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February 27, 2008



I really like the Ann Molvig record! I'm just picturing her, 3,000 miles from L.A., trying to decipher the lyrics of a similar-sounding American teen record, like "Pineapple Princess"...

Ole Roger

hmmmph...and special thanks to me that actually transferred the Johan Pa Snippen song from vinyl and gave it to Arne...

Ola (sic.)

Johan på snippen Twist
(Full deciphering of the lyrics)
Ann Kristin Grynet Molvig version.

Han Ola og jeg gikk på dans her i kveld
På marked på Mo og der ble det spell
For han vil ha Shottis og det er jo trist
Når jeg ikke liker annen dans enn Twist

(Ola and I went do the dance here last night
on the market at Mo and there it was play
Because he would dance Shottis and that was sad
since I dont like any dance but Twist)

Først dro vi til hver vår kant og halte i hverandre
ingen ville føye seg og følge med den andre
men siden løste vi twisten med list
vi danset Johan på snippen Twist//

(First we pulled different ways and tugged at each other
No one would obey and follow on the other
but we solved it with cunning
and danced Johan på snippen twist)

Det var to orkestre og det var litt slemt
om vi skulle gå fikk vi ikke bestemt
for et spilte Shottis og et spilte Twist
og vi danset mellom begge to til sist

(It was two Orchestras and that was a litle bit evil.
We could not decide to leave.
Cause one played Shottis and one played Twist
and we danced between them both in the end)


Og folk stod og så på med undring og skrekk
at de var forbauset det skal være vist
for snart var det ikke en eneste flekk
hvor de ikke annet enn Shottistwist

(And people where watching with wonder and fear
they where amazed for shure
and soon there was no spot
where no one wheren't dancing anything but Shottistwist)


Det fins ikke en gammel god melodi
som ikke kan gå til moderne twist
Er partnern partnern uenig
ja bare så vit
så skal dere se det ender med til sist

(There ain't no good old melody
that cant go to modern twist
if your partner disagrees
then you will see
It will end up at last with

that they'r going different ways and tugging at each other
First they wont obey and follow on the other
but later they'll solve it with cunning
and dance Johan på snippen twist//)

At de drar til hver sin kant og haler i hverandre
først vil ingen føye seg og følge med den andre
men siden løser de twisten med list og danser johan på snippen twist, og danset Johan på snippen twist//

og danset Johan på snippen twist...

As far as I know dancing "Johan på Snippen Twist" is dancing barely holding your partner. This solves the tugging problem quite elegantly. "Snippen" means on the edge or outer narrow corner usually hanging over some open space (abyss). Han satt på snippen av stolen: He was sitting on the outer edge of the chair. (Snipp is also used for the protruding ends of a shirt collar.)

Bob Purse

Hey there,

Thanks to you, Ole Roger - I didn't know there was another person involved in the digitizing, or I certainly wouldn't have overlooked you. Thanks for sharing with me this absolutely intoxicating performance. And thanks to Ola for the translation, although I'm confused about "snippen", as I was under the impression that it is a place name, as in "Johan, from Snippen".



Snippen can be the name of a place, so you are right there. It would be a place conforming to the above descriptions. I.e a place that is small, corner like, and allmost falling off somwhere possible to live. Perhaps pushed into a corner bordering the forest or similar. Just take a look at the map of Norway and you will understand. "På" means on, not from. It says that you live on/at a place but is not from/born there. It would mean that you are living on the edge. (I think this is just the english expression translated directly norwegian)

David M. Buerge

40 years ago I purchased a 33 1/3 recording of Ake Jelving, Siggi Furst and their Old Time Swedish Dance Band playing "Swinging Swedish Schottisches and Waltzes" in which they sang and played Johan pa snippen or 'Bon Jazz' in words different than the ones you list. We memorized, although we could neither understand or speak Swedish, but had a wonderful time singing to the music. The record is old and scratched now--a friend of mine took my good record and left me his old scratched one. I have been trying to find a CD or a recording of this wonderful album. Do you know where one might be able to purchase it? DB

Kent Birge

I had lots of fun listening to these old recordings. I have been living here in the US for almost 30 years but grew up in Sweden. The song actually was written in 1924 by Gideon Wahlberg as a vaudeville number and was called Bonnjazz. This title can be best translated as "Jazz in the sticks," or "Hayseed Jazz" meaning that the new genre had come to Stockholm and it was tried out in the sticks with this particular result. The later title "Johan på Snippen" was just taken from the first lines of the text and has been the more popular of the two.

I remember the Sigge Fürst version very well since it was played on the radion. I know that a compilation that was released as an LP in the 70's and updated and expanded to CD has not really been out of print but the problem is to find a place that ships to the US. I could readily find it on 2 sited that do not send outside of Sweden however, the two main sites that I use, or, could probably be persuaded to special order for anybody interested.

Of the 60s recordings, the Adventures's version was the first one to hit the charts and a new text was written for the more grown-up market. This was then used to generate the Norwegian version. I don't remember Britt Damberg very well; she had a couple of hits and then disappeared. Listening to her version I'd say she's doing a good job for a Swedish schlager singer. This was the first time I heared Grynet's version and I must say that I like it the best. (I grew up not far from the Norwegian border and have worked there so I understand and speak Norwegian well.) Of the two, if I'd had the chance to take either of them out, it would be Grynet Molvig, hands down. She was activ for a long time and had a big following in Sweden also.

The last song on your list, Sigge Fürst's "Samling vid pumpen" was hilarious. I knew the text (kinda), but it was fun to listen to it as an adult. It really is the worst kind of rabble fighting. You could liken it to a free-for-all ain any of the mountain regions here in the US. The first verse goes like this (freely but lovingly translated):
Meet at the water hole, McCoys get over here!
Alfred's been hit and is down lying bleeding
Down in the pit they're fighting the Possum Hollers
Sheriff's got it in the head and I think his gonna die

That's how it was in the the wilder parts of Sweden as well as it was here. Well, enjoyed going through the memories. Thanks for sharing.

Kent Birge

David M. Buerge

Thanks for putting this site together. I have a contact in Sweden and will be contacting the two addresses you provided. Hopefully, I will be able once again to hear those marvelous songs and Ake Jelving's and Siggi Furst's spirited presentation. Thanks again. D. Buerge

Patrik Lindberg

Har du singeln med The Adventures "Johan på snippen"?

Kent Birge

Hej Patrik;

Ledsen för lång ledtid. Första gången jag tittar på den här sajten sedan sommarn. Ja, jag har både en singel och mp3a utav den. Intresserad?



The best version of Bonnjazz (imho) is by Åke Grönberg (rec: 1951)
/ Alf

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