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. Constant Reader

    Norway's population is only 4.8 million. 40,000 people is 0.8% of Norway's population. The U.S. has 310 million people, so the turnout in Oslo to sing this song would be comparable to 2.5 million Americans turning out to voice an opinion on a social issue. Has a public demonstration on this scale ever happened in the U.S.? I note they also sang both the English and Norwegian versions of the song. Could 2.5 million Americans gather anywhere to sing any song in Norwegian?

    April 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • stellaphyllis

      I only wish I could do the MATH that you did for that computation!
      And no. You KNOW no Norwegian songs would go on here.
      Cool solidarity though!

      April 26, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      you are right. But 40000 was only in one city. And they were singing all over Norway. So alteast over 1% of our population brought a rose, went out into the street just to sing a song about children and rainbows. On a rainy thursday at lunch time. Not because anyone told us to, but because we wanted to. And we did not sing to anoi Breivik. We sang to show our support to the families who lost their children. We sang to answer hate with love. And we sang because it is our song. Our country. And he attaced us. But he did not change us.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      The total numbers of the Occupy movement may be close to the 2.5 million. Except in the US we arrest such disorder.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
    • MissT

      Norway's population is 5 millions so keep your numbers strait if that's the way you choose to argue

      April 27, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
    • NickD

      Most Americans are terrible singers. If you put that many Americans singing together birds would fall out of the sky and animals would flee.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. Brigania

    I doubt they did this to annoy this mass murderer – more to light a bright candle in the darkness.

    April 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wendell W Solomons

      I too strive to light a candle. Breivik was hired to send a loud message out so as to Balkanize Europe. Consider that Soros in NY was issuing related messages calculated to keep the US dollar serving as world reserve currency till five days before Bill Clinton unleashed missiles to deconstruct Yugoslavia.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. gjermund

    this is wrong. this wasn't about revenge or annoying anyone, it was about taking back the song and showing that he can't win this battle. look it up in any norwegian newspaper!

    April 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David Dougherty

    A beautiful moment for all the right reasons, may this start more moments like it

    April 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. cchy

    It is good to see there are so many open-minded, peace-loving people in Norway. Hope this will spread to all parts of the world. We are the only living planet in the universe (the scientists have not found another earth-like planet and living creatures yet), don't see any reasons why we cannot all live in peace and harmony. We are created to live and prosper, not to kill.

    April 26, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. J.Quinlan

    How wonderful! Congratulations, Norwegians!

    April 26, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gabriel

    I highly respect act of these Norwegians. They use song to support the families of the victims. This is love to overcome hate, good to overcome evil. God bless you all.

    By the way, criminals in many developed countries (including Canada where I live) have too much rights and sometimes more than the victims and the families of the victims. The judicial systems and lawmakers of really have to look into that. Treat the law-abiding citizens fair and use the taxpayers' money wisely. OK?

    April 26, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Name*truthman53

    I wish for the killer to rot in hell.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Honestly

      Spreading the love I see! ;)

      April 27, 2012 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. David WallensteinName*

    Bravo, Norway! What a wonderful country Noway must be! Now I intend to visit for sure!

    April 26, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. theDude

    Norway is cool. I mean, cold.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. franklin

    Norway light the light in a world that can be dark.
    To Greenman, Rufus and beasts of a similar fur ... count your time at hand for if you resist evolution you will surely become extinct.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. Andy

    See now there is an idea, take the song have it recorded in a myriad of ways I am thinking cheesy pop, folk, appalling country etc and have it piped into the guys cell 77 times a day. I know I know....... I am a sadistic little bugger of an Aussie (grins)

    April 27, 2012 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Maire

      Now I like that idea. Closer to American style justice!

      April 27, 2012 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
    • kreaturen

      @Andy. lol oh how I wish =P Being Norwegian, I'm not afraid to admit I have this sadistic notion close to heart also. It would be so perfect. Gives me great pleasure to know how much this 'allsang' must have annoyed him. He wanted so badly to become a martyr for his perverted cause, but so far he's been given every courtesy our just state can offer, which is far more than his murderous ass deserves. Ridiculous to spend so much time on the trial though... Ridiculous, but fascinating. Soft torture for the win!

      April 27, 2012 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. Antje

    It would be nice if the inmates and staff of his jailhouse where he is kept would join in. Still, let us hope he doesn't grow old. He does look overweight so that woudl make for some nasty illness. Hopefully some-one does not take well to the looming punishment and deals him what most think is his appropiate punishment.

    April 27, 2012 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. eville11

    How come the banner on the left says 1 May Solidarity, and their all standing in front of the Arbiederpartie building( workers party) and everything is red colored... Ahha! an old May 1st Labor day picture in oslo... because its NOT May 1st yet..
    Nice CNN that big crowd isn't the same big crowd you are describing in the article... just... sloppy.

    April 27, 2012 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
    • eville11

      or they got their decorations out early... damn those Norweggies, always thinking ahead..

      April 27, 2012 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. midas

    I wish the would put him in front of a firing squad so i can sing "Ding dong the witch is dead"

    April 27, 2012 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
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