Heer Halewijn

Heer Halewijn

Heer Halewijn (also known as "Van Here Halewijn" and in English "The Song of Lord Halewijn") is one of the oldest Dutch folk songs with ancient subject matter to be recorded. The song dates back to the 13th century while the story it tells and mythemes come from earlier Germanic pre-Christian legends.

In the song, Lord Halewijn is an evil man who lures one woman after the other to the forest with a musical song, and kills them. His power is in a magical song:

"Lord Halewijn sang a song,"
"all who heard it wanted to be with him."

The folk song begins with one princess who wants to see Lord Halewijn, she is lured into the forest, where she sees all the other murdered women's bodies. Lord Halewijn suggests since she is the prettiest she can pick her own death. The princess quickly kills him by chopping off his head.

Context

This song contains elements (mythemes) of ancient Germanic legend, notably the idea that a magical song that can lure woman to death. This element compares to the song of the Scandinavian Nix (strömkarlen), a male water spirit who played enchanted songs, luring women and children to drown (Meijer 1971:35).

The song's subject matter is similar in many respects to several Germanic songs circulating in the Middle Ages Europe, notably close to the English ballad "May Colvin or False Sir John" and its variations, "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight". The legends may have been the prototype of the Legend of Bluebeard.

Adaptations

Several modern adaptations of the story have been produced:
* Choral: "Heer Halewijn" by Willem Pijper, (1920).
* Opera: "Heer Halewijn" by Willem Pijper, libretto written by Martinus Nijhoff, (1932-34).

References

* Meijer, Reinder. "Literature of the Low Countries: A Short History of Dutch Literature in the Netherlands and Belgium." New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1971, page 35.

External links

* [http://www.geocities.com/reginheim/heerhalewijn.html The Song of Lord Halewijn] , as recorded by Charles de Coster. (Dutch and English)


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Heer Halewijn —   [ haːləvin oder vɛin], Held einer nach ihm genannten und über ganz Europa bekannten Ballade, deren aus dem Mittelniederländischen stammende Fassung, das »Lied van Heer Halewijn«, als die ursprüngliche gilt; Heer Halewijn ist darin ein Blaubart …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Halewijn — can have several meanings:*Halewijn is a hamlet in Luchteren, Belgium.*Halewijn is the name of the character in the Dutch folksong, see Heer Halewijn (Dutch for Lord Halewijn ). *Halewijn is the name of an opera based on the Dutch folksong, see… …   Wikipedia

  • Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight — Written by Traditional Recorded by . Broadside Electric as False Sir John on Black edged Visiting Card Steeleye Span as The Elf Knight on Time Bellowhead as The Outlandish Knight on Burlesque Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight (Child #4; Roud #21) is …   Wikipedia

  • Mädchenmörder — ist eine deutsche Volksballade, die eine spannende, grauenerregende Geschichte mit dem internationalen Erzählstoff vom Ritter Blaubart bearbeitet. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Textanfang zweier Varianten 2 Handlung der Volksballade 3 Überlieferung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Willem Pijper — (Zeist, September 8, 1894 Utrecht, March 18, 1947) was a Dutch composer, music critic and music teacher.LifePijper was born at Zeist, near Utrecht, on 8 September 1894 of strict Calvinist working class parents. His father, who sometimes played… …   Wikipedia

  • Pijper — Willem Frederik Johannes Pijper (* 8. September 1894 in Zeist bei Utrecht; † 18. März 1947 in Leidschendam) war ein niederländischer Komponist. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Bedeutung 2 Werke 2.1 Orchestermusik …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Willem Pijper — Willem Frederik Johannes Pijper (* 8. September 1894 in Zeist bei Utrecht; † 18. März 1947 in Leidschendam) war ein niederländischer Komponist. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Bedeutung 2 Werke 2.1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Groupe Rum — Rum est un groupe de musique flamande fondé en 1969, actif jusqu en 1986. Sommaire 1 Évolution du groupe 2 Membres du groupe 3 Discographie 4 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rum (groupe) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rum. Rum est un groupe de musique flamande fondé en 1969, actif jusqu en 1986. Sommaire 1 Histoire 2 Membres du groupe …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Folklore of the Low Countries — Netherlandish Proverbs, by artist Pieter Brueghel the Elder 1559, with peasant scenes illustrating over 100 proverbs Folklore of the Low Countries, often just referred to as Dutch folklore, includes the epics, legends, fairy tales and oral… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”