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.

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

    It's amazing how so many sick people in here can turn such a positive article into something to hate each other over. 1/2 of you people disgust me.

    April 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. L Tutt

    Just stick a needle in him and be done with it.

    April 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Winterer

      Typical American reaction and the reason you are dying as a nation.

      April 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • NotSoHumblePie

      >>Just stick a needle in him and be done with it.

      Before you do, can I have one of his kidneys, please? TY

      April 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bennycat

    My, that's useful. Helps bring back the dead and, above all, relieve everyone of the need to think soberly about the social problems that created this tragedy.

    April 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Winterer

      It's not an answer you tool. It's an act of unity and defiance. Is that to hard for you to grasp from your basement?

      Get over yourself

      April 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Freja

    Nordic countries are full of beatiful people – gunslingers are outnumbered 1:40000

    April 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tim bucy

    I played this song for the students in my program. I'm in San Rafael, Caifornia and we are with you people of Norway!!!!

    April 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jørgen H

    Thank you for all the support. I think I speak for nearly all Norwegians when saying this was a great shock for the entire nation, and clearly caught a peaceful and somewhat innocent society off guard. Thanks again.

    Jørgen H

    Oslo, Norway

    April 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Loke

    What a statement from the norwegian people to the rest of the world! Look all you haters, there is still hope for mankind!

    April 26, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Winterer

    Those talking about Norway in a bad light (aka Americans).... their systems, which you are ignorantly attacking seems to be working pretty well.

    How is America doing right now!? Still in a deep dark racist and uneducated hole.... and digging even deeper

    April 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • CullThePopulace

      This American is doing damned well, thank you. Don't be a 'propagandist and hate-monger' yourself by collectively putting all Americans together, in one basket. Lest you forget your history lessons about America – it is a nations with probably the most culturally-diverse population on earth. "Americans" came from Ireland, Italy, Germany, England, France, Russia, Israel, the African continent... oh, and yes, even self-righteous (and today, so very pompous): NORWAY. Look up in the statistics of how many of your very countrymen call the USA their 'home.' How's that #1 Quality of Life thing working out for you, back in the freezer?

      April 26, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Son of the Fjord

    As a proud Norwegian-American, this makes me prouder. Ja Norge!

    April 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jataka

    Funny how a lot of diaper rashes on here say you cannot punish murder with murder. If it happened to you, you sing a different tune. Everyone's a bleeding heart till it hits home, then the wolves gnash their teeth.

    April 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loke

      @jataka – it happened to them! And they are singing a song of unity instead of killing the guy! Just live with the fact that there are better people than you in this world.

      April 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      The families of the children he killed are Norwegians. They are standing with us singing. They are sharing love, not hate. The leader for the supportgroup who himself lost his boy was giving a speach, thanking us for our support, thanking us for our song... Thanking us for honoring their children with the message of love

      April 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. texansRus

    If this helps the Norwegians heal, then more power to 'em.

    As for my fellow Americans that are frothing at the mouth to see this guy killed, just remember that this human is clearly and truly mentally ill. So before we get on our lynching boots, let's reflect on WHY we have so many Columbine's and Littleton's and Va Tech's. I honestly believe the answer was known long ago, but so easily ignored in today's world where is it more popular to hate thy neighbor.

    Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?

    When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    April 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Zoglet

    Got to have respect for the way the Norweigians are handling this situation. Its so encouraging to see a reaction other than the predictable "hate rhetoric" so common in the US. Its an example the whole world can learn from.

    April 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. NukeTim

    Oh, I wish I could have been there to add my voice to the choir....

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

    Ja Norge!!! Clearly you are a more civilized society although I can say I understand the frothing at the mouth to see this man executed. You're very lucky not to deal with as much violence as we do (yet our country is not the most violent in the world). I pray you all find peace in these difficult times and that this "man" receives the maxium punishment that Norway has to offer.

    April 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      violence will lead to more violence. hate to more hate. You have to stop that spiral...

      April 26, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Seth Bullock

    "Music" for when he's in jail: 24/7 of Islamic calls to prayer.

    April 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23