The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Mouse Song

Words: Musevisa, Alf Prøysen (1914-1970), 1946

A version by Ivar Kalleberg
Consultant Kenneth Tillson

 

When nights are getting longer
And lakes will freeze to ice
Mother Mouse
warns strongly
About a foul device:
" We must avoid the mouse trap
But there is naught to fear

We'll all be celebrating
At Christmas time this year "

Hydi and Hoodo and toodeladdeloo
A Merry Christmas season
Is good for me and you

Mother Mouse is busy
She is a tidy soul
She'll clean the walls and ceiling
In this cosy little hole.
As young mice dance a polka
Their tails sweep out the place
A grubby house at Christmas
Is a positive disgrace.

Hydi and hoodoo and toodeladdeloo
A merry Christmas season
Is good for me and you

And finally the evening
The youngsters all await
They know they'll have permission
To stay up very late
A toe-less boot is spruced up
With nails that they have found
And then some flimsy cobwebs
Which they can drape around

Hydi and hoodoo and toodeladdeloo
A merry Christmas season
Is good for me and you.

Father Mouse now tells them
That they should form a ring
"Let's dance around this old boot
And hear our Granny sing
Each mouse should use its right paw
To take its neighbour's tail
Then listen as Old Granny
Sings a lovely Fairy tale"

Hydy and hoodoo and toodeladdeloo
A merry Christmas season
Is good for me and you.

A tasty hazel nut will make
A splendid Christmas feast
A rather tiny tidbit
But that is not the least
There's sticky candy paper
A spicy Yuletide Ham
They all can savour its bouquet
And taste some apple jam

Hydi and hoodoo and toodeladdeloo
A merry Christmas season
Is good for me and you

Old Granny's Christmas Present
Is a brand-new rocking chair
A hollowed-out potato,
Which her kin have gnawed with flair
Now Granny starts her singing
The youngsters sing along
They always love to join her
In their favourite Christmas song

Hydi and hoodoo and toodeladdeloo
A merry Christmas season
Is good for me and you

Old Granny's getting tired
Soon comes the early dawn
As morning is approaching
She cannot help but yawn:
" Christmas is a lot of fun
For each and every mouse
Be careful of the mouse-traps
In this trap infested house."

Hydi and hoodoo and toodeladdeloo
A Merry Christmas season
Is good for me and you.

The Father Mouse says, gravely,
"It's time to take a nap
Just dream about the Yuletide
And not that awful trap"
While Father Mouse is keeping watch
The children try to sleep
They hum some Christmas carols
Instead of counting sheep

Hydy and hoodoo and toodeladdeloo
Next year the Christmas season
Will come to me and you.
Hydy and hoodoo and toodeladdeloo
Each year the Christmas Season
Brings Joy to me and you


Note:

These English lyrics are reproduced by the kind permission of their author, Ivar Kalleberg, who emailed them to me on August 20, 2009.

Musevisa (“The Mouse Song”) is a Norwegian Christmas Carol written by Alf Prøysen in 1946. Mr. Prøysen composed this carol at the request of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK; see Alf Prøysen; <http://www.nrk.no/programmer/sider/alf_proeysen/>). He was a singer and songwriter, and matched the lyrics to a traditional Norwegian folk tune. The fascinating background behind this carol, including the “missing verse” are recounted at these two web sites:

The "missing verse" turned out to be a cleverly-executed hoax. The English translation:

Before the mice were sound asleep,
There came the dreaded cat
"I've not come here to harm you .
Let's have a friendly chat
In this sweet Christmas season
I would not touch a mouse
Let Love and Peace prevail
We've Christmas in our house !"

Hydi and hoodoo and todeladdeloo
A merry Christmas season
Is good for me and you

Another fake verse later showed up. It's translation:

When everyone were sleeping
Then came a hungry cat
He ate up all the small mice
And a chubby passing rat
But no one has to worry
No one needs to cry
They all soared up to heaven
To the mansion in the sky

Hydi and hoodoo and todeladdeloo
A happy Christmas season
Is good for me and you.

An additional copy of the original Norwegian lyrics are found at Musvisa, Norwegian Lyrics. Norway Christmas. <http://christmas.indianorway.com/2009/04/05/musevisa-norwegian-lyrics/>

Also see "The Mice Celebrate Christmas," Mike and Else's Norwegian Songbook (Bloomington, MN: Skandisk, 1985), English text by Olive M. Sevig.

Of the numerous “Musevisa” videos at YouTube, here are two of the better ones.

 

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