Eric Wahlströms letters

At the partition of the property after the death of Carl Wahlström, Eric's son, in 1927, in Dannemora two letters and a song were found in an old chest. The letters and the song were written by Eric Wahlström in 1808 and 1809, during his time as a soldier. The letters and the song are now kept by Yngve Holmberg, the grandson of Carl Wahlström, who is living in Örbyhus, north of Stockholm.

The first letter, written on Åland on July 5, 1808, was to his parents, Per Wahlström and Britta Andersdotter Buss, who lived on the farm Åknarby in Dannemora parish. Dannemora is a small village north of Stockholm and also the name of the parish.

The second letter written from Skuttunge just outside the city Norrtälje, was also written to his parents. In the letter there is also a songtext. After contact with the Swedish Song Archives they told me that they didn't have that song in their collation before. I was also told that during these wars the soldiers sang and composed many songs. So it is possible that Eric or someone else in his company might have written the song.

Among the two letters there was also a ballad in the chest. Eric had copied the ballad from a songbooklet printed in Gävle in 1809. In the booklet there were two ballads. The first was "Helsinge Soldiers song" (Helsinge = short for Helsingland wich is a part of Sweden) - that starts: "And now I'm leaving from here….." The other one was "The Decampment Song from Jemteland" - Jemtland is also a part of Sweden. Both of the ballads were said to be "sung in your own nice melody". In the booklet is "Helsinge Soldiers Song" written in 12 verses. Eric had, maybe because of shortage of paper, only written 8 verses. According to the Swedish Song Archives it is very surprising to see how fast a song is spread. The ballads were printed in the same year that Eric wrote it down.

On the following pages You can see copies of the letters and the ballad. They are all typed both in Swedish and in English. It is very difficult to translate old Swedish into English and I have tried to translate as correctly as possible word by word. Therefore it might sound a little strange. Anyway, I hope that You can understand most of it.


Erics first letter to his parents.
Erics second letter to his parents.
The Ballad.

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Copyright © Håkan Bergström, Latest update 2000-02-07