Nowy Rok Wallandera / New Year with Tennyson

Ewa Maria Slaska

Wczorajszego sylwestra spędziliśmy z Wallanderem i jego ojcem. Wpis kończył się tymi zdaniami:

Złożyli sobie życzenia. Ojciec nalał sobie kolejny kieliszek koniaku. Rozlał przy tym trochę na podłogę. Był w świetnym humorze. Dla Wallandera to było najważniejsze.
O dwunastej zasiedli przed telewizorem i słuchali…

Zaczął się Nowy Rok. Wallander i jego ojciec zasiedli przed telewizorem i słuchali, jak Jarl Kulle recytuje noworoczny wiersz.*

Tłumaczka, Irena Kowadło-Przedmojska, dodaje w tym miejscu przypis:

A więc znany aktor tradycyjnie wita Nowy Rok w Szwecji wierszem Alfreda Tennysona.

Nie mogę nie pójść tym tropem. Zostawiam więc Wallandera, który wraca do domu, a rano budzi się z bólem gardła i głowy…

“Ring Out, Wild Bells” is a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Published in 1850, the year he was appointed Poet Laureate, it forms part of In Memoriam, Tennyson’s elegy to Arthur Henry Hallam, his sister’s fiancé who died at the age of twenty-two.

According to a story widely held in Waltham Abbey, and repeated on many websites, the ‘wild bells’ in question were the bells of the Abbey Church. According to the local story, Tennyson was staying at High Beach in the vicinity and heard the bells being rung on New Year’s Eve.

It is an accepted English custom to ring English Full circle bells to ring out the old year and ring in the new year over midnight on New Year’s Eve. Sometimes the bells are rung half-muffled for the death of the old year, then the muffles are removed to ring without muffling to mark the birth of the new year. In some versions of the story it was a particularly stormy night and the bells were being swung by the wind rather than by ringers, but this is highly unlikely given the method of ringing English full circle bells, which requires a considerable swinging arc before the clappers will strike the bell.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

A translation into Swedish by Edvard Fredin called ‘Nyårsklockan’ – ‘The New Year’s Bell’ – is recited just before the stroke of midnight at the annual New Year’s Eve festivities at Skansen in Stockholm, capital of Sweden. This tradition began in 1897 when the young Swedish actor Anders de Wahl was asked to recite the poem. De Wahl then performed the poem annually until his death in 1956. Since 1977 the Swedish national public TV broadcaster, SVT, has aired the event live, and the first to read the poem on television was the actor Georg Rydeberg. The show turned out to be a major success, and watching it on New Year’s Eve quickly became a nationwide tradition. Rydeberg recited the poem until his death in 1983. After that many famous Swedish actors and/or singers have recited the poem.

  • Georg Rydeberg 1977 – 1982
  • Jarl Kulle 1983 – 1996
  • Margaretha Krook 1997 – 2000
  • Jan Malmsjö 2001 – 2013
  • Loa Falkman –  2014
  • Malena Ernman – 2015
  • Pernilla August – 2016
  • Krister Henriksson – 2017

It should be noted that the Swedish translation differs significantly from the English original. Inspired by the Swedish tradition, auto manufacturer Volvo used the poem in a 2016 New Year’s Eve advertisement (TU).

Ciąg dalszy jutro / Follow us tomorrow