ON THE CHRISTIAN CONVERSIONS OF OLAF TRYGGVASON, LEIF EIRIKSSON, AND OTHER VIKINGS: FROM VALKYRIE BATTLE-CHANTS TO ANGELIC CHORUSES

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (LUKE 15:10, quoting the Lord Jesus Christ)

ON  THE  CHRISTIAN  CONVERSIONS  OF  OLAF  TRYGGVASON,  LEIF EIRIKSSON,  AND  OTHER  VIKINGS:  FROM  VALKYRIE  BATTLE-CHANTS  TO  ANGELIC  CHORUSES

Col. John Eidsmoe  &  Dr. James J. S. Johnson,   co-authors

(borrowing the tune of “WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING”)

ORIGINAL CHORUS:
When Viking eyes are smiling,
Ja, ‘tis like a day in spring;
In the din of Viking plunder
You can hear the valkyries sing.

Yet Viking ears kept hearing
Of life lived a better way,
And when Viking ears were listening
Some the Gospel would obey.

1st STANZA:
Vikings made many cry,
And it’s no surprise why:
They were vicious, as they were tall;
Seizing loot made them smile,
As their victims they’d rile:
Viking swords doomed many to fall.

But laughter is wrong,
When it fills pirate song:
As pillaging underlies glee.
As some lauded Thor,
They spilt others’ gore:
Such woe! – And such tragedy!

CHORUS REPEAT:
When Viking eyes are smiling,
Ja, ‘tis like a day in spring;
In the din of Viking plunder
You can hear the valkyries sing.

Yet Viking ears kept hearing
Of life lived a better way,
And when Viking ears were listening
Some the Gospel would obey.

2nd STANZA:
Olaf T. played a part,
Sharing truth from his heart:
Preaching Christ, Olaf shone a true light;
And it was, before long,
Lucky Leif joined the song:
Trusting Christ, Leif believed what was right.

Telling father, mother,
Sister, and brothers:
Soon Leif, on Vinland, had landed;
Ja, on ocean-wave foam,
Leif sailed east, for home:
Yet stopped, to save some who were stranded.

LATTER CHORUS:
Viking eyes now kindly smiled,
Good news at the Althing;
Unto God now reconciled,
Christian songs Vikings sing!

Thus Viking hearts had real joy,
Unto idols no more to pray;
For when Viking hearts are Christian,
It’s a feasting holiday!

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (LUKE 15:10, quoting the Lord Jesus Christ)

1 Comment

  1. For a fuller treatment of the Norse Vikings’ pagan mythology, and how it yielded to many Vikings’ acceptance of the Christian faith, see my Chapter 14 (“Norse and Germanic Mythology”) in WORLD RELIGIONS AND CULTS, Volume 2; (Master Books, 2016; Bodie Hodge & Roger Patterson, general editors). On page 287 of that chapter this sober observation is included: “Although the myth-makers in northern Europe (and in other lands dominated by what we call Western Civilization) rarely speak of Ymir, Audhumla, Odin, Thor, Freyr, Freyja, Hel, valkyries, and frost-giants, that doesn’t mean that another group of modern pagans has escaped similar myths that blend pantheism with polytheistic animisms. Anyone who says that natural elements like fire and ice and rain and stone can create and ‘select’ and ‘favor’ some animals over others, or some humans over others, is not that far from the magical myths of the ancient Teutons.” JJSJ

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