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. Madame Royale

    Now, that is what I call a peaceful gathering!
    Well done.

    April 26, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. nonplussed

    Norwegians showing how well cultured and civilized they are. Beautiful!

    April 26, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. Swins

    Huge mistake for the Chief Justice to comment on the scene outside. He just gave this murder grounds for appeal!

    April 26, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Rod C. Venger

      I agree. I could not believe that the judge showed such an obvious bias in such a public way. In the US it would be grounds for recusal demands and yeah, another avenue of appeal later on.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Mette

      He is not chief justice..

      April 26, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mette

      he is not a judge in the case either...

      April 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • KN

      It was not the chief justice who commented on the event.

      April 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve harnack

      So you're an expert on Norwegian law? Didn't think so.

      April 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. hannamomma

    AWESOME!!!! Gave me chill bumps to see how strong the Norwegian people are. God bless each and every one of you. Breivik is not a Christian as he claims, because Christians look beyond the color of ones skin or the accent of one's speech. We are all God's children and I hope Breivik got the message that he is the SICK one and not Norway!

    April 26, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. DD


    April 26, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. TheGreenMan

    Are there that many blacks in Norway?

    April 26, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Wings of Norway

      Yes, there are...why do you ask?

      April 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. logical_man

    and how did they get under his skin singing that?

    April 26, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Madame Royale

      He hates that song.
      If I had 40,000 people outside singing a song I detested, it would cetainly get under my skin, too.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • steve harnack

      Why don't you try reading the article?

      April 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. rob

    Nice. essie Jackson should watch and learn.

    April 26, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. toguh

    beautiful protest! lets fill the world with love and overstanding!!!

    April 26, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. John


    April 26, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. Yars

    As someone with Norwegian ancestors, let me just say that singing is not what Norwegians are usually known for.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Christian Miner, Ph.D.

      Funny. True, but very, very funny.

      April 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Michele

    Ditto nonplussed , What a wonderful idea-cannot think of a better statement against everything that horrid man believes.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Edward

    The Norwegains showing a lot of class.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. phunk

    More reasons why we need to be diligent here in America and stop these ultra right wing psychos from hijacking our government and destroying the dreams of our founding fathers. Stand up for the rights of ALL Americans, not just the privelaged!!! Keep politics out of the bedroom and church out of politics in 2012 America, its your right!!!

    April 26, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ryan

    I'd suggest that they sing Rebecca Black's "Friday" instead, but that would be too cruel even for him.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Madame Royale

      It made me cry just reading your post, lol.........

      April 26, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
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