Skaldic Bards

Hi, you could say my tastes in music are traditional… or even a little outdated. I love bards and skaldic poetry. Of the skaldic poetry I can find videos of, it has Norse pagan overtones. Is it a sin to listen to it, or is there a good reason to avoid it? Also if somebody could point me in the direction of skaldic poetry without such overtones, it would be appreciated.

You might try Caedmon or Anglo-Saxon poetry, most of which is Christian, though it may not be in the style you want. Some is too influenced by Latin to be really skaldic. There is an Everyman edition of Snorri Sturlason’s Prose Edda which contains sections which you might find useful. The Skaldskaparmal has a lot of pagan material and myths, even though Snorri was a Christian, but the Hattatal (description of verse forms) at the end is mostly battle songs and praise of thains; it contains very few references to Norse myth and gods, and it prints the poems in the original Icelandic, with translations…
Hope this helps.

I will start off by saying that the fact that this thread exists gives me immense satisfaction, and I know what musical genre I will be investigating next :slight_smile:

I don’t think there is anything wrong with enjoying pagan art. Many people like statues and paintings of Greek gods and goddesses; I think the only problem is when you start to see these figures as real deities. If you simply see them as myth, I hardly see an issue (and someone may certainly correct me if I am wrong.)

When it comes to a great many myths from Europe, and in this case the Germanic ones in particular, I do think they have some basis in historical fact. My hypothesis is that the Norse “gods” may have been based on real (mortal) people and the myths and sagas are greatly exagerated versions of real events in the specific tribes oral history. Of course it turned into a form of devil worship, but I do not think a great many of myths started out that way.

Also, I’m glad this thread introduced you to Skaldic bards. They are beautiful to listen to!

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