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A PEARL IN THE SKY: A full moon rises over the Bear River Mountains. / Photo by Ted Pease

Today's word on journalism

September 18, 2008

Partisan politics:

"Say 'conservative' and they wag their tails. Say 'liberal' and they bare their fangs. More to the point, say either and all thinking ceases. . . . [P]eople hear this doublespeak and cheer. Why not? They have been taught that words mean what you need them to in a given moment. Turns out, all it requires is a limitless supply of gall and the inherent belief that people are dumber than a bag of hammers."

--Leonard Pitts Jr., Pulitzer-winning columnist. The Miami Herald, 2008 (Thanks to alert WORDster Jerry Vonderbrink)

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Swedes sing along at Allsång på Skansen

By Jonas Tyden

July 24, 2008 | This week I decided to visit the extremely popular Allsång på Skansen show. It is a Swedish television show where famous Swedish and international songs are sung, and the crowd sings along. Allsång means "sing along" in English, and the show has run on television since 1979, but its history dates back as far as 1935. The program runs for one hour each Tuesday at 8 p.m. every summer from the end of June until the beginning of August.

Approximately 20,000 people watch the show live at Sollidens stage at Skansen, which is the biggest zoo in Stockholm. The show consistently has over 2 million viewers on television. That might not seem like a lot, but Sweden "only" has a population of 9 million.

Every week different guest artists appear, and both Swedish stars such as Roxette and international stars such as Ricky Martin have guest appeared. There are also famous Swedish comedians every week, and the evening is full of laughter and singing.

Everyone that comes to Allsång på Skansen gets a textbook with the songs that will be performed and join the singing. The age span of the crowd is large and children, teenagers and retired 70-year-olds sing together. It was a great experience to see how they interact with each other and sing old traditional Swedish songs and newer songs together.

This week Andra Generationen, Veronica Maggio, Peter and Beata Harryson, and Vocal Six were entertaining the crowd alongside the host Anders Lundin. Maggio is a young Swedish jazz artist and her song Dumpa mig received a great response from the crowd. The song was big in 2006, but I loved her act and she has a mature voice even though she is in her mid-20s.

Vocal Six is a famous Swedish a capella group that sang one great song and it was amazing to see what they could do with their voices. Peter Harryson is a famous Swedish actor and television host, but I did not know that he was also a great singer and it was funny to hear him sing and perform in front of the crowd.

There was also a "secret guest" who came to the show. It was the Swedish rapper Adam Tensta, who received big applause from the younger crowd, but the older generations did not seem to appreciate his music too much.

The people who watch the show live get an extra 30 minutes of entertainment, and this was something that I didn't know since it was my first time. The extra 30 minutes of entertainment were even better than the hour show and I think everyone in the crowd enjoyed it as much as I did.

It costs approximately $20 for adults and $8 for children between 6 and 15 to attend the event. The money is definitely worth it because the entertainment is great all night long, and if you are lucky, you might be able to see yourself on Swedish televison.

The evenings at Skansen always end with the song Stockholm i mitt hjärta. This translates into "Stockholm in my heart," and the host Anders Lundin sings the song, and all of the 20,000 in the crowd sings along and it was a great feeling singing together with so many people.



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