My talk will concern a Swedish ballad, ”Töre’s daughters in Wänge”, one of the most well-known and often rendered.
The medieval ballad is an interartial or intermedial genre as the lyrics are combined with song, music and dance. It could be described as a sung and accompanied dance song with an epic story. The story was presented by a fore singer, while the dancers in unison joined in at the refrain, in Swedish called omkväde, one in every stanza repeated line or verse, which commented on things that happened in the ballad or created an atmosphere. The story was being told through dialogue between the actors like in a play. Hence in the ballad, epic, lyric and drama meet and join.
Every ballad exists in many versions. The ballads were spread through the Scandinavian countries through oral tradition, hence we’ve got many different versions of one and the same ballad. I refer to three different versions of the ballad of Töre’s daughters. The stories told in the different versions vary regarding to who acts, what crimes are committed and what atonement is made. In one version a sacrifice is made and a debt is paid, in another it is not. All versions though cover a crime story with rape and murder. The different versions correlate, as sometimes what is reduced or unsaid in one version is completed or said in another. In my speech I will examine what the differences are.
My analysis of ”Töre’s daughters in Wänge” is also interartial or intermedial as I compare and combine artefacts from different media: one feature film (The Virgin Spring by Ingmar Bergman), one painting from the nineteenth century and lyrics from one popular modern song from the seventies. With every rewritten version – filmed, painted or sung – a new story comes to life and form a new version of the original one(s).
My aim is to make the different versions come together to form a core, a story that binds the different versions together and forms a predominant story, a superstory, i e I will see how the different ways of presenting them help to create the story of Töre’s daughters.
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