Mitt hjerte alltid vanker

This lovely Christmas song is a border crosser: it’s a Norwegian variant of Danish hymn with a Swedish folk melody!

The first written instance of this melody is from 1816, in Västergötland (Sweden). The lyrics are often sung in Norwegian, adapted from a hymn written by Hans Adolph Brorson in Denmark in 1732. In English, I’ve seen the titled translated both as “My Heart Always Wanders” or “My Heart Remains in Wonder.”

I’ve listened to it for years on Rolf Lislevand’s wonderful album Jul i Gammel Tid, often while decorating my own Christmas tree. Something about those haunting opening notes just sounds like the start of Advent for me!

If you’d like to play it too, here is sheet music complete with suggested chords (just right-click to save and print the image):

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