Anders Kedhammar was working as a music teacher in a suburb of Stockholm where he had many immigrant children among his students. These were children who hadn’t been brought up on the typical lullabies that Swedish-born children receive at their mother’s breast.
“Slowly during the years, I have picked out songs that don’t necessarily mean you have to be fluent in the language in order to sing, but that are still interesting,” Kedhammar says. “Songs with a unique combination of melody, rhythm and lyrics. It was then that I discovered how unbeatable our old children’s songs really are.”
The songs Kedhammar refers to are old folk songs and games like “Bro Bro Breja” as well as newer Astrid Lindgren songs. Delighted by his discovery, Kedhammar reached out to music teachers-to-be studying at Kungliga Musikhögskolan (the Royal College of Music) in Stockholm, asking if they’d be interested in recording these old hits—Kedhammar wanted a full band backing him up, not just some low-budget acoustic recording or a drum machine. The record was made and everyone was happy.

Swedish songs versus hip hop and pop
“The kids in the suburbs listened to the Swedish songs like never before; hip hop and pop music suddenly found themselves with a contender,” he says. “Not long after that, Sony Music got in touch and said they’d be willing to make a ‘real’ record of it. So that we did, and it was a huge success.”
It was a success in sales as well as culturally, since all Sweden’s public libraries took it into their registers. It thus became available for everyone, everywhere. Kedhammar explains that the record has spread through the Internet across borders, reaching as far as Romania and Malaysia, just to mention a couple countries.
“But what we’re looking forward to the most now is the tour we’ll do this summer in ‘the New Country.’ For Swedish-Americans, these songs will be like a soft breeze from the past, and they can smile at recognizing the nice harmonies and the often very beautiful Swedish language. We will also teach accompanying movements and games that follow many of the songs. All of us who participate on this tour do it for free and the contributions we receive from the arrangers pay for almost the entire tour!”
Tour dates include: June 14 and 15 in Rouseu, MN; June 20 in Thief River Falls, MN (not set); June 21 in Baudette, MN; June 22 and 23 in Bemidji, MN; and, June 24 in Minneapolis, MN. Kedhammar hopes to fill up June 16 to June 20 as well.
Check out Scandinavian lullabies on Youtube here:|[Scandinavian lullabies on youtube]