Swedish: Helan går

Hi! This is the refrain of a traditional Swedish song some people sung at a party I went to:

Helan går! Sjung hoppfaderallanlej

I tried to translate it, but my attempt (below) doesn't make much sense. :(

All goes! Sing (???)

Could you please tell me what it actually means? Tack! :)
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  • brtkrbzhnv

    Swedish – Stockholm
    Svenska Akademiens ordbok on hela:
    SAOB said:
    fullt glas brännvin; särsk. om den första aptitsupen i ordningen (motsatt: "halvan").
    So it just means it's time to drink helan.
    And something I don't know enough about to confirm or disconfirm but that sounds reasonable:
    Toed@matrixgames.com/forums said:
    Traditionally Helan går is actually only the first 'verse' so to speak. A bit later during the meal one sings Halvan går and so on throughout all sixteen parts. However doing it that way one normaly don't drink the whole shot each time. Roughly half the first time and then less depending on your own wishes. Here is a list of the names - just swap the Helan part for the name below for the next verse and so on.

    Helan (whole)
    Halvan (half)
    Tersen ('third')
    Kvarten (quarter)
    Kvinten ('fifth')
    Rivan (-)
    Septen ('seventh')
    Rafflan (-)
    Rännan (-)
    Repetitionen (the repetition)
    Smuttan (-)
    Smuttans unge (smuttan's kid)
    Femton droppar (fifteen drops)
    Lilla Manasse (small manasse)
    Lilla Manasses bror (small manasse's brother)
    Kreaturens låteruppståndelse (the resurrection of the beasts)
    Den bleka dödens dryck (the pale death)
    Also: tak means 'roof' or 'ceiling'.


    Senior Member
    Swedish (Scania)
    According to Swedish Wikipedia, for what it's worth, the words helan and halvan originated because originally you would drink a full glass first (helan), then half a glass (halvan).

    The consecutive names were used later to name the first, second, third shot, assuming the glass is always reasonably full. Since Swedish snaps glasses are rather small (around 5 cl), it takes quite a few shots before you're legless and the bottle is empty... :D



    Senior Member
    Swedish (Scania)
    Hell and gore sing up father Allan ley. etc.
    Hehe, that's the 'Swenglish' adaptation, made as a joke for speakers of English to join in. It's completely meaningless but if you listen from a distance, it sounds very similar to the Swedish version.

    Full text in Wikisource: http://sv.wikisource.org/wiki/Hell_and_gore

    Sing (???)
    Could you please tell me what it actually means? Tack! :)
    Hopp = jump! combined with faderallanlej, just a meaningless phrase used in songs, like tralalala etc - it's untranslatable.

    Did you have problems with the rest of the song, too?

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    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    However, to avoid legal trouble it is advisable to check if there is actually a Father Allen employed by your local Catholic Church, before you sing the Swenglish version loud somewhere out on the town.

    Thanks Wilma S, once again you came up with some interesting info about Swedish culture.
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