
udhvilede fra strid
Så drog de frem til fjenders mén,
nu hvile deres bene
bag højens bautasten.

Det land endnu er skønt,
ti blå sig søen bælter,
og løvet står så grønt
Og ædle kvinder, skønne mø’r
og mænd og raske svende
bebo de danskes øer

Hil drot og fædreland!
Hil hver en danneborger,
som virker, hvad han kan!
Vort gamle Danmark skal bestå,
så længe bøgen spejler
sin top i bølgen blå


There is a lovely land

There is a lovely land
With staunch and tow’ring beechwood
Beside the Baltic strand;
The rolling hill and dale enthrall,
Is known as good old Denmark,
And this is Freya’s hall.

‘Twas here in days of yore,

The armoured heroes gathered
To rest from mortal war;
Then onward marched to strike the foe, They linger on in peace now,
The barrow mounds below.

This land is beauteous still,
By azure sea encircled,
So green the wood and hill;
And noble women, pretty maids
And fearless men inhabit
These isles and verdant glades.

Hail king and fatherland!
Hail every Danish burgher
Who works with eager hand!
So long the azure waters pure
Reflect the tow’ring beechwood
Old Denmark shall endure.



— Roger W. Smith

    June 2018

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