"In the Hall of the Mountain King"

Very familiar music, although you might not know its name.

 

The spooky "In the Hall of the Mountain King" was written in 1875 by Edvard Grieg, as incidental music for Henrik Ibsen's stage play, "Peer Gynt."

 

VIDEO: Watch Bartt play it.

 

"Peer Gynt" is about a guy that gets a girl pregnant after a night of partying in the woods. The girl happens to be the daughter of the King of the Mountain Trolls, and the king is pretty ticked-off. The trolls hunt Peer down, singing these words:

 

(Translated from Norwegian)

Slay him!

The Christian man's son has seduced the fairest maid of the Mountain King!

Slay him! Slay him!

May I hack him on the fingers? May I tug him by the hair?

Hu, hey, let me bite him in the haunches!

Shall he be boiled into broth and bree to me?

Shall he roast on a spit, or be browned in a stewpan?

Ice to your blood, friends!

 

The author of the play, Henrik Insen, pretty much lived this story. He ran away from home at age 15, got a girl pregnant when he was 17, and never saw his own child. When Grieg wrote this bit of music, he considered it to be over-the-top, to the point of being satirical. He hoped that the audience would understand this.

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