This is the third of three episodes on youtube that I´ve illustrated for Åsne´s folksong-website. We´ve recorded two more episodes, but those have not been uploaded yet. The whole project itself in on a bit of a hiatus, but I thought I might just as well share this song, and tell a little bit about it.
The little grey manIn the summers of the Norway of over a century ago, many extra hands were needed to get the harvest in. People from the villages who did not have a stable job would then go from farm to farm to work as a farm-hand. This song is about such a person.
Even though it was not so unusual that stranger would come walking onto the big farm yards, this one was really special. So special even that they made a song about it.
In the time when most people could not read or write, both the important and the fun things that happened were shared and remembered through both songs and stories.
When illustrating for this song, I tried to recreate the event that made the song. In my first sketches, I created a fun contrast by letting the old little man walk past some big stout farmers. Later, in conversation with Åsne, we thought it would be a lot more fun if the the man would pass by a group of playing children instead. We chose to loosely base the motif on the cover-picture of Astrid Lindgren´s Vår i Bakkebygrenda. Real scandinavian nostalgia.
Now, in the picture, all the kids have stopped their wild games and are looking with amazement at the curious old man (and his little goat) who has just interrupted their reenactment of an historic battle.