Sveablotet

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Sveablotet

 

“In the ending of Hervararsagan (Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks), there’s a supplement called Kungligt ättartal (The royal ruling line) mentioning the old kings in Svealand, from pagan times until Svealand was Christianized. In this appendix there is a conflict about the royal power between the Christian Inge and the pagan Blot-Sven, who still was a practitioner of the pre-Christian religion.

Inge was expelled by the people of Svealand, since he refuses to lead and perform an important blot (old Norse sacrifice). However, Sven is offering to take on the lead role and perform the blot and is later chosen as a new king. Inge returns after some time in exile and during a nightly raid on Blot-Sven’s hall he is carrying out a so-called innebränning – which means that the hall’s gate is latched/locked from the outside and then the hall is set on fire, leaving the owner and his/her family to the flames. According to the tale, Blot-Sven will have been the last king in Svealand to perform the blot. Whether innebränning took place, or if Inge and Blot-Sven have even existed, is rather unknown. There are other sources about the old kings in Svealand but none have mentioned the two kings. Nevertheless, Kungligt ättartal, gives an interesting insight into the relationship between the exercice of the pre-Christian religion and political power.

Sveablotet is the test on the album that I have taken the most freedom to weave in my own thoughts. The information about the conflict is brief, which has made me fill the gaps with my own interpretations and imagination. For example, the saga does not mention Inga as niding, or explicit that the Norse ritual died with Blot-Sven, but the passage in the saga has for a long time interested me, which resulted in this text.”

 

Lyric :

Ej följer vi, han som bröt vår lag

Och svek asar och hävd

blodoffrets sed, skall hållas för vårt folk

Ett blot för svears väl

 

Inge, den kristne han fördrevs, och fram klev där en man

Som plägar folkets tro

blod till offerträdets stam, och hästens delar slets.

Ett blot för svears väl

 

Och lågorna stod i natten – gården brann,

ett flammande hov, vår tid är förbi.

Och de skrin, från de som av elden famnats.

Blev till sång, en helfärdens hymn, vår tid är förbi.

 

Hämnd, ett illgärningsdåd fyllt av nid

Åter i Svetjud med sin hird.

Död, för drotten som offret har lett, bränn ned hans hall

Ej, ett liv ur denna gården skall se, en gryningens ljus !

Bränn inne dess folk, och med dem dess tro.

Sven som kom ut föll kort för svekfullt stål.

Och högt slog lågorna genom natten – gården brann,

ett flammande hov, vår tid är förbi.

Och de skrin, från de som av elden famnats

Blev till sång, en helfärdens röst, vår tid är förbi.

Aldrig mer, vårt folk ska följa seden

Förfäders rit från urgammal tid, den brinner i natt.

Aldrig mer skall en konung nu följa de gamla.

Aldrig mer ska svearnas blot ge liv till vårt folk

Aldrig mer

 

English translation :

We do not follow he, who broke our laws

And betrayed Aesir and customs

The blood sacrifice ritual, shall be performed for our people

A blot for the wellbeing of Svear.

 

The Christian was driven out, and a man emerged

In whom the people put their faith

Blood to the trunk of the sacrificial tree, and the limbs of the horse were torn

A blot for the wellbeing of Svear

 

And the flames stood high in the night – the hall ablaze,

A flaming temple, our time has passed.

And the screams, from those embraced by fire

Metamorphosed into a song, a Hel-journey hymn, our time has passed.

 

Revenge, a misdeed filled by guile,

Once again in Svetjud with his housecarls.

“-Death to the sovereign, who led the sacrifice, burn down his hall !

Not one life shall emerge from the hall by the light of dawn

Burn down his hall and his people, and with them their faith !”

Sven, who made it out, soon fell at the hands of deceptive steel.

And the flames struck high in the night – the hall ablaze,

A flaming temple, our time has passed.

And the screams from those the fire embraced.

Metamorphosed into a song, the voice of the Hel-journey, our time has passed.

Never again, will our people follow our customs.

Ancestral rite of ancient times is burning tonight.

Nevermore, will a king follow the old ways.

Nevermore, will the Sveablot bring life to our people.

Nevermore

 

Illustration by Kris Verwimp

Source : Månegarm