The Green Green Land

The Green Green Land

From the album “A Different Kettle Of Fish”(2015)

Preview and download from iTunes HERE

For 3 years a famine has swept across this land
Another year like that we simply couldn’t stand
Erik the red – you should hear what he said
About the fertile pastures in the green greenland

In the green greenland in the green greenland
The fertile pastures in the green greenland

So early in the spring we sailed out to sea
To try our luck and see what fortunes there may be
We were a merry band that left Iceland
With the promise of a better life for my family and me

In the green greenland in the green greenland
My family and me in the green greenland

We were 24 boats that sailed out from home
Five days later a storm from hell did blow
Some ships they went down and others turned around
Only 14 of our boats ever landed at the cove

In the green greenland in the green greenland
Landed at the cove in the green greenland

The birch lined fjords and the trees that lined the way
Filled our hearts with hope on that chilly summer day
We drank and we sang and we toasted our new land
As we built our selves new homes above the rocky bay

In the green greenland in the green greenland
Above the rocky bay in the green greenland

Now 20 years have passed since those days
We’ve tried to graze our herds and keep up our old ways
But sickness has has been rife, has taken many a man’s life
And the frost bites harder each and every day

In the green greenland in the green greenland
The frost bites hard in the green greenland

 

The Norwegian viking Erik The Red had moved with his father and family to Iceland, but was banished for “some killings” around the year 982 AD.  He was exiled and spent the next few years in the hitherto uncolonised and little explored land mass now known as Greenland.  On returning to Iceland he persuaded many Icelanders to join him in setting up a colony in Greenland, and gathered a sizable number of recruits.  There had been 3 years of famine in Iceland, so people were easily persuaded – but to make the idea easier to sell Erik gave the new country the name “Greenland” saying “people would be attracted to go there if it had a favorable name”.

All went well for the settlers the first few years.  However, in 1002  a new group of colonists from Iceland brought with them a disease which killed most of the settlers, including Erik.  The colony survived though until the middle ages, when temperatures got too low to sustain their lifestyle.  Erik’s son Leif was the first european to (intentionally) land in America.