Icelandic: gafst hún upp á rólunum

Hspo

Senior Member
British English (Yorkshire)
"Það á að gefa börnum brauð" is a popular Christmas folk song. I have tried to translate it as well as possible but I am stuck on the last line ie. "gafst hún upp á rólunum". Is this an expression, like she kicked the bucket, or gave up?
Here is the whole text:

Það á að gefa börnum brauð

Það á að gefa börnum brauð
að bíta í á jólunum,
kertaljós og klæðin rauð,
svo komist þau úr bólunum,.
Væna flís af feitum sauð,
sem fjalla gekk á hólunum.
Nú er hún gamla Grýla dauð,
gafst hún upp á rólunum.

I would be grateful if someone could give me a translation of the text so I can check mine, especially the last line. Thank you in advance for any help.
 
  • Rafeind

    Member
    Icelandic - Iceland
    The word “ról” (which here is used in plural) means to wander. Hvaða rólum gafst hún Grýla upp á? is an answer on Vísindavefurinn about this same line (which is where I got my information). This word is used in some expressions like “komast aftur á ról” = “getting back on ones feet” or “vera á róli” = “wander about”. So basically Grýla had enough of wandering about, gave up and died.
     
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