Norwegians sing to annoy mass killer
An estimated 40,000 people gather in Oslo's Youngstorget square to sing "Children of the Rainbow," a song derided by mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.
April 26th, 2012
10:21 AM ET

Norwegians sing to annoy mass killer

Norwegians raised their voices in unison on Thursday to get under the skin of admitted mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

An estimated 40,000 people turned out in central Oslo's Youngstorget square to sing "Children of the Rainbow," a Norwegian version of "My Rainbow Race," written by American folk singer Pete Seeger.

During his trial for the killings of 77 people last summer, Breivik cited the song as an example of Marxist influence on Norwegian culture.

The Norwegian version of the song describes a "World where – every sister and every brother – shall live together – like small children of the rainbow," according to a report in the Norway Post.

Breivik, whose trial in Oslo City Court began last week, boasts of being an ultranationalist who killed his victims to fight multiculturalism in Norway.

Thursday's event, which included a march to the courthouse to drop roses outside, was “a beautiful, touching scene,” said Geir Engebretsen, the court chief justice in charge of Breivik's terror trial, according to a report on Views and News from Norway.

"It’s a very moving manifestation of Norwegian culture," Engebretsen said, according to the report, which cited Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The idea for Thursday's singing statement came from two women, Christine Bar and Lili Hjonnevag, who became upset with Breivik's derision of the song and posted a call on social media for others to join them in singing it on the square, Views and News reported. They expected a few dozen people, the report said.

But by Tuesday, 4,000 people had accepted their Facebook invitation and then 10 times that many turned up Thursday.

“I think this just shows that people felt a need to show their feelings, to make an expression of how they value the Norwegian democracy. It’s fantastic," Views and News quoted Labour Party Secretary Raymond Johansen as telling NRK.

Culture ministers from Sweden, Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Iceland joined in the song, the Norway Post reported.

Lillebjorn Nilsen, who wrote the Norwegian version of the Seeger song, led the crowd in singing both the Norwegian and English versions, according to the Views and News report.

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Filed under: Anders Behring Breivik • Crime • Norway
soundoff (638 Responses)
  1. Steen

    Absolutely beautiful.....:)

    April 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Heaveninc

    My love to Norway and its people.. Love you!!

    April 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Stein

    Most people probably did not sing to annoy Breivik. Most likely they sang for the same reasons as the people I know who were there sang: to demonstrate some of the values most of us believe in – living and working peacefully *together* to create a better future, instead of trying to foment hatred and strife.

    April 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. bezerker

    yep typos. so label me.

    April 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. raven

    Perfect!

    April 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. tilmeismoney

    A public hanging is due here, and leave his body to rot.

    April 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Fishtails444

    Great idea. Way to go Norway!!

    April 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Rick

    Wonder what song they'll be singing when they are under sharia law in 50 years? hah

    April 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Zaperdon

      Good point! "out with those foreigners Breivik was a visionary!

      April 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      we will not be under sharia laws in 50 years... we will live in our free democratic country as Norwegians of many coloures and with many religions

      April 26, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ted

    "Jubilee

    What HE did was malicious. What THEY did was irony. And that's the Beatles you're quoting."

    Figured that all out by your self?

    I just feel like if they wanted to sing something how about the "A hole song" by Jimmy Buffet?

    April 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jubilee

      ted: how about I sing you "the Rodeo Song", you condescending jerkwad?

      April 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jax

      Rodeo song, yeah! Hey ted, how about hitting that reply button? Lol!

      April 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      There is no irony in what we did today. We are seriousely just answering hate with love...

      April 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ms. Norway

    Make no mistake nik green, in Norway we look at him as both a terrorist and a mass-killer. Who did a grusome act when he killed those young people who where gathered to share their thoughts and beliefs in democratic principals. It is so sad – I have no words :-( And our singing today – which took place in all Norwegian cities, not just the 40.000 in Oslo – is not just to annoy him, but to send him the message that he has changed nothing! And that the beliefs of those who died stands even stronger in our country today, so rather his plan has backfired.

    April 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • CullThePopulace

      Norwegians say that with this display of unity, Breivik has changed 'nothing.'

      Ask the families of the 77 murdered if Breivik changed THEIR LIVES.....
      Walk in their shoes for awhile.

      April 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bezerker

    Actually im not to worried about a rainbow Norway. These people who are used to the heat wont like it up there after a couple of winters. UFF DA!

    April 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. i_know_everything

    this is so lame, those 40000 people should storm in and beat him up

    April 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • hecep

      Per your suggestion, perhaps Pete Seeger could redo his lyrics and, on the last line, have something like "Now let's all bust into the jail and tear him apart." This will work if the crowd gets really into the song.

      April 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sensible

      Seriously, you would protest violence with violence !!! Where do you people come from? Hats off to Norway and their people for a great but peaceful protest.

      April 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. across12

    These Norwegians are so romantic.

    April 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • CullThePopulace

      They are simply, drunk. Each and every Friday, it gets even worse. Haven't you heard of "russ"? They start the children off, quite young.

      April 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bezerker

    @hecep. if you were using this crappy phone id bet you get typos also. so go f*#k yourself.

    April 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • hecep

      You know, bezerker, I was just making a humorous defense of your typo by submitting my own. Your failure to see that and your rather hyperbolic reaction tells me that you won't or can't see it that way. In particular, what you told me to do with myself - given the context of the post you were reacting to - tells me that there's something wrong with you.

      April 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sam

    It is a strong statement indeed. I was once held at Oslo airport and frisked. That officer asked me the reason behind visiting Oslo. i told him that I'm a tourist. Next what I heard was unbelievable. He told me to stay away from Norway.
    (I am not caucasian)

    April 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • skysong263

      This sounds like a propitious time to make your story more public. It certainly sounds upsetting.

      April 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
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