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This is why I love working with Norwegians. The ultra-nationalist terrorist mass-killer Anders Behring Breivik hates the children’s song “Children of the Rainbow” that describes a “World where – every sister and every brother – shall live together – like small children of the rainbow”. So 40,000 Norwegians got together to sing it, just to annoy him.

It’s a great example. The UK and USA are intent on showing how much we value democracy and liberty by clamping down on what people can say, see, think, and clap them in prison without trial. Norwegians, conversely, reaffirm their values of tolerance and open-ness when they’re under attack.

Lyrics of Lillebjørn Nilsen’s Barn av regnbuen (Children of the Rainbow), lifted from theworld.org:

En himmel full av stjerner (A heaven full of stars)
 Blått hav så langt du ser (Blue seas as far as you can see)
 En jord der blomster gror (A world where flowers grow)
 Kan du ønske mer ? (Can you ask for more?)
 Sammen skal vi leve (We shall live together)
 hver søster og hver bror (Every sister and every brother)
 Små barn av regnbuen (Small children of the rainbow)
 og en frodig jord. (And a blossoming world.)

Noen tror det ikke nytter (Some don’t think it matters)
 Andre kaster tiden bort med prat (Others waste time with small talk)
 Noen tror at vi kan leve av (Some thing we can live on…
 plast og syntetisk mat. (…plastic and synthetic food.)
 Og noen stjeler fra de unge (And some steal from the young)
 som blir sendt ut for å sloss (who are sent off for a fight.)
 Noen stjeler fra de mange (Some steal from the masses)
 som kommer etter oss (who come after us.)

Refrain:
 Si det til alle barna! (Tell all the children)
 Og si det til hver far og mor: (And tell every father and mother)
 Ennå har vi en sjanse (That we still have a chance)
 til å dele et håp på jord. (to share hope for the world.)

2 Responses to “ Reading List ”

Comment by Algy Taylor

What he said. Norway as a nation has handled the whole thing so well – the Norwegian press were impressive in refraining from putting Breivik’s trial on the front page. Then the singing of this song. Incredible.

Long live Norway. I hope one day I’m lucky enough to live there.