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Danish Eurovision Song Includes Icelandic Lyric

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Danish Eurovision Song Includes Icelandic Lyric

Photo: Screenshot from Higher Ground performance video

Eurovision viewers will have the chance to hear one Icelandic lyric during the song competition this week, although it won’t be in Iceland’s own song and nor will it be entirely grammatically correct. RÚV reports that the sentence “taka stökk til hærri jörð” is sung in the background of this year’s Danish song, “Higher Ground,” performed by the group Rasmussen.

This Icelandic lyric, which is sung by backup vocalist Jesper Hagelskær Paasch, is a direct translation of the refrain “take a leap to higher ground." The Danish “Viking squad” admits that the lyric is not grammatically correct—it should actually be “taka stökk á hærri jörð.” It’s unclear why the group has chosen to sing the sentence with the wrong preposition, but Paasch said that he learned the sentence and the pronunciation from an Icelandic friend, and that he’s interested in learning Old Norse.

Iceland's own Eurovision song this year is "Our Choice," sung by 20-year-old Ari Ólafsson.

See a video of the Danish song performed here, as well as an interview (in English) in which Rasmussen discuss the Icelandic lyric with a RÚV reporter.

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