Icelandic: Allir Krakkar

Aryaman

Member
Greek
I finally started studying icelandic on my own a few weeks ago and i try to translate songs from time to time, this is a childrens song, allir krakkar.

Allir krakkar, allir krakkar eru í skessuleik
Má ég ekki, mamma,
með í leikinn þramma?
Mig langar svo, mig langar svo
að lyfta mér á kreik.

I can understand the general meaning i think but i am not sure about some parts. Allir krakkar eru í skessuleik. In the dictionary i found skessa is a giantess, leik could be a toy, playground or the phrase í leik that in the dictionary it is said to mean player, which seems strange, how could 'í leik' mean player? The meaning i get is all the children are playing or are in play, ignoring the skessu part.

As for má ég ekki mamma, með í leikinn þramma , i have the same problem about the meaning of leik but i suppose it could mean 'may i not, mother, walk in the playground'.

Mig langar svo must be i long so much, að lyfta mér á kreik something like get going, go out, or lift myself and go out more literally.
 
  • Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I'm not an expert either (or even good!) but I thought I'd like to air out my thoughts :)

    að vera í skessuleik
    - to be playing giants (giantesses)
    If someone is í leik it means they are playing, it's a very Icelandic way of using language to describe an action.
    The next line look like: "Can I not, mamma?" the next line seems a strange word order but þramma means to stamp / stomp / plod (like an ogre/giant does) so I'd put it in English so far as:

    All the kids, all the kids are playing (ogress?)
    Can I not, mamma,
    trod / plod in the game?

    að langa
    (í) means to want, not to long for (same root as English word but different meaning in Icelandic) and svo is an intensifier so the best English translation is "I really want to.. I really want to"

    I'm not sure about the last sentence either, I see it as að lyfta mér (to get myself up) á kreik (and get moving, i.e. in the sense of playing around)

    As for má ég ekki mamma, með í leikinn þramma , i have the same problem about the meaning of leik but i suppose it could mean 'may i not, mother, walk in the playground'.
    Yeah, I think the þramma part refers to the idea of the game they're playing (skessuleik) so it's not really walk, but do what the ogres/giants do.

    I finally started studying icelandic on my own a few weeks ago

    Gott hjá þér! :)
     

    Aryaman

    Member
    Greek
    Thanks, it makes more sense when seeing that þramma refers to skessuleik, and that it is some kind of specific game.
     

    Rusínurassgat

    New Member
    Czech
    I finally started studying icelandic on my own a few weeks ago and i try to translate songs from time to time, this is a childrens song, allir krakkar.

    Allir krakkar, allir krakkar eru í skessuleik
    Má ég ekki, mamma,
    með í leikinn þramma?
    Mig langar svo, mig langar svo
    að lyfta mér á kreik.

    I can understand the general meaning i think but i am not sure about some parts. Allir krakkar eru í skessuleik. In the dictionary i found skessa is a giantess, leik could be a toy, playground or the phrase í leik that in the dictionary it is said to mean player, which seems strange, how could 'í leik' mean player? The meaning i get is all the children are playing or are in play, ignoring the skessu part.

    As for má ég ekki mamma, með í leikinn þramma , i have the same problem about the meaning of leik but i suppose it could mean 'may i not, mother, walk in the playground'.

    Mig langar svo must be i long so much, að lyfta mér á kreik something like get going, go out, or lift myself and go out more literally.


    Hæ hæ,
    I found this forum and I think I can help you with song Allir krakkar. Hope it's not too late 🙈
    Skessuleikur is icelandic Tröll game.
    In this game, two or more children play together. Then one child is Skessa (its big troll woman from folklore) and she has to sit inside the house. The other children are to come to her land and pick berries. When they arrive, they call "picking berries in skessulandi, skessan is not at home." Then skessan should jump up and try to catch someone and the same person will then be skessan.
    I can try translate whole song if you want. I'm from Czech but I live on Iceland and I working in kindergarden.
     

    Segorian

    Senior Member
    Icelandic & Swedish
    Adding to the previous post, skessuleikur was from at least as early as the 19th century and until about 1950 the name for a range of children’s games, mostly various tag games but also a few others. Many of the tag games were also called risaleikur (given that risi is a giant and skessa a giantess).

    Some of the games involved singing a few verses either as an introduction to the game or as part of the taunting of the ogre. A couple of examples below. (The first example is a variant of that quoted by R. above, replacing berries with “grasses”, meaning fjallagrös, a lichen known as Iceland moss. Berries—mainly bilberries, bog bilberries, and crowberries—and Iceland moss were the two things that Icelanders generally picked in the mountains.)

    Tína grös í skessulandi,
    skessa er ekki heima.

    Skessa svöng,
    ljót og löng,
    hefur göng
    heldur þröng,
    við aflaföng
    oft ströng
    er hún röng.

    The reality in which ogres were said to exist was to a large extent that of the older agricultural society, and was also to do with the proximity of most farms to mountains and other inhospitable or menacing places. This reality faded from view as the majority of the Icelandic population moved to villages and towns between the 1920s and the 1940s, which is probably the main reason why the name skessuleikur fell into disuse.

    As a child, I never knew anyone who played skessuleikur or used that word except when singing the children’s song quoted at the beginning of this thread. By far the most common tag game in my childhood was stórfiskaleikur (“British Bulldog” or “Sharks and Minnows”), and I believe that is still the case today.

    When preschools—called leikskóli (“play school”)—became common beginning in the 1970s some of the old games that children had stopped playing were revived in an effort to introduce variety in the schools’ activities. This included skessuleikur.
     
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