June 17h 2011 marked the bicentennary of Iceland’s national independence hero: Jon Sigurdsson. Hannes Hafstein wrote a beautiful eulogy to Jon Sigurdsson a hundred years ago, on his centennary in 1911, “Stop the bickering and taking sides!”
The Hannesarholt crew got a local songwriter, Tryggvi M.Baldvinsson, to write a new song to these lyrics, who created a forceful, masculin song, duly fitting to the original work by Hannes Hafstein one hundred years earlier. RUV, the state radio station in Iceland recorded the song, performed by the mens’ choir of Fostbraedur, conducted by Arni Hardarson, and premiered on the air on June 17th 2011.
Hannesarholt was especially pleased to instigate the recycling of this eulogy, as it appears to be something which quite fittingly speaks to the name-calling, blame-seeking present, full of admiration, awe and gratitude for the contributions Jon Sigurdsson made to his country through his vision and service. It is precisely this kind of rediscovery of cultural assets that Hannesarholt seeks to foster and cultivate.