I first learned this song at the 75th anniversary of the town of Rosholt, South Dakota where a large part of my family settled after coming from Sweden in the late 1800s. An older man played this song in Norwegian or Swedish on an old gramophone record player with the large speaker that comes up like a flower. I kept singing the song in my head until one day I found it in Mike & Else’s Norwegian Songbook. Then later I found the Swedish version below which I’ve made an effort to translate into a singable English version.
Translating, especially Swedish songs, is an art that I work at with some success though there is always criticism that follows and one can always try to improve upon these. However, I have dedicated time to doing translations because I want English speakers to know these songs and poems and to know their meaning, especially those with Swedish ancestry but others too of course.
The folk high school movement encouraged this kind of song of good will to be sung as a way to bring people together. It’s important when working for positive social change to be finding ways to get along and see the fun and family in our interconnections. This song speaks to the importance of this and offers instruction for having a spirit of getting along with one another that I hope you will enjoy.
Where I’ve found the melody sung is on youtube. I’ve found both Swedish and Norwegian (La Oss Leve for Hverandre) versions sung there, and of course you can learn it from Mike & Else’s Norwegian Songbook.
Let Us Live For One Another
Translation by Marilyn Jackson
(Chorus) Let us live for –one another
Cherish all of the time we share.
Let us live for –one another
for one day only a mem’ry will remain.
We all have moments, in life’s charade,
With fortunes turning
and quarrelling too.
There is a meaning
But our hard words
Can make the problems worse to bear.
Who can answer all the questions
That we face from day to day.
To be a friend is just one part,
We can learn to share our troubles on our way.
Man Skall Leva För Varandra
Text & musik: Bengt Sundström
(Chorus) Man skall leva för varandra
och ta vara på den tid man har.
Man ska leva för varandra
för en gång finns bara minnen kvar.
Det bara händer i livets spel
att lyckan vänder
och det blir gräl.
Det finns en mening
med allt som sker,
men hårda ord,
det gör problemen fler och fler.
Vem kan förklara och ge ett svar
på alla frågor som jämt vi har?
Att vara vänner är blott en del,
och kan man lära sig utav varandras fel.